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The politics of reporting Amotekun



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By Ademola Babalola

Today, the South West Security Network codenamed Àmọ̀tẹ́kún is said to have gunned down a number of criminals terrorizing Ibarapa axis of Ọ̀yọ́ state in a gun duel that lasted several hours. The security personnel also sustained various injuries and it is likely some of them have paid the supreme price.

However, report of the activities of Àmọ̀tẹ́kún by national dailies recently left a lot of questions in the heart of discerning mind. Àmọ̀tẹ́kún were reported by some dailies to have killed Fulani herdsmen and not criminals. This is how the fourth estate of the realm help fan embers of war and discord.

The fact remains that Àmọ̀tẹ́kún was created to fight criminals and not because of a particular ethnic group as newspapers have been painting it. The UI student alleged to have been shot by Àmọ̀tẹ́kún is not a Fulani. Thugs recently fought by the security outfit in Ibadan were not Fulani but Yoruba.

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Saying Àmọ̀tẹ́kún killed some bandits in Ibarapa today should have been the best way to report the incident and not that they killed some ethnic groups. I can still remember how Yoruba people were spraying money on a Fulani/Bororo boy singing Fuji music around World Oil Petrol Station around Iwo Road in Ibadan few years back. That is who we are; we are accommodating to any tribe that is not criminally minded.

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Let those who want to paint Àmọ̀tẹ́kún bad remember that even though their agenda was to kill Àmọ̀tẹ́kún and foster spirit of the Nigeria nationhood, what they are saying could also fan ethnic clash and genocide. Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn is not against Nigeria unity, it was created to secure southwest from rising crime of banditry, farm destruction, rape of rural women, kidnapping, armed robbery and proliferation of arms.

Crime is crime irrespective of who committed it and the security operative is charged with fighting crime, not Fulani herdsmen.

If an ethnic group is known for a particular crime, fighting criminals among them is not fighting the ethnic group. Let us be careful of how we report issues like this.

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*Amotekun: All hands must be on the deck*

I use this medium to appeal to my Colleagues especially those in the Online family to please thread softly on news regarding Amotekun activities.

It is for the good of this State, Southwest and Nigeria as a whole that we allow the outfit succeeds.

Unguarded, unfounded and misrepresentation of Amotekun in the media should be seen as an ill wind that will blow no one any good.

Whatever is their excesses can be corrected for better performance and respect for the sanctity of lives.

Ademola Babalola is Oyo State NUJ Chairman


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