By Yakubu Kuzamani, National Public Relations Officer, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU).
A write-up titled “Re: El-rufai’s Sallah Visit to Kafanchan and Meeting with Different Groups (CAN) Inclusive” currently trending virally in the social media has raised a lot of disturbing issues with regards to the relationship between the Governor and his Southern Kaduna people. So far, there is no denial, rebuttal, or retraction from the Governor even with our deliberate refusal to respond earlier. The educated assumption, therefore, is that the contents of the document have been correctly captured and reported.
The document reported that el-rufai had a meeting with different groups in Jema’a LGA and that he made the following assertions:
a. Southern Kaduna People are a difficult people;
b. We have a violent nature; we are a violent people; we are prone to cyclical violence (every four years);
c. We refuse to give peace a chance
d. Our religious, traditional and political leaders do not like him;
e. As a result of our violent nature, foreign investors will not be attracted to make investments in our region.
f. Paradoxically, he insisted that he has carried out projects over N2bn in Southern Kaduna, etc,
We are disturbed by the above assertions from the mouth of the Governor. What the Governor has done is nothing but to pour scorn and insult on us as a people and to reiterate his bête noir against our people.
We are disturbed by his description of our people as difficult and violence-prone and that violence in Southern Kaduna is cyclical. Even though he knew but it is important that we reiterate that Southern Kaduna people are inherently a peaceful and hospitable people. So, why is the Governor adorning us with the cloak and false toga of violence that belongs to the terrorists that were paid compensation by his government? Is there another round of violence at the corner that the government knows? We hope the dog is not being given a bad tag in advance in other to hang it.
We urge our people to be vigilant against premeditated violence from any quarters. We urge the Federal Government to increase vigilance and security in Southern Kaduna, particularly, between now and the electioneering period.
We in Southern Kaduna are resolved to make, ensure and continuously keep the peace in Southern Kaduna through all available legal means. Let our people frustrate the devices of merchants of violence against our land and our people. Calling us and describing us with false epithets of “violence” does not and should not change our peaceful disposition as a people. We know who we are.
Moreover, a flip through the catalogue of ethno-religious crises in Kaduna State puts a big lie to el-Rufai’s hypothesis of ‘recurrent crises.’ On the contrary, violent eruptions which occurred in the State were reactions epitomised and clearly demonstrated during the post-2011 poll crisis. Contrary to what the governor would like the world to know, Kaduna States’ last known crisis was the post-2011 polls that started outside Southern Kaduna when the home of a former Vice President was attacked even while the 2011 presidential polls were being collated.
Apart from the 2000 Sharia crisis that engulfed the State and the 2002 Miss World riot, Kaduna State had enjoyed peace and harmony which was subsequently disrupted following the inhuman attacks on Southern Kaduna communities that have left thriving communities in rubbles and displaced thousands of our people in the affected communities.
For the governor to start hinting at violence when the general elections are around the corner hints at something sinister and we are putting the world on notice should anything untoward happen. We on our part would do all that is possible to resist any from instigating crisis in our area under any guise.
We clearly want to reiterate again that our people are peaceful and we have resolved to remain like that, and any contrary description from one man no matter how highly placed cannot change anything.