Re: Fulbe Nomads: From negative profiling to ethnic cleansing

April 17, 2014
1 min read

LAST week on this page, I wrote about the unending negative profiling of the Fulbe nomads and the new and dangerous effort at ethnically cleansing Fulbe people in different parts of Nigeria. The most recent was the killings perpetrated by the Nigerian Army in Keana, Nasarawa state. I also noted the role of the Nigerian media in that dangerous trend, making a particular note of THE NATION newspapers titles in the profiling of the Fulbe nomad.

The reader will recall  that I mentioned my discussion with Sam Omatseye, Chairman of the Editorial Board of THE NATION newspapers. Last Friday, he called me and angrily objected to my mentioning his name in the piece, because it linked him directly with the issues I had raised. Sam Omatseye reminded me that we did not conclude our discussion three weeks ago, because we were about to commence plenary at the National Conference.

He was right! We did not conclude our discussion and I should not have brought him into my narrative. I assured Sam that I did not intend to impugn his person whatsoever, and as a sign of my goodwill, I have decided to make this full disclosure this week.

What I said about the general pattern of media coverage and profiling of the Fulbe retains its poignancy. In a moment like we have in Nigeria today, especially in Northern Nigeria, with the tragic killings, wanton destruction of properties and the unconscionable kidnap of young women, it has become even more imperative for the media to be more professional in its fidelity to the facts. These are times of very deep wounds and emotions in our country, and people can easily lose their heads and precipitate even worse crises than we are grappling with at the moment.

We must do everything to assist the growth of tendencies of peaceful co-existence amongst our peoples; the profiling of the Fulbe or any other communities will not assist such a process.

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