Last week Monday, some bandits killed two monarchs in Ekiti state, the Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba David Babatunde Ogunsakin and the Olumojo of Imojo Ekiti, Oba Samuel Olatunde Olusola. The same day, pupils of Apostolic Faith Group of Schools, Emure Ekiti, were kidnapped while journeying in their school bus. Two days after these sad incidents, the Olukoro of Ikoro, Kwara State, Oba Olusegun Aremu-Cole, was killed while his wife abducted by the criminals.

In response, the mainstream media were quick to finger “Fulani herdsmen”/”Fulani bandits” as being responsible for the attack. There was anger across Yoruba land, many traditional rulers described the act as an act of sacrilege, while many Yoruba indigenes issued warnings. Who wouldn’t react that way?

Yesterday, a Yorubaman in his 80s who is an indigene of Ekiti state, Pa Olowofela, was arrested by the military as the mastermind of the kidnapping and killings that happened in Ekiti and Kwara states. This man owns a sawmill in Irele-Ekiti where the monarchs were killed. It is also said that a corpse was found in his sawmill. This man confessed that he operates an army of bandits who are mostly citizens of Mali.

Despite this discovery, it is sad that the mainstream media organisations are yet to update their story as to the mastermind of the kidnappings in Ekiti state and killings of the revered monarchs in Kwara and Ekiti states.

Is there a conspiracy of silence?

Most times I cringe when people ascribe criminality of banditry and terrorism to just a single group – Fulani. Can a crime be successful in a locality without the active participation of an insider? I strongly doubt.

Between 2015 and 2020, there was high rate of killing, kidnapping and criminality in Benue State. A certain Terwase Akwaza alias Gana (now deceased) played active role but the media are always quick to ascribe EVERY single incident to Fulani herdsmen. The then Governor, Samuel Ortom, literally led this narrative even without investigation. He literally won his reelection through the anti-Fulani narrative.

Some weeks ago, two Catholic priests were kidnapped in Plateau state. The initial suspects were narrative Fulani herdsmen until 48hrs ago when the perpetrators were arrested by the security forces. Not a single one of them was a Fulani nor an herdsman. All four of them are members of the Parish, the mastermind is the Financial Secretary of the Church.

I am not saying that no Fulani person is involved in these crimes, what I am trying to point out is that there are criminals within every group, across every ethnic nationalities and in every religion. Instead of profiling an entire ethnic group or a whole religion, we should ask the right questions and demand appropriate response. Our objective should be to unmask the real perpetrators rather than flow with sensationalism.

As for the mainstream media, I don’t know their agenda but I implore to report facts and not report what excites a section of readers.

Finally, may God bless patriotic members of the security agencies.

May Nigeria experience greatness.

Tonye Barcanista

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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