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Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Rail Against FG Plans For Fulani Radio



Plans by the Federal Government to set up a Fulflulde only radio station is divisive, insensitive and another plot to subjugate other tribes in the country to the benefit of the Fulani, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum said on Thursday.

The group in a statement said that administration’s claim that the radio station would help to address issues of conflict between herders and farmers was self-serving given what it alleged as past exoneration of the Fulani from the conflicts in the land.

The statement was signed by Yinka Odumakin (South West), Prof Chigozie Ogbu (South South East), Senator Bassey Henahaw (South South) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt).

The minister of education, Adamu Adamu had on Tuesday opened up on the plan saying it would help to educate herdsmen and resolve issues of conflict in the land.

However, rejecting the plan in a statement on Thursday, the Southern and Middle Belt leaders in a joint statement said:

“The announcement came at a time the Federal Government has been acting as the information arm of Boko Haram and  herdsmen by dissing the correct interpretation  of the groups activities as attempt to “Fulanise” Nigeria. 

“We totally reject this insensitive decision of the government on the following fundamental grounds:

“It smacks of hypocrisy and deception for a government that has in the last four years denied responsibility on behalf of  the  herdsmen for crimes they even owned up to, to  now tell us it wants to set up a radio for them to address the same issues. 

“Section 55 of the 1999 Constitution recognises English, Yoruba ,Hausa and Igbo as Languages in which the official business of the National Assembly can be conducted.

“There was no mention of Fulani which is not a language most northerners even understand. Why it’s 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?

“We fear seriously that the proposed radio will become a weapon of spreading hate propaganda against other nationalities in Nigeria given the kid gloves treatment with which the Buhari administration has handled the killings of thousands of Nigerians in the last four years. We are guided the genocide-aiding role radio played in inciting ordinary citizens to take part in the massacre of Tutsis and moderate Hutus during the Rwandan Genocide. Radio Rwanda and RTLM.

“From 1993 to late 1994, RTLM was used by Hutu leaders to an extremist Hutu message and anti-Tusti 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 Tutsis and congratulating those who had already taken part .

“Using the instrumentality of the Federal Government to set up a radio for herdsmen will throw a knife at the tiniest of the threads still holding Nigeria together as all illusions of an inclusive country would be removed and the rest of the country would conclude we are now under Fulani Government of Nigeria .

“We therefore demand that the Federal Government should perish the thought of a Fulani  radio sponsored by government if it cares in any form about the corporate existence of the country.” 

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