El Rufai and the Unrest in Southern Kaduna (Part 2)

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Perspective 

 

The lingering insecurity in Southern Kaduna suggests that Governor Nasir el-Rufai would have to embrace a more concerted and realistic approach, writes Femi Fani-Kayode
 
Senator Danjuma La’ah, the Senator representing the good people of Southern Kaduna continued. He said: “I wish to state that these statements are not only unfortunate, callous, insensitive, crude and demeaning of his office and intelligence, it throws him up as a bigot and hater of Southern Kaduna and we are holding him as an accomplice in the ongoing genocide in Southern Kaduna.” 
He went on to say that according to the Leadership Newspaper of 4th December, 2016 under the headline: “Foreigners Behind Southern Kaduna Massacre”, Governor Nasir El-Rufai stated that some of them (Killer Fulani) were from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal, adding, “Many of these people were killed, cattle lost and they organised themselves and came back to revenge.
“We got a group of people that were going round, trying to trace some of these people in Cameroon, Niger Republic and so on to tell them that there is a new governor, who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost and he is begging you to stop the killing.
“In most of the communities, once that appeal was made to them, they said they had forgiven. There was one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem, some we paid.”
Senator La’ah maintained that there was never in a time in 2011 that Fulani from Mali, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Mali and Senegal were killed in Southern Kaduna with their cattle.
He added, “This is a silly and an absurd lie. Southern Kaduna is not a junction of these countries. So how could they have all converged on Southern Kaduna on their usual migration back home? The Governor just invented this lie to make excuse for his imported murderous Fulani kindred to continue their extermination of our people and the occupation of our lands.
“As the main political leader and representative of Southern Kaduna at the federal level, despite many overtures of trying to meet with the governor over the insecurity in my zone with no success, he has never deem it fit to inform me of these actions so as to seek my views and that of my constituency over the matter.
“This is a very curious development, especially as I was able to make the Senate to pass a resolution asking the federal government to declare a State of Emergency on Security in Southern Kaduna last month. I expected him to cash-in on that, using his connection with the President and Commander-in-Chief. But, he was obviously not concerned.

“In the light of the above, the federal government, especially the Nigeria Intelligence Agency, NIA, the Directorate of State Services, DSS, the Directorate of Military Intelligence, DMI and sundry agencies should look no further for the solution to the unrelenting killings in Southern Kaduna.
“Governor Nasir el-Rufai should also state how much of Kaduna State scarce resources have been moved to these killers and whether he has the authority of the law to so spend the money on enemies of Southern Kaduna and Nigeria.
“El-Rufai should also be investigated to find out if these moneys were not further put into the buying of more arms and the recruitments of more killers, who we strongly believe, are also jihadists.
“Though he has ferried much undisclosed amounts of money to murderers, I am pleading with Kaduna State indigenes and residents to ask why he has stubbornly refused to render basic assistance of rebuilding of even a home, or any form of monetary assistance to the surviving victims in Southern Kaduna. Most are still left without food and shelter despite the modest assistance that some of us, churches, NGOs etc have continued to render from time to time.”
The statement therefore called on the people of Southern Kaduna to use every available legitimate means to defend their lives, properties and communities.
“History will not forgive our generation if we succumb to threats and blackmail and fail to defend ourselves and get wiped out. As Senator of the beleaguered area, I cannot support that we become sitting ducks each time they come killing. Again, if El-Rufai will not defend us, let us defend ourselves.”
I can feel the deep hurt and pain behind the words of Senator La’ah and I wholeheartedly concur with his submissions. The people of Southern Kaduna are going through hell and they certainly deserve better. 
The sheer disdain and utter contempt that Governor El Rufai has for them can also be reflected in a television interview that he gave a while back in which he described the massive Christian population of Kaduna state of being only 30 per cent whilst he claimed that the Muslims were 70 per cent. This is false. 
The fact of the matter is that at least 50 per cent, if not more, of the people of Kaduna State are Christians but it does not serve the governor’s purpose to acknowledge or publicly admit that. 
What a tragedy this is for both him and the good people of Kaduna. His continuous resort to the use of religion in order to divide and rule the people of his state and to suppress and subvert the religious faith and legitimate aspirations of the Christian community and the minority Shiite Muslims will lead to nothing but even more division and chaos. Let us hope that my friend and brother Governor Nasir El Rufai listens and retraces his steps rather than issue threats and go on the offensive against those that have found the courage to tell him the bitter truth.
Let us hope that he remembers that real friends always speak truth, no matter how unpalatable that truth may be, to those that they care about and love and they do not tolerate or condone their vainglorious excesses or treat them like infallible demi-gods. 
Permit me to conclude this contribution by quoting a large portion of my dear friend and brother Chief Yinka Odumakin’s latest column titled ‘El Rufai: An Accesory After The Fact To Murder’ (Vanguard Newspaper, 6th December 2016).As brilliant, courageous and forthright as ever, after quoting El Rufai’s exact words and his entire interview verbatim Odumakin wrote inter alia: 
“You would have thought this was Mallam Ibrahim Shekau (the leader of Boko Haram) talking and not a governor who swore to protect the lives of the citizens of his state.
The statements credited to the governor can only be fully appreciated when situated within the complaints of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union, SOKAPU, about the palpable indifference of the Federal and Kaduna State governments to their plight in the hands of Fulani killers.
The Leadership Newspaper of of 17th October 2016 quoted the group as saying through its President , Barr. Solomon Musa that the killings in Godo Godo, Jama’a and Sanga local government areas were successfully carried out by terrorist herdsmen because the government has abandoned the entire people of Southern Kaduna to be “maimed, raped, brutalised, killed, slaughtered and destroyed.”
“Godo Godo communities once again came under very fierce, terrifying, brutal, savage and barbarous attack by Fulani herdsmen without provocation of any nature from Saturday 15th October, 2016 to Sunday afternoon. This is despite the frantic calls for help from the beleaguered villagers to those constitutionally saddled with the task of safeguarding their citizens.”
According to SOKAPU, the barbarians wreaked maximum havoc and destruction by killing uncountable number of lives of our people is unacceptable.

