By John Shiklam
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), has condemned the invitation issued for the third time, to a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafia by the Department of State Services (DSS) over his interview with a radio station on August 9, 2020.
Mailafia, in the interview with Nigeria Info 99.3FM radio, had condemned the killings in Southern Kaduna, claiming that a repentant terrorist told him that a northern governor was a Boko Haram commander.
He was first invited for questioning by the Jos office of the DSS on August 17, 2020.
Mailafiya who was the Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 elections had been asked to report to the Plateau Command of the DSS in Jos on Monday (today) by 11am.
However, SOKAPU, in a statement issued yesterday in Kaduna, condemned the invitation, saying the DSS “seems to be embarking on a deliberate ploy aimed at coercively silencing Dr. Mailafiya.”
The statement signed by President of SOKAPU, Hon. Jonathan Asake, called on “men and women of good conscience in Nigeria and the international community to resist this apparent dictatorship and stop further persecution of Dr. Mailafiya over his audacity to stand up for truth and patriotism.”
The group said it is worried that this is the third time that the DSS was Mailafiya to appear before it over a radio interview he granted.
“It is now undoubtably obvious that these series of summons are aimed at not only intimidating the former Deputy Governor of the CBN, but also throwing him into an abyss of frightening uncertainties in a bid to force him into silence,” the statement said.
Asake noted that: “This is not the first time a prominent Nigerian would come up with what Mailafiya came up with in his radio interview.
“That the DSS has continued to be on the trail of this distinguished son of Southern Kaduna who is a national patriot reveals that an unsavoury plot orchestrated by certain elements in the security agencies to coerce him into silence may be in the offing.
“Dr. Mailafiya has every reason to warn against any further threats to our dear country, real or perceived, moreso, that today, over 101 communities of Southern Kaduna where he hails from are literally captured, the natives chased away and are now occupied by armed Fulani militia, where the native owners of these lands have been living in dehumanising conditions as IDPs, mostly in neighbouring communities.
“What has the DSS and the Nigeria state done about it? Nothing!
“SOKAPU therefore, wishes to state without any form of equivocation that we hold Dr. Mailafia in high esteem and very proud of his scholarly footprints in both national and international arena.
Asake said SOKAPU is “in total agreement with the disclosures made by the erudite scholar and technocrat”.
SOKAPU maintained further that “as he rightly said without doubt, the current gale of killings in our rural communities are deliberately sponsored and a part of a bigger agenda to cause anarchy with the ultimate objective of taking over our ancestral lands.
“We recall that in the past, there have been prominent people who came up with similar disturbing disclosures, but no such invitation was ever extended to them for questioning.
“For instance, officials of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) had in many instances claimed responsibility over deadly attacks on communities, but the response from the security agencies has always remained an embarrassing silence.
“We also recall an instance when a university don who was teaching at the North-West University Kano, Professor Umar Labdo Muhammed, caused a national outrage when he recklessly declared that by right of conquest, Benue State belongs to the Northern Caliphate.
“Despite the tension and outrage displayed by Nigerians, the university teacher was allowed to roam the street unmolested by the security agencies”
The statement further recalled that “Amidst the bloodshed and waves of attack that rocked the country in June 2018, the National President of Miyetti Allah Kauta Hore, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, declared in a media interview that Nigeria belongs to the Fulani.
“Reacting to Bodejo’s reckless and unguarded statement, the Northern Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) immediately called for his arrest and interrogation, but the DSS played the ostrich and never invited him for questioning till date”
Asake said, “In a similar manner, Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna State shocked his audience on national television when he disclosed that he had traced the foreign attackers of Southern Kaduna communities to Mali and other countries where he paid them compensation to stop their murderous expedition in the area.
“Nearly four years after this disclosure, the bloodbaths in Southern Kaduna have not ceased, rather, it is on the increase.
“If indeed security agencies were genuinely concerned in resolving the insecurity ravaging the people, why have the security organisations not invited Governor el-Rufai to unveil those he paid the compensation to?
“More frightening, the Kaduna State Governor declared during a television programme that foreign observers who dared to interfere with the conduct of the 2019 polls would return to their various countries in body bags.
“Despite the bewilderment expressed by Nigerians and other global citizens, not even a whimper was heard from the security agencies”.