Following the decision by the Federal government to embark of the creation of a radio station for herdsmen in the country, Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBL) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, saying the government was out to bury other tribes in the country under Fulanis.
Recall that the minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, had confirmed that the Federal government had acquired a license to operate a Fulani radio station soon. But in a swift reaction to the development on Thursday, the SMBL in a statement signed by Yinka Odumakin, Prof Chigozie Ogbu, Senator Bassey Henshaw and Dr Isuwa Dogo, the SMBL said the move was a wrong calculation for the Federal Government. The statement which is titled “Fulani Herdsmen Radio: Is it Fulani Government of Nigeria (FGN) now?” said “The announcement came at a time the Federal Government has been acting as the information arm of the Boko Haram sect and Fulani herdsmen by dissecting the correct interpretation of the groups’ activities as an attempt to Fulanise Nigeria. We totally reject this insensitive decision of the government.” The forum went further to ventilate that the notion portrayed that the Buhari government has fewer regards for other tribes in the country.
It, however, argued that Section 55 of the 1999 Constitution recognised English, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo as languages in which the official business of the National Assembly could be conducted. “There was no mention of Fulani which is not a language most northerners even understand. Why its sudden promotion to a language the Federal Government will set up a radio to promote? Will it also set up radio stations for the officially recognised languages and the over 250 languages spoken in different parts of Nigeria?” the group asked.
It also expressed fear that the proposed radio station will be used to suppress other nationalities in Nigeria. “We recall the genocide-aiding role radio played in inciting ordinary citizens to take part in the massacre of the Tutsis and the moderate Hutus during the Rwandan genocide. “From 1993 to late 1994, the RTLM was used by Hutu leaders to send an extremist Hutu message and anti-Tutsi disinformation by identifying specific targets and areas where they could be found and encouraging progress of the genocide. “In 1994, Rwanda Radio began to advance the same message by issuing directives on where to kill the Tutsi and congratulating those who had already taken part.”
Meanwhile, on its part, the Christian Association of Nigeria faulted the move, saying it confirmed the recent allegation by former president Olusegun Obasanjo that the Buhari government was pursuing a ‘Fulanisation’ agenda. The CAN spokesman, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, while speaking with newsmen on the issue on Thursday, lamented that creation of the herdsmen radio was not a solution to the raging crisis between herdsmen and farmers in the country. He alleged that the Federal Government had indulged in pampering Fulani tribe than necessary, adding that the tribe has already been described as one of the deadliest terrorist group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index. He, however, noted that despite various killing perpetrated in the North-Central, nobody was prosecuted by the government. He said, “It was reported in the newspapers that the government planned to give the Miyetti Allah N100bn. The government denied it only for the Miyetti Allah to own up, saying it was approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan. Who is fooling who?
“Why didn’t they set up a radio station for farmers too? Where is the radio station for the bandits in Zamfara, or for the Niger Delta militants? No single person has been prosecuted for the killings in the North-Central. Is the allegation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that there is a planned Fulanisation of the country not playing out now?” The Christian body queried why the government had suddenly rejected to communicate to the herdsmen via any of the existing radio stations in the country. “Every adult in the North listens to the radio, so why can’t they reach the herdsmen on the existing radio stations? Why do they need to set up a different radio station for them? They should stop fooling us”, he concluded.