One was greatly disturbed by reports which made headlines in some major news platforms yesterday that some suspected herdsmen launched an attack in Ondo state, South West, Nigeria.
However, this morning of Thursday 15th February 2018, the Ondo state command of the Nigeria police force has come out to refute media reports of the herdsmen attack in the state and clarified issues on what really happened which is commendable.
As unfortunate and disturbing as the issues of security breach is, it is important for the society at large and the media most especially, to recognize it’s indispensable role as a unity and peace agent by performing this function responsibly and responsively in order to avert undermining of societal harmony by tearing to pieces, the oneness of humanity in the society by the way it reports issues.
With this mindset, one is perplexed at the lightening speed with which the media rush to conclusions on an alleged crime by attributing it to particular perpetrators even without investigations and report of findings by the appropriate agency of state who are supposed to be partners in progress with the media.
Sadly, one is worried and traumatized that this can only happen in Nigeria, because in civilized climes, the responsibility for investigation of crime and establishing the perpetrators is that of the Police, but in Nigeria, it’s unfortunate and sad that the media whether innocently or otherwise is gradually taking over the functions of the Police by ascribing acts of criminality to persons or groups based on factors, which even though we have no right to discountenance them, but they are not valid and substantial enough without other intervening variables as inputted by experts from official quarters to determine the cause of crime and the perpetrators.
This is our dilemma in modern day Nigeria in which the sanctity of human life which ought to be paramount, has been imperiled by acts or actions that compromise society’s safety and national security and some of us have become willing accomplices because of the information that we are fed with on a regular basis and it’s very unfortunate,
Once again, we appeal to our media to be circumspect and diligent in their reportage of issues by investigating and confirming based on comparing notes with the relevant agencies before going to press, lest they be misled to set the country on fire with sensational and inciting publications.
The media needs to be admonished to tread with caution and responsibility on security issues in our fragile environment, because no matter our political and religious differences, anger, frustrations, dissatisfaction with the system, we must at all times refrain from acts or actions that threaten the sanctity of human life and societal cohesion for peace and harmony, this is indisputable and of utmost importance.
Also, one is calling on the security agencies to rise up to the occasion of our troubling security challenges by stepping up their game of intelligence to be ahead of criminals and also investigating and reporting on security breach as quickly as possible to clarify issues and douse the tension generated by mischief makers who concoct lies, falsehood and misinformation.
A word is enough for the wise.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.