Beware the one-sided media

MediaTHURSDAY Column with Mohammed Adamu

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Two days ago I read on-line, a seven-man gang-list –said to have been read out by the Nigeria Television Authority NTA- of suspects that kidnapped former Minister Bagudu Hirse. It was a list predominantly of South-Southern or South-Eastern characters confederating with some Northerners of ethnic minority extraction. None was Hausa, none was Fulani or Hausa-Fulani. In fact none was a Muslim. Quite an unpalatable list you would say especially to cry-wolfers of hegemonic Hausa-Fulani agenda for the extermination of Christians and the Islamisation of Nigeria.
And maybe it was the reason that virtually no newspaper bothered to publish the list. Nor did any network, other than the Nigeria Television Authority NTA, find it newsworthy enough to announce it. And maybe too it was the reason that even though the list managed to make it on-line, it did so as a pathetically-ignored news item struggling –albeit unsuccessfully- to hit the trend.
Nothing trends like ‘Hausa-Fulanis’ or ‘Fulani herdsmen’ involved in criminality. Nothing trends like a ‘Muslim’ marrying an ‘under aged’. Not even a field of equally under aged Christian girls mass-impregnated at any one of the now booming ‘fertility centers’ in the South-South and South-Eastern country where babies are made for sale and for trafficking.
And it is the reason that whereas the list of the Fulani boys who kidnapped Olu Falae dominated, for months, both mainstream and On-line media, the list of suspects who took Hirse –for the reason that no Hausa-Fulanis or Muslims are on it- remains largely ignored. To the hideously-agenda-setting segment of the media and even to the ethno-religiously bigoted section of the public, the Falae-list was about the most sumptuous news item in the history of kidnapping in Nigeria, and we all saw how the media had a bowl competing over who cast the most alarming headlines alleging ethno-religious motive even to a one-off incident of mere criminality.
In fact in all the years that Nigerians especially in the South-South and South East have been involved in kidnapping for ransom, not once were the names, tribes and religious affiliations of suspected kidnappers ever in issue until Olu Falae was kidnapped. Nor was ‘kidnapping’ itself as a crime ever more luridly condemned and its perpetrators more venomously condemned. Not because Olu Falae was who he was -a VIP; but because the kidnappers were who they were: ‘low life, Muslim Hausa-Fulanis’ who must bear the sins of their fathers even to the tenth generation.
We saw that virtually all South-South and especially South-Eastern anti-islamists and anti-Hausa Fulanis were up in a newfound love for the Yorubas –like they curiously are now with the Shiites and the ethnic minorities of Southern Kaduna; and without qualms they instigated the Yorubas openly to bay for the blood of these ‘evil Fulanis’ who had dared to desecrate the hallowed pantheon of Yoruba leadership by kidnapping one of its patriarchs.
In fact we saw how ‘kidnapping’ suddenly was made a preserve of the Hausa-Fulanis, so much that pretentiously-frenzied ethnic hate-mongers went on the roof-tops warning about the imminence of rampaging kidnapper-herdsmen from as far as Futa Jallo determined to come after every political, spiritual and temporal leaders of the Yorubas. Anything to incite geo-ethnic or ethno-religious hate against Muslims and the Hausa-Fulanis was made fair game! And our usual armies either of the ignorant or of the prejudiced simply lapped it up.
In fact the Falae kidnap would also be the first that a whole ethnic group, namely the Hausa-Fulanis, and the entire adherents of a particular faith, namely Islam, would be told publically by these same ethno-religious hate mongers that they would be held collectively responsible for the deviant conduct of a few of their own who evidently were lone actors and over whose deviant conducts certainly their ethnic or religious communities could not have had any control. And you wonder why, for every deviant conduct of lone-Muslim-actors, it should be the duty of ethno-religious hate mongers to blame and to publically insult Muslims and Islam for!
When the Governor of Enugu State denied that he put an SOS call to Buhari and was rebuffed just before the so called ‘herdsmen’ attack in that State (which the Police later insisted was perpetrated by some Igbo hoodlums of that State) he was called names both by the mainstream and online media for daring to exonerate the ‘Fulanis’.
And when the former IG of Police Arase claimed that he was at Agatu to see the ‘mass grave’ in which ‘over 300’ killed by the Fulanis were buried but that he was not shown such ‘grave’ (because in actual fact Police Investigations had indicated that only three people were killed) he too was called unprintable names for not implicating the ‘Fulanis’.
In fact almost at the same time the controversial case of Ese Oruru’s alleged ‘abduction’ by –or ‘elopement’ with- Yunusa was trending, three female students of an Ikorodu boarding school were ‘kidnapped’ by a confederacy of a crime gang a member of whom was a ‘pastor’. But whereas Islam and Muslims were held collectively responsible for the alleged actions of Yunusa, not even the involvement of a ‘pastor’ in the Ikorodu kidnap was thought complicit enough to make Christianity and Christians vicariously liable.
This has always been the trend. Every negative conduct of a Muslim makes all Muslims representatively guilty and Islam vicariously liable. But the negative conduct of every Christian is merely treated –as lawyers would say- res ipsa loquitor; meaning that the action, without any concatenation, merely explains itself as product of a lone actor having no bearing with the teaching of Christ or the bible.
In fact it was the same thing they said concerning Boko Haram: that we were all complicit. Again this was the first anywhere in the world that the same victims of a maniacal, blood-letting insurgency would be accused of being complicit with those who were killing them, even as they were fleeing their bombed, burnt or burning abodes to seek sanctuary at refugee camps. Such inveterate hatred!
Buhari in fact was accused of being the mastermind of a bomb he had allowed to be planted so close it ripped his car and missed killing him only by a hair’s breadth. Such self-immolating political stunts-manship acted to what end you might ask; to create an alibi, they said, against the allegation of complicity made against him in the creation of Boko Haram. In fact many either with ‘bacon fats’ or ‘congealed prejudice’ where they should have brains, have continued to insist that the whole Chibok Girls abduction was a Northern scam stage-managed and choreographed to de-campaign Jonathan in order to install Buhari.

