Nigerian journalists have rebuked fellow colleague in the media profession, Kadaria Ahmed, over her scathing criticism of journalists’ reportage of the herdsmen crisis in the country.
Ahmed, a television host with background in print, radio and online reporting, had accused Nigerian journalists of fanning the flames of ethnic hate through their coverage of the crisis involving mainly the Fulani ethnic group.
Kadaria, who apparently was reacting to the eviction threats being faced by the Fulani and Hausa in the South West region, had said that some Nigerian journalists will “end up before an international court” for allegedly fuelling ethnic killings through profiling of the Hausa-Fulani people as kidnappers, bandits and armed robbers terrorising people of the region.
She had also accused the Nigerian media of giving platforms to “extremists and the blood thirsty” individuals, who trough “ethnic profiling”, have allegedly fuelled attacks on some certain ethnic groups. Her criticism of the media was contained in an opinion piece titled “My message to Nigerian media.”
But reacting on Monday, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT chapter, Emmanuel Ogbeche, described Kadaria’s article as, “insincere, jaundiced, and laced with half-truths and falsehood.”
Ogbeche said Kadaria threw honesty to the wind when she sat down to the put the article together, adding that “It is regrettable that an individual with such media latitude is a dishonest arbiter.”
Also reacting to the article, publisher of online news medium, Next Edition, Ibanga Isine, berated Kadaria for not speaking up when Igbos and Niger Delta youths were profiled as secessionist and militants.
Isine regretted that she suddenly found her voice when it had to do with Fulani herdsmen, even though the media was “merely reporting the truth of what some Fulanis, who even the Sultan of Sokoto, has confirmed, are responsible for over 80 percent or more of banditary, kidnappings and killings across Nigeria.”
While acknowledging some Fulani’s contributing to Nigeria’s unity, Isine however said, “the fact is that the media is not just profiling any tribe as criminals, the records speak clearly to what is happening across the country.”
He wrote in a Facebook post: “But Kadaria, like many others who are on the same lane, believes a certain group has all the rights in the books to kill, maim, plunder and walk away without being called out or mentioned by the media.
“It doesn’t bother her that communities being plundered and people being killed are subject to the same laws and have the same rights as those who carry sophisticated weapons and unleash mayhem across the country. She kept mute when every Igbo is profiled as IPOB and secessionist.
“She lost her voice when Niger Deltans are profiled militants and oil thieves and when security forces constantly parade and torture them while her brothers in Zamfara, who mine gold illegally are protected and allowed to help themselves to the nation’s natural resource. She has suddenly forgotten when she cried out against the same people she is defending now for killing and raping her kin in Zamfara.
“Of course, she was politically correct to blame President Buhari for not tackling the crimes in Zamfara but she failed to mention those unleashing the terror on her people. Today, she has a voice to speak against her colleagues who are merely reporting the truth of what some Fulanis, who even the Sultan of Sokoto, has confirmed, are responsible for over 80 percent or more of banditary, kidnappings and killings across Nigeria.
“She didn’t condemn the Sultan or disagree when His Eminence said out of ten kidnappers and bandits caught, eight or more are Fulanis. Perhaps, the media was wrong to quote the Sultan or even report about it. Kadaria didn’t say anything when Fulani herdsmen were, as early as 2016, designated the fourth bloodiest terrorist group in the world. Perhaps, it was the media that orchestrated the rating. She is disappointed when the Nigerian media say it as it is and lay the blame where it rightly belongs.
“She would not speak when prominent Fulani leaders openly take responsibility and justify attacks in many parts of Nigeria. I think Kadaria is playing hide and seek with the TRUTH but unfortunately, Nigerians are wiser and the media know better than her absolute vilification of the truth, her ethnic bias and illogical prognostication,” said Isine.
Ehi Ekhator, a UK-based Nigerian journalist, also described Kadaria as “a disgrace” to the journalism profession and “the journalists who go extra miles to guarantee truth are uncovered.”
Ekhator said, “I observed from your article that you are still living in “If world”. It appears for many years; you haven’t seen that there are some ethnic group backed by the government, going about and murdering honest individuals even at their own homesteads.”