IT is curious how some media take pleasure in painting words to play down on very devastating national issues to sound ‘politically correct’ or to be seen to be courting the favour of the powers-that-be. The management of a newspaper with national spread has formed the habit of couching their news and editorial on the devastating rampage of terrorists masquerading as herdsmen who have been slaughtering christians in Southern Kaduna, Middle Belt Regions and southern part of the country as “farmers and herders clashes”.
These journalists are acutely aware of the horrendous agenda of a certain ethno-religious group which has embolden the killer herdsmen to continue the obvious ethnic cleansing and religious agenda contrary to the unity, equity, fairness and justice in nation-building.
In the 7th June, 2020 edition editorial of Sun Newspaper headlined;”Stemming recurring herders/farmers clashes,” one begins to wonder what led to such grossly irrational headline. Since the advent of Buhari administration in 2015, hell was let loose as the herdsmen went on over-drive maiming, killing, raping, kidnapping especially in the southern part of the country unchecked by the security agents.
The allegation of “ethnic cleansing” is no longer hidden in Kaduna South and Benue State where the entire communities were displaced while the herdsmen and their families settle there. The victims are languishing in makeshift refugee camps and dying gradually even as their children are not going to school. Their ancestral lands have been converted to grazing land as if there is war and they have taken the lands as war booties.
There is no rational to title the story as “herders/farmers clashes” since the inhabitants of the communities and farmers never confronted the herders with stick, talk-less of guns like the herdsmen. Without provocation, the invaders descended on the communities and slaughtered them with no intervention of the law enforcement agents who were alerted on the unprovoked invasion. Again, the helpless victims never retaliated in spite of the massive bloodshed and destruction of farms, churches and killing Reverend Fathers, raping women and kidnapping people for huge ransom, demanding millions of naira and even killing victims even when the ransom had been paid.
In all these abhorrence and human tragedies, the militia were never apprehended, prosecuted, and jailed or executed as done in sane and civilized polities.
The management of the newspaper are sufficiently aware of the brazen display of man’s inhumanity to man and astonishing lack-lustre posturing of the security operatives who allegedly get “orders from above” as the terrorists go scot-free and reinvent the dastardly acts as they drive their herd.
It is disheartening that a newspaper owned by somebody in the South-East Geo-Political Zone could have the temerity and audacity and even gross immorality to refrain from calling a spade a spade by describing the endless slaughtering as genocide.