The federal government on Tuesday announced that it has acquired an amplitude modulation (AM) radio broadcast licence to reach herdsmen across the country.
Announcing the development, Adamu Adamu, minister of education (pictured), said the move is part of measures to enhance nomadic education and curtail the farmer/herders crisis in the country.
Adamu said the radio service would operate on the frequency of 720KHz and would air in Fulfude, a language spoken mainly by the Fulani.
“The radio service will serve as a vehicle for social mobilisation and education, in addition to interactive radio instruction methodology that will be adopted to reach the very hard-to-reach segment of our target population,” the minister said.
“Additionally, it will enhance our capacity to address crisis between herders and farmers with attendant consequences to loss of lives, destruction of productive assets, nomadic schools, facilities teaching and learning resources.”
The development has since generated public reactions and controversy since it was announced.
A group under the aegis of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has, however, said the radio service would be as a “weapon of spreading hate propaganda against other nationalities”.
It also argued that the official languages recognised by the constitution are English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
“It smacks on hypocrisy and deception for a government that has in the last four years denied responsibility on behalf of the Fulani herdsmen for crimes they even owned up to, to now tell us it wants to set up a radio for them to address the same issues,” the group said.
On its part, the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) said it is not totally against the move but “we need to be wary of the actions coming from the federal government these days”.
“The Yoruba must have their radio stations, as well as other tribes. Nigeria is a secular state with different religions and tribes, so whatever the government is doing should reflect the secularity of the Nigerian nation,” the group said in a statement.
“The south-west has all that is required to establish a Yoruba radio station. In fact, many of the thriving media organizations, including, print and electronics are located in the south-west, so we are good to go.”
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has also expressed its displeasure with the development.
Bayo Oladeji, CAN’s spokesman, accused the federal government of pampering herders.
“Why didn’t they set up a radio station for farmers too? Where is the radio station for the bandits in Zamfara, or for the Niger Delta militants? No single person has been prosecuted for the killings in the North-Central. Is the allegation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that there is a planned Fulanisation of the country not playing out now?” the body said.
“Every adult in the North listens to the radio, so why can’t they reach the herdsmen on the existing radio stations? Why do they need to set up a different radio station for them? They should stop fooling us.”
Several Nigerians, including Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation, have also taken to social media to air their opinions about the establishment of a Fulani radio.
Below are some of the reactions:
Meanwhile IPOB radio was closed down. OBJ did not set up yoruba radio for OPC, GEJ did not set up Ijaw radio for MEND but PMB has used government money to set up Fulani radio for herdsmen and Fulani Marauding bandits and kidnappers
— Olushola Olufolabi (@olushola_shola) May 23, 2019
This Fulani Radio stuff is a bad idea. Imagine when there was Biafra agitation problem we had an Igbo speaking radio station. You know how unsettling it will be? Or is the FG going to create radios for other languages as well?
— Muhammad Bashir (@Embashosho1) May 24, 2019
of their cattle adventures 2their hosts but the problem is: it was created by the govt and many oppositions thought govt gave them a preferential treatment than others! FG should nt have named it fulani radio but a radio station for all aggrieved members across the country!this
— RAJI AFEEZ ABIDEMI (@afeezraji1) May 24, 2019
If I'm worried about the fulani radio station, I learn the language, buy a radio, tune to the station and listen too. We need peace in Nigeria, peace brings progress to a nation or society.
Good morning Nigerians
— Kate-Nnaji (@nnaji_kate) May 24, 2019
I support whole hearted, d setting up of Fulani Radio for d herdsmen. Biafra Radio should be approved. Odu'a Radio must be registered.Niger Delta FM Station must come on stream.
This is a season of madness. Let every tribe & ethnic nationalities go mad too.
Up Odu'a Republic
— Samuel Oladipo (@SamuelOladipo8) May 24, 2019
One the Fulani Radio Station. FG can always engage all media houses in North for the same purpose instead of establishing a radio station for a particular tribe… Or have they forgotten the type of society we are in? Sooner, Yoruba, Igbo, Tiv, Niger Deltans will ask their 4 own
— Adeolu Philips (@Adeoluphilips) May 23, 2019
Common sense will be a welcome idea for you.. do you know how many private radio station we have in Nigeria? why cant a fulani man or the fulani governors set up fulani radio? why must it be federal govt? is dangote not fulani?
— MAGNAM (@obuks36) May 24, 2019
THE ROAD TO RWANDA: 6 steps to GENOCIDE:
1. The Hutu militia iinterahamwe in Rwanda started just like the herdsmen AKA bandits in Nigeria before the genocide.
2. The Govt. of, Rwanda headed by a Hutu, tactically encouraged them same as the bandits are encouraged in Nigeria…
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) May 23, 2019
What if the newly licensed Fulani Radio station has a genocidal intent???
Remember Rwanda folks!!! The genocide was fueled by predominantly Hutu staffed Radio Rwanda, urging people to come out in droves with machetes to wipe out the "cockroaches"
I shudder for my country .
— Adejumo Oluwafunmilayo Hamdalah (@AdejumoAyobami3) May 24, 2019
"The Federal Government should perish the thought of a Fulani radio sponsored by government if it cares in any form about the corporate existence of the country."
— HELP THE POOR 🇳🇬 – #InvestInPeople (@NwachukwuAni) May 23, 2019
How Buhari comes up with these divisive policies just boggles the mind! Imagine, Fulani Radio Station. The 250 others nko?
— Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi (@BOGbadamosi) May 23, 2019
You are against Radio Biafra and you opened Fulani Radio. Is this really not FULANIZATION agenda?
Please wake up. This is a bad signal. Other tribes in Nigeria wake up!
— Sir Bosco (@bosco_sir) May 23, 2019