Herdsmen’s Source of Weapons: Time for the Media to ask Questions

The Nigerian media, as far as the activities of the Killer Fulani herdsmen are concerned, has, like the politicians, failed in its duty to protect the masses. It failed because of its inability to ask pertinent questions regarding the herdsmen’s source of arms. It has instead, limited itself to reporting the activities of the killer herdsmen.

Although the United Nations has ranked the herdsmen as the fourth most dangerous terrorist organization in the world, the Federal Government of Nigeria has refused to acknowledge them as such; rather preferring to pamper them and treat them with kid gloves by way of the planned establishment of RUGA colonies and refusal to arrest and prosecute them over their murderous operations.

The herdsmen have been able to ride rough shod over their host communities across the country because they have taken possession of sophisticated weapons like AK-47 Rifles. These are weapons that only the armed forces of Nigeria are allowed to possess. But somehow, these guns have found their way into the hands of the terrorists posing as herdsmen.

However, it is very unfortunate that enough questions are not being asked by relevant authorities as to how these weapons are now in the possession of cattle herders. Every attention seems to focus on just their activities. One should however have thought that enough noise should have been made on the source of those arms by all Nigerians, especially the media, which, in this case, appear to be the last hope of common Nigerians.

Because there has not been an orchestrated media campaign on how these weapons are finding their ways into the hands of the Fulanis, they are getting away with it.

It is clear that some people; powerful ones at that, are supplying the herdsmen with such destructive weapons. Who then are these people? Are they Nigerians? Are they government officials? Are they politicians? Are they the cattle owners for whom the herdsmen work? Why is nothing being done by the Federal Government to identify the source or sources of these arms?

We believe that had the media been harping on this as much as it reports the herdsmen’s activities, something would have given. It indeed appears as though the media has fallen under the same spell as lawmakers and governors; a spell of silence.

There is no gainsaying the fact that a sustained media blitz on this issue could have produced a much positive result, the way previous efforts by the media against unpopular government policies did.

Without these arms, the herdsmen will be reduced to ordinary herdsmen; the ones Nigerians have always known, who carry only sticks. But the modern herdsmen have graduated from those to ones that kill, maim, rape and plunder the farms of their host communities. This is unacceptable.

If therefore those in government who are supposed to speak and act are not doing enough, the media then one to serve as the last hope.

This is therefore calling on the Nigerian media to wake up and do the needful as an independent voice by digging into, and exposing the men behind the mask.