Nasir El Rufai And The Bloodfest In Southern Kaduna-I will never forget these words. How I wish that my friend and brother, Governor Nasir El Rufai, expressed the same level of angst, cold rage, chilling resolve and passion for vengeance after the murder of millions of defenceless and innocent non-Fulanis, including women and children, in his own Kaduna state and indeed all over the country since the coming to power of the Buhari regime one year and seven months ago.
How I wish that he could have learnt a lesson or two from other Nigerian leaders of Fulani extraction who are far more restrained, mature, experienced, knowledgeable and responsible than him like Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Hon. Minister Kabiru Turaki, Hon. Minister Hadi Sirika, Governor Sule Lamido, Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, General Aliyu Gusau and countless others that careless and ill-advised assertions, vicious threats and a lack of decorum and restraint have no place in public discourse and could lead to unimaginable consequences including the loss of innocent lives. After all, we are ALL Nigerians.
Given the circumstances, I am constrained to write the following for all to see: the spilling of innocent blood in the name of vengeance, religion, ethnicity or anything else is expensive and it comes with a heavy price.
Those who willfully shed it will face the consequences of their actions. They will pay a heavy price from generation to generation both in this world and in the world to come.
Given all the horror stories of murder and butchery that we hear about in Kaduna state today things have certainly got out of hand and every Nigerian, whether they be Christian or Muslim, ought to be deeply concerned.
Such is the carnage and wasting of innocent lives that I cannot but support the columnist Sam Omatseye’s call on Christians in southern Kaduna to rise up and use all lawful means to defend themselves from what can, to all intents and purposes, only be described as genocide.
I also support the appeal to the Christian Association of Nigeria to use all lawful means to assist and support them and I commend the gallantry and resilience of the Southern Kaduna’s People Union (SOKAPU) who have consistently spoken out and resisted the evil that the good people of southern Kaduna have been subjected to over the years.
I also commend the efforts of men like Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Pastor Temitope Joshua, Apostle Suleiman and numerous others who have consistently urged restraint when it comes to such matters but who, at the same time, have always insisted on justice and equity for the oppressed, the poor, the weak, the vulnerable and the deprived.
For as Thomas Jefferson, one of the great founding fathers of the United States of America once said, “when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”.
Self-defence, like self-determination, is a fundamental and inalienable human right and those that take pleasure in mass murder and carnage must be resisted and stopped.
Those that kill, maim and destroy their fellow human beings and compatriots in the name of ethnic and religious hegemony and under the guise of cattle-rearing and herding cows must be brought to justice.
When the International Global Index identified a group that they described as the “Fulani militants” and “herdsmen of Nigeria” as the “fourth most deadly terrorist organisation in the world” the international community was shocked and many world leaders expressed their concern and outrage.
It was only in Nigeria that we took it in our stride and that people found it difficult to comprehend the implications or appreciate the dangers and complexity of the challenge that we were faced with.
It was also only in Nigeria that the government brushed the matter under the carpet and refused to disarm the murderous terrorists or even condemn their actions.
It was only in Nigeria that everyone hid under their beds and ran for cover and refused to say it as it is even though they all knew the truth.
It was only in Nigeria that the blood and the lives of the numerous victims of the Janjaweed-style marauders and murderers were regarded as being less precious and less sacred than the blood of their tormentors and killers.
The fact of the matter is that this is a major issue and a collective challenge. This fight is beyond politics: it is an ancient struggle which is being fought in pursuance of an ancient cause.
Worst still it has an international and global dimension. Simply put, it is essentially about the suppression and systematic destruction and humiliation of the so-called “lesser peoples” and supposedly “inferior ethnic nationalities” of the hybrid mega-nation called Nigeria.
It is about the enslavement, the breaking of the will, the total subjugation and the complete annihilation of an entire people and various ethnic nationalities within that mega-nation.
It is about the forced acquisition of the land, culture, destiny and souls of others, ethnic and religious domination and good old-fashioned conquest.
That is the monumental challenge that we are faced with in Nigeria today by those that covertly commissioned and armed the herdsmen and that are using them to do a dirty job.
Yet few wish to admit let alone discuss, here or publish such bitter truths in our country. And those of us that are willing to do so are insulted, attacked, maligned, persecuted, threatened, ostracised and labeled as rebels and dissidents simply because we have cultivated the strength and courage to identify the problem, speak the truth and stand up for the weak and the oppressed.
The tyrant forgets that truth and timely counsel is worth its weight in gold. He forgets that it is better to have an honest and vocal opposition than to have a false friend.
He forgets that he either controls those in his inner circle and his numerous courtiers, security chiefs, Ministers and advisors or they will end up controlling him and pushing him to fatal error.
We his subjects try our best to keep quiet and ignore the commission of atrocities that we see in our nation every day by his security forces and his blood-thirsty and blood-curdling kinsmen that have constituted themselves into a well-armed reserve army and a formidable and murderous ethnic militia.
Instead of speaking out boldly and loudly or protesting in the streets we choose to keep the peace and stay at home and pray.
Yet, unabated, the horror show simply goes on and on. The nightmare continues to unfold and the black flag of death, destruction and carnage is hoisted higher every day.
