…Says, action hinders fight against criminality.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led administration of Kaduna State has made a strong appeal to media houses and journalists across the country to stop what it described as “ethnic and religious profiling of criminal elements” like bandits and kidnappers.
The State Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, who made the appeal during security summit, noted that such profiling has been hindering expected success in the fight against criminality in Kaduna, Northwest and the country as a whole.
He, therefore, enjoined the media and journalists to educate the populace rather than profiling, adding that criminals are criminals, irrespective of the ethnic, religious or political interest.
According to him, doing so would as well support the security agencies and the government at all levels to bring the issue of general insecurity to an end.
While speaking at the security summit in Kaduna, Aruwan clarified that, “Banditry is not about the region or religion. The insecurity we face is clear criminality. Terrorists are a threat to humanity in general and can only be tamed when we come together to confront them.
“The focus of the bandits, wherever they are, is not about the faith, region, ethnicity or political persuasion but the economic viability of their victims. But, when security issues are unfortunately politicized, criminal elements are persuaded to deepen their criminal acts.
“Since 2015, our position as a government is very clear. For example, we believe that if in the course of grazing, animal rearers come under attack, our appeal to them is to recourse to the law. There is no justification for sleeping communities to be attacked.
“The same applies to the other side – when someone goes to the farm and he comes under attack or his farm or farm produce are destroyed. What we want people to do is to recourse to the law. There is no justification for a group of people to be attacked on the basis that they had ethnic, religious or political interests with people alleged or suspects to have committed the crime.
“Certainly, civil society and the media are critical partners to security agencies and the government in tackling security issues. We are appealing to the media to be circumspect and sensitive in looking at the issue that is before us.
“There is no gain in referring to criminals, bandits or terrorists with ethnic profiling. It does not help the situation. The good, the bad and the ugly are found in all faith, ethnic and political populations.
“So, we believe that media should help us in helping our citizens to understand the fact that banditry is criminality and people that commit banditry, kidnapping and other atrocities are not doing so in consensus with their ethnicity and faith.
“We believe that media is very critical and at the center of it. This means, they should help so that we will be able to deal with the criminals in our midst,” he said.