Ekiti State Police Command on Monday, 8th November, 2021 paraded four suspected kidnappers who had been terrorizing the state in the past two years. But contrary to the old narrative, there was no Fulani among the suspects. Consequently, an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called on the people of the South West, South East and South South to stop demonizing Fulanis and to fight crime, not tribe, region or religion.
MURIC gave the advice in a statement distributed to the media on Friday, 12th November, 2021 by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads :
“The Ekiti State Police Command on Monday, 8th November, 2021 paraded four suspected kidnappers who had been terrorizing the state in the past two years. The suspects confessed to the abduction of prominent Ekiti citizens like Alhaji Sulaiman Akinbami, a popular petroleum dealer, the wife of late Surveyor-General of the state, Dapo Osalusi and Olowo Bolaji in Ipoti-Ekiti, Ijero Local Government Area of the state.
“But to our surprise and contrary to the false information which had earlier been circulated around the period the victims were abducted, there is no single Fulani among the four suspects.
The leader of the gang is a Yoruba man and he gave his details in a video that has gone viral. He said his name is Bunmi Ogunremi. We are certain that no Fulani bears such a name. He said he hailed from Idolofin, Ado-Ekiti. There is no town or village called Idolofin or Ado-Ekiti in any part of Northern Nigeria. Bunmi Ogunremi is 49 years old.
“His co-kidnappers in police net (three of them) are also of Yoruba extraction. These include the food supplier to the kidnappers and a vulcaniser who was their informant. Fulanis are not known to have been selling food in Ekiti. Neither is there a single vulcaniser who is a Fulani in the whole of Yorubaland. Four other kidnap suspects who are on the run, according to the police, are Banji Akeem, Samuel Ebira, Dele Jimoh and Dayo Igwe. None of them is a Fulani.
“There can be no justice in any society which is run on rumours and false information. We warned a long time ago that profiling the Fulani is not the way to fight crime because it gives the real criminals undeserved alibi. The perpetrators smile to the bank while we kill and maim innocent Fulanis and people of the Northern region. The homes of innocent Fulanis are burned down while the real kidnappers erect palatial mansions right under our noses.
“All the lies about Fulani kidnappers have now been blown apart. No matter how fast lies run and no matter how early it takes off, truth will overtake it in the end. Like vengeance, truth is a dish that tastes sweeter when cold. It is constant. It changes not. Truth is like a coin. It will always come down on its face no matter how many times it is tossed.
“However, truth in some cases may be relative, like in the case of social truth. The powerful and influential forces in the land gave out Islamisation and Fulanisation as social truths whereas their real target is to Afeniferise us. They told us that Fulanis were behind all the kidnappings. This, according to them, was the ‘truth’. But today we have seen that they were brandishing ordinary social ‘truth’ as opposed to real truth, undiluted truth, the divine truth, and divine truth will always overwhelm social truth.
“The Glorious Qur’an says, ‘Oh mankind, we have created you from one single male and a female. Then we made you into nations, clans and tribes for the purpose of doing good among yourselves. Verily indeed, the best among you is the most pious’ (Qur’an 49:13).
“Prophet Muhammad crowned the edifice when he said, ‘You are all from Adam and Adam was from the dust.’ He also added, ‘You are all equal like the teeth of a comb. There is no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab except by the fear of Allah.’
MURIC commends the police for doing a thorough and highly professional job on this case. We invite Nigerians to embrace divine truth. We must stop spreading lies. Let us eschew deliberate misinformation and fake news. The criminal exploits of Evans, Bunmi Ogunremi and Banji Akeem have proved beyond reasonable doubt that there are criminals in all ethnicities. We must stop ethnic profiling. It is time to halt Hausa-Fulani demonization. We are all from Adam. We are equal. Let us fight crime, not tribe, region or religion.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)