No-one is spared in this bloodfest of terror and butchery. Today it is the defiant Biafrans and the good people of the south-east that are being shot, slaughtered, tormented and “cut to pieces” and tomorrow it is the good people of Agatu and the Middle Belt or the residents and farmers of the south-west and the Niger Delta.
And in all this our response is nothing but fear, trepidation and weakness. Our collective resolve to stand against evil has long been broken. We continue to bite the bullet, take the pain, reign in our rage, maintain our stoic and cowardly silence and encourage those that seek to avenge their loved ones and kinsmen to do nothing, to remain calm and to leave it all to God.
Yet there are some things that are beyond the pale and that cannot be ignored. When those that are charged with the responsibility of protecting us and bringing those that kill our kith and kin to justice are complicit in the barbarous actions of the terrorists we cannot remain silent. And if we do God Himself will judge us.
When a sitting governor like Nasir El Rufai can boldly and openly say “tell them (meaning the terrorising and murdering Fulani militants and herdsmen) that the governor is a Fulani like them and give them this money” you are encouraging murder and empowering murderers.
When you talk like that you are provoking the sensitivities and rage of every non-Fulani in your state and in the entire nation.
When you say such a thing you are rubbing raw salt in a fresh wound and you are plunging a sharp and long butcher’s knife deep into the hearts of the loved ones of all those that were murdered and mutilated in your state and elsewhere by those barbaric killers that you have described as your kinsmen and friends.
When you speak so callously and with such insensitivity you are murdering and butchering the murdered and butchered victims all over again, rubbishing their memory, insulting their families and pissing on their graves.
When you say that you have paid your Fulani brothers and kinsmen from Chad, the Niger Republic, Mali, Senegal, the Camerouns and God knows where else money to stop them from coming to our country and your state to kill our Christian brothers and sisters in southern Kaduna instead of bringing them to justice for shedding innocent blood it means that you are a murderer as well.
When you talk like that it means that you are what is known as an “enabler” or as an “accessory after the fact” in law and you are nothing but an accomplice to and friend, sponsor and sympathiser of mass murderers.
It means that you are not just a murderer but you are also a genocidal maniac. Worse of all you know very well that the money that you have publicly admitted to giving them will be used to buy more deadly weapons and ammunition which will then be used to slaughter, maim, kidnap and terrorise even more innocent and defenceless people from your constituency and elsewhere in Nigeria.
If it is not Shi’ite Muslims that are being killed in Kaduna today it is our brothers and sisters in southern Kaduna. Not only are they massacred but they are also buried in unmarked mass and shallow graves where pigs feed off their carcasses and decaying flesh.
How wicked and heartless can we be to one another? Where is the milk of human kindness? Where is compassion and mercy? Where is justice, succour and protection for the poor, the deprived, the unconnected and the needy?
For God sake the killing must stop. I implore you in the name of God to use your powerful office to defend the oppressed and to protect the voiceless in your state and not to encourage or support the predators who feed on human flesh and who take pleasure in the destruction, suffering and misery of others.
Those that bathe in the blood of the innocents and that delight in indulging in cruelty and crushing the bones of the weak may have today but tomorrow belongs to us.
As the leader of the American-based Nation of Islam movement, the respected Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, once said,
“God is on the side of the weak, the oppressed. God is never in favor of the tyrant! And fighting against tyranny really is obedience to God. So God will have His way, no matter what the jury or government does. But if they are wicked enough to deny these families justice, then God will answer—and I fear the terrible nature of His chastisement. Be warned”.
For those that are in power today in Kaduna and Nigeria a word is enough for the wise. Our God is alive and He rules in the affairs of men. Vengeance belongs to Him: He will repay.
Permit me to conclude the first part of this write up with the words of Senator La’ah who represents the people of southern Kaduna in the Senate.
In a statement he issued to newsmen on Wednesday 4th December the Senator asserted that Governor El-Rufai has been able to identify the killers and their locations.
He added, “This will lead to their sponsors in Nigeria and other places. Nigeria should then use its diplomatic relationship and extradite these murderers of its citizens, plunders and arsonists to face justice in Nigeria.
“After Governor El-Rufai’s term in office, it should be possible to prosecute him for being an accessory to mass murder, since he has refused to reveal these findings to the rightful authority for actions to stop the evil that is spreading to many states today.
“This is from the outcome of Newspapers’ and online captions quoting governor El -Rufai as saying that he has had to trace some of the murderous Fulani herdsmen that have been killing defenceless innocent Southern Kaduna natives and destroying their villages, the news sources said that after tracing them, he told them that he was also a Fulani man and paid them sums of money to stop the massacre, burning and tearing down of scores of communities in Southern Kaduna.
“That not done with, the Governor also uttered a very bizarre threat that he has compiled for arrest and prosecution, names of persons asking the people of Southern Kaduna to defend themselves against the obvious inability of the Chief Security Officer of the state – Governor Nasir El-Rufai – to secure their lives and property and save them the trauma of being under perpetual fear of further unprovoked violence.
“Knowing how swiftly he reacts to any untoward issue unfairly thrown at him in the media, I have waited for days to hear or read a rebuttal from him but to no avail.
“This therefore confirms these unfortunate utterances as truly that of the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.
“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.” Senator Danjuma
Senator Danjuma