“So far, the locals have been able to identify not less than 40 corpses aside from the several other corpses burnt beyond recognition. Virtually all houses have been burnt in Godo Godo. 
Property worth hundreds of millions were destroyed, while crops have been grazed by cattle and the rest destroyed by the invaders. The savagery and barbarity of the attack is beyond belief. Yet, governments at the Federal and State levels appear quiet and noncommittal. We have been abandoned, deserted and neglected,” he said.
The SOKAPU President, who likened the killings in Southern Kaduna to that of the Rwandan genocide, said “the Tutsis were abandoned, deserted and neglected during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 until over 800,000 Tutsis were brutally massacred by the Hutus. This is the scenario that is taking place in Southern Kaduna. We are being killed, slaughtered and decimated by Fulani Herdsmen, yet it will appear to our people that the government has failed, refused or neglected to intervene decisively to end the carriage. 
As a peaceful people we have spoken, we have carried out peaceful protests, we have appealed and pleaded for intervention by the authorities, yet our appeal and plea have appeared to have fallen on deaf ears. It will appear to our people that government is not concerned, moved or bothered by the carnage and pogrom in Southern Kaduna,” he said.

SOKAPU further regard it a national shame and an indictment of the state government’s commitment to security issues in Southern Kaduna that about seven villages in Godo Godo chiefdom are now completely deserted after being ransacked, burnt and the people killed.
“More nauseating is the added fact that in villages like Ninte, Akwa, Ungwan Anjo, and Antang – where the people had been sacked from their villages, the armed herdsmen have permanently taken over the villages and boldly grazing their herds on the farms of the villagers. With thousands of people who have been displaced, the current attacks can only add to that number if the State Government does not muster up the will to urgently address the ongoing genocide in our zone.
 “Security personnel are posted to the main highways only; from April to date, there does not appear to be any form of intelligence gathering, any form of surveillance, any form of proactive measures to forestall future occurrences; any form of intervention by government.
“From April to date, neither NEMA nor SEMA has not seen it fit to rehabilitate, resettle or to bring any kind of relief materials to the victims of the attacks in the area. No relief materials, no IDP camps; no protection for our villages. What have we done to deserve this? Is it because of who we are? Why have we been abandoned, deserted and neglected? Will this have happened if it is elsewhere? Are we part of Kaduna State? Are we part of Nigeria? If we are not, we then deserve our state and our nation. We can stand on our own,” they asked.
“In view of the fact that Boko Haram has been degraded; cattle rustling was brought to an end in Kamuku forest and Zamfara State by the joint action of several states and the Federal Government, we call on both the State Government and Federal Government to place greater premium on human lives by carrying out decisive and combined operation to halt the genocide immediately in order to assure the people that we are indeed part of Kaduna State and Nigeria,” they said.
Can anyone fault SOKAPU with the insensitive, bigoted and reckless comments of the state governor? The Yoruba talk of the man who returned from the war front and boasted he killed six people at the war front and his friends asked if he was that dexterous. He answered them by entering the nearest Buka where he devoured six wraps of pounded yam, washed it down with six bottles of beer before proceeding to the “ayo” game centre where he won six games.
Some critical issues came out of El-Rufai incendiary remarks. The first is that the official lie that the Fulani herdsmen who have been terrorising Middle Belt and Southern communities are from without Nigeria has been repeated. This is to give the nauseating impression that government is helpless as if Nigerians who commit crimes in other lands are not punished outside Nigeria.
The second issue is that of the clash of civilisations which makes the Nigerian crisis unresolvable unless we embrace cultural democracy. El-Rufai says because he is Fulani like the herdsmen, he had no difficulty in cutting deals with them by paying bribes to people he should be dragging before the law.
It was from that mindset he also revealed he had compensated them for their cattle killed five years ago while he cannot even clean the fresh wounds of Southern Kaduna who are not his ethnic stock.
Perhaps, the greatest revelation from this leakage is a subtle reminder of the warning El-Rufai gave on his Twitter account four years ago on the killing of any Fulani “We will write this for all to read.Anyone,soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes”(11:51 am,15 July,2012).
He must have been grinning from ear to ear as he signed the cheque to the herdsmen when he was satisfied they have taken enough “revenge”.
Will the people of Southern Kaduna not proceed to the International Criminal Court now that there is an Accessory who has confessed to knowing the murderers and exchanging money with them? Victims of these Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and Southern Kaduna should follow suit!”.
Chief Odumakin and SOKAPU have said it all. I need say no more. May the souls of all those that were cut short in the killing fields of southern Kaduna and indeed throughout our nation by these rampaging foreign monsters and alien beasts rest in peace and may the Lord of Hosts, the Ancient of Days, the God of the Armies of Israel and He that answereth by fire avenge them speedily and comfort their families and loved ones.
-Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, wrote from Abuja