Kaduna Governor, Mallam Nasir el Rufai, is at the receiving end of attacks following his claim of 66 deaths from attacks on Fulanis in Kajuru Local Government Area.
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and the former head of the the country’s Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Odinkalu, (in attached vdeo) have called out the Governor to prove his claims, and for a thorough investigation of the claims.
It was also el Rufai who stirred national and international condemnaton when he said foreigners who intervened in Nigeria’s internal affairs would return in body bags.
In its position CAN, Kaduna Branch, said the press statement by Samuel Aruwan, the spokesman of the Governor of Kaduna state suggests that the killings in Kajuru Local Government was committed Friday was false in its entirety.
“We are aware that the incident happened in the late hours of Sunday 10 February to 12th February, 2019, at about 1:00am at Gindin Gada, Maro Ward of Kajuru Local Government in Kaduna State where unidentified hoodlums went into the village and killed about 11 people in their sleep which led to reprisals.
“Two of the suspects were said to have been apprehended and handed over to the Divisional Police. It was on the afternoon of the said date of the attack (as contained in the press statement) that the District Head of Kufana, Mr Titus Dauda, and four of his local chiefs were released after their invitation by the DSS State Command on the issue.
“We see this as an illogical intentional, premeditated attempt at steering violence in the state for whatever expected gains. The incidence of raising false alarm by the Kaduna State Government should make Nigerians realise that some of our leaders are also guilty of hate speech themselves and that makes them major actors in the game that have denied us peace and have claimed the lives of our loved ones.”
CAN therefore called on members of the public to treat with disregard the press statement from the office of the Kaduna State Governor and to note that should the state experience any breach of security before, during and after the general elections, the people should hold the Kaduna State Governmor responsible.
The statement further states; “It is disheartening that the media that is supposed to be objective and the true mirror of the society has rather chosen to bow to peanuts against her code of ethics.
“We call on our media to grow above the temptations that water down our trust in them. The media houses must not allow themselves to be bought over but be objective and honest in their reportage.”
SOKAPU said in its statement, in a statement by its National Public Relations Officer, Yakubu Kuzamani, described el Rufai’s statement and media appearance as a dastardly plot to incite violence over ‘Kajuru Killings’
The statement reads in full: “The attention of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has been drawn to a report credited to Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai over alleged killings of 66 Fulani in Kajuru Local Government Area. We are at a loss as to the real motive behind the governor’s disclosure, made public less than 24 hours before the commencement of national polls that were postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). We are of the view that el-Rufai’s comments over the Kajuru killings was deliberately orchestrated to inflame ethnic and religious sentiments to produce yet another cycle of bloodshed.
“SOKAPU has reached out to the various community leaders in Kajuru, including officials of the Adara Nation to ascertain what actually happened. On Sunday, February 10, 2019, the Adara natives residing in Ungwar Barde in Kufana District of Kajuru Local Government Area came under attack by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen. The attack lasted from 10pm of Sunday to 4am of Monday February 11, 2019. By the time the merchants of deaths and destructions were through with their mission, no fewer than 11 lives, including a pregnant woman, were lost. Scores of victims of the attack on Ungwar Barde sustained injuries, with some of them presently receiving treatment at some health facilities in the state capital. We have been informed that the attackers, seven of them in number, were arrested by a team of policemen. Sadly, not a statement was issued by el-Rufai over that gruesome attack on Ungwan Barde.
“Following the Sunday attack on Ungwan Barde, residents of Ungwan Busa and Doruwa located in Kajuru LGA deserted their villages for safety. Presently, the District Head of Kufana and four of his village heads, on the directive the governor, have been summoned to Kaduna and ordered to produce persons behind ‘reprisal attacks’. However, the monarchs have told their interrogators that they are unaware of any ‘reprisal attacks’ and, therefore, unable to identify persons behind such attacks. Apart from the 11 corpses of Adara natives that were killed during the Sunday attack, the community leaders have denied knowledge of any attack.
“Arising from the above, SOKAPU is shocked at the deliberate falsehood by el-Rufai who found it convenient not to inform the world of an earlier attack that claimed the lives of 11 Adara natives. SOKAPU is convinced that Governor el-Rufai is on an irrevocable journey of inflaming ethnic conflagration that has always been in line with his deliberate chronicle of profiling Southern Kaduna people as favourably disposed to violence.
“We wish to inform Nigerians and the world that it has always been in the character of the governor to promote violence through spreading hate speech for the advancement of his waning political survival. If the governor, who was aware that Adara natives were killed on Sunday, neglected to come public, then Nigerians and the world are well placed to understand the nebulous and evil motives of el-Rufai who once shocked Nigerians on national television that he had paid whopping sums of money to foreign herdsmen involved in attacking communities in Southern Kaduna.
“SOKAPU is calling on the Inspector General of Police and the Director of Department of State Service (DSS) to carry out an independent investigation and tell the world the truth of what actually happened in Kajuru. We are startled that it was the governor and not the police that announced the alleged killings in Kajuru. Let Nigerians and the world know that, should there be any breakdown of law and order in Kaduna state, Governor el-Rufai should be held responsible.
“We wish to appeal to Kaduna state people to remain calm and not react to any form of provocation, including the current attempt to incite ethnic and religious brushfire. We call on our people, comprising diverse ethnic members of various religious persuasions, to be steadfast in our collective resolve to stand together and not allow ourselves to be divided by this divisive governor. We call on men and women of good conscience to condemn el-Rufai’s dastardly antics as he attempts to goad our state down the slippery slope of yet another round of unprecedented crisis.