An elder statesman in Taraba, Alhaji Dahiru Umar, on Tuesday called on the media to stop portraying all Fulani people as criminals because of the activities of a few.
He said the media have the duty of investigating events and not being quick to jumping to conclusions and profiling of any ethnic group.
Umar, who is a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress in Taraba, disclosed this to newsmen in Jalingo.
He said that violent crime was unacceptable to all ethnic groups.
He said the frequent portrayal of killer herdsmen as ‘Fulani’ by a section of Nigerian media was tacitly suggesting that all Fulani people are criminals.
“The frequent use of the term Fulani by the media to describe killer herdsmen is not only a stereotype but it defies responsible journalism.
“Of course, there are bad eggs among Fulani. Look, a criminal is a criminal irrespective of his tribe, but this negative profiling of our people, even before thorough investigation, is new to the principles of journalism,” he said.
On the State Open Grazing Prohibition law, Umar said that more enlightenment would allow all stakeholders to buy into it.
“The truth is ranching is the best alternative to grazing, but it has to be gradual, not this fire brigade approach of forcing people to ranch millions of cows within six months or thereabout.
“Intensive and continuous sensitisation should have been done. In the 1980’s, I remember, our people rejected fertilizer when it was introduced but accepted it after massive awareness campaign” he said.
Umar appealed to the state government to invest heavily in the establishment of ranch infrastructure across the state, saying that herdsmen would gradually copy the model from them.