Thus again they credited us with the dissembling genius of staging the most grandiose make-belief never contemplated in the history of stagecraft: namely that an entire geo-polity made up of diverse socio-political and ethno-religious tendencies, can be one huge stage and all the people willing characters acting seamlessly conniving roles to influence the election a man who would entrench the hegemony of some against others.
And to think that the principal characters in this agenda are some of the same Northern Christian minority ethnic groups that we are alleged to be bent either on Islamizing or exterminating. –namely the mostly Christian parents and daughters of Chibok in Borno State. Such is our stagecraft genius that up till now neither the parents nor any of their recovered daughters have missed their cues or stepped out of character in this never-ending melodrama acted to advance Islam and the hegemony of the Hausa-Fulanis.
When Zamfara’s former Governor, Yarima married a 13-year Egyptian girl, these same ethno-religious bigots, as usual, grabbed at the opportunity to deride Muslims and to de-campaign Islam. They called us unprintable names and they described our religion as ‘lewdly’ regressive. All these in the guise of defending the sanctity of the rule of law –which they claimed Yarima had breached.
Others, besides the lie about defending the ‘rule of law’ also feigned ‘concern’ for the conjugal rights and physiological safety of that ‘under aged’ Muslim girl. But it has neither been about the defense of ‘rule of law’ nor about concern for the rights of our ‘under aged’. It has always been about de-campaigning Islam and denigrating Muslims.
If the defense of the ‘rule of law’ is truly at the heart of their frequent grandstanding against Islamic marriages, you would wonder why they still subjected the Emir of Kano Sanusi to the same chastisement for marrying a ‘legally consenting’ 18 year-old in line with the ‘age of consent’ provided for in the Child Rights Act. They still called Sanusi a ‘pedophile’ -proving that it has never been about the defense of the ‘rule of law’ or about concern for the rights of ‘under aged’.
And the question is asked: why would they love our ‘under-aged’ Muslim girls so much but will pay no attention whatsoever to the abuse and often sodomization of their own under aged in the hands, often, of so called ‘men of God’. They had even gone to court in defense of the rights of our girls.
But just imagine a battalion of Muslim SANs in court prosecuting a randy ‘pastor’ for impregnating female members of his church. Or a battery of Muslim lawyers suing a Christian owner of a fertility centre where mostly under-aged abductee children are criminally put in the family way in order to harvest babies for criminal trading and trafficking! The question will then be asked: ‘what is the business of these ‘abokis’ on matters of the Christian faith?’ Just like the few who dared to support the death sentence passed on the murderer-man-of-God, Reverend King were.

Postscript
Sometimes I ask myself: what is there to write again about the ethno-religious blood-letting ravaging especially Southern Kaduna and Jos North on the Plateau? And is to be blamed? the aggressors or those claiming to be on reprisal? Or is it the notorious failure, usually, of ‘Intelligence’ gatherers? Or maybe the subtle one-sided reporting of crisis by the media that will not sift aggressors from victims?
If the media especially, would dig half as deep to unearth the ‘facts’ and the ‘truth’ about Jos and Southern Kaduna, as the media did to reveal the ‘street name’ and the ‘house number’, in Cairo, of the 13-year old Egyptian ingénue Yarima married, maybe Jos and Kaduna would long have been unraveled and the molten magmas on those angry plains, if they are as hot as the famed volcanoes of Etna in Sicily, would by now have lost their ‘active’ ratings!

Rest In Peace Kure
My State, Niger is bereaved. We are in a state of mourning; having lost a former Governor Engineer Abdulkadir Ahmed Kure. His remains arrived Nigeria on Tuesday through the Minna International Airport from a German hospital where he received treatment, and was interred yesterday. And like the Chief mourner, the bereaved Governor Abubakar Sani Bello had said of the late Kure, his politics was without bitterness. To his surviving wife and family I send my sincere condolence. May Allah forgive his sins and admit him to Aljanna Fiddaus.

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