Nigeria: 'Suspension of Fulani Radio Contributing to Farmer/Herdsmen Clashes'

27 July 2019

The Executive Secretary of National Commission for Nomadic Education, Prof. Bashir H. Usman and Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Is'haq Kawu Modibbo have blamed the suspension of proposed Fulani radio in Nigeria for the increased clashes between herdsmen and farmers across the country

They argued that the radio station would have catered for the interest of itinerant fishermen, herders, hunters and farmers but was misconstrued.

Modibbo and Usman, who stated this in Abuja at a stakeholders dialogue on communicating government policies, programmes and activities organised by National Orientation Agency (NOA) insisted that some unpatriotic Nigerian politicians had hidden agenda which made them to "scuttle the plan through the media".

"It is worrisome that some people through one of the media in the country, just one paper, I know the paper but I won't say it, truncated that awesome idea.

"When we applied for license of this radio station, it was specifically said that it would be broadcasting in four different languages - English, Hausa, Pidgin and Fulfude but they made it look like it would be only Fulfude," Prof. Usman said.

Also speaking, Modibbo explained that the proposed Fulani radio station would not have deviated from broadcasting "purely educational," programmes designed to cater for the interest of itinerant fishermen, herders, hunters and farmers.

He also accused some politicians of being behind the outrage that trailed the suspension of the radio station.

He said, "On the issue of a reported Fulani Radio, actually, we licensed the radio, but it is so pathetic that we heard that the radio is Fulani-related. It is obvious that some people were being mischievous and being irresponsible because they know the law setting up National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). We don't issue license on the basis of ethnicity or religion.

"And when the National commission for Nomadic Education came, they actually wanted an FM station, we said they needed a radio station that will reach every part of Nigeria, so, told them to do AM licensing and it followed the normal pattern of licensing and it is a very rigorous process before you get licensed.

"And we told them we don't give license based on ethnicity or religion. So, the station was licensed because, historically, the National Commission for Nomadic Education is statutorily meant to reach nomads in the nook and cranny of Nigeria.

"Unfortunately, some of the people who stand against the establishment of this radio station actually have licenses to their own radio stations and they know that for them to get that license, there is a process they must follow which has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion because there are certain Nigerian political elites who have certain agenda to continue threatening existence of our country. This is why I think this is coming," he added.

On his part, the Director General of National Orientation Agency, Garba Abari assured that the National livestock transformation plan is not a RUGA settlement policy.

He stated that the plan at this stage requires the input of all Nigerians, adding that it's about the business, beliefs and beauty of our people with a historical attachment to livestock production.

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