Says: Actors deploy lies, falsehood to cause disunity
The Secretary General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede has said socio-political crises in the country were aggravated by irresponsible religious men in collaboration with the media.
Oloyede who is also the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, said the clash between the Tiv and the Fulani herdsmen was as old as Nigeria, urging Nigerians not to fall for the propaganda from politicians or from religious bodies with soiled hands. He said this while delivering the maiden Ramadan Lecture titled Achieving Peace, Stability and Good Governance in a Multi-Ethnic and Multi-Religious Society organised by The Point Newspaper and held at the Combo Hall, LTV 8, Agindingbi, Lagos Monday.
Oloyede said: “It is my candid view that the socio-political crises in Nigeria are being aggravated by irresponsibility and lack of sincerity by religious and media men.One can understand why political actors manipulate truths and facts to conjure dangerous lies and fabrications at the expense of National cohesion and development. One is constantly at a loss when trained journalists betray the profession to publicise and propagate sensational falsehood in the guise of journalism. Prizes, awards and recognition are even being stage-managed for some of such fake but licenced journalists. One thing that is certain is that such persons would never end well and would be faced with the consequences of their devilish deeds, though only very few would be able to trace their inevitable calamities as their nemesis.More alarming is the fact that some religious actors seem to consider as pardonable, lies and falsehood deployed in the guise of promoting their religious causes.Muslims should realise that the momentary gains of employing falsehood to propagate a religion is ungodly and is punishable in the sight of Allah as telling lies in mundane matters.No matter how attractive, religious services should be devoid of falsehood and fictitious allegations against others.”
On Tiv-Fulani herders in Benue
On the protracted conflict between Tiv and the Fulani in Benue State, Oloyede maintained that the crisis was aggravated by political and religious irredentists assisted by irresponsible media.
“The age-long conflict between Tiv and the Fulani, as bad as it is, is being aggravated by political and religious irredentists assisted by irresponsible media. If not for political expediency, the sociology of Tiv-Fulani relations and linguistic dynamics of asking, “where are my cows” by Fulani man and the response of “munchi” (I have eaten it) by a Tiv man would have resonated a long history of such inter-group relations. But where desperate politicians seek relevance, any straw can be held on to gain cheap political points. Nigerians should not fall for the propaganda whether from politicians or religious bodies with soiled corrupt hands.
“A deep reflection on what is being presented as a new clash would have shown that it is a conflict that is as old as Nigeria. The Colonial Masters created grazing routes, forest reserves and mediating teams to address the economic and social friction between Tiv farmers and the roving herdsmen.When Sir Mike Okiro was the Commissioner of Police in Benue State, President Obasanjo was the President and General Theophilious Danjuma was the Minister of Defence. The Tiv versus herdsmen conflict resurrected with unprecedented venom that caused the death of many citizens, no one ascribed the conflict to the religious affiliation of the public officers. It is now convenient to suffer selective amnesia and consider the lingering crisis as novel. This is the narrative being championed by some ‘herdsmedia’.
“Between 2007 and 2009, the Tiv-Fulani uprising gained national and international notoriety that led to the inauguration of a Resolution Committee jointly headed by Tor Tiv and the Emir of Gombe at the instance of Governor Gabriel Suswam.From the instances, it is clear that what is needed is not scape-goating but realistic analysis of the real causes of the lingering socio-economic crises. Deforestation, unplanned development and other environmental factors need to be addressed to ensure stability in the region, he said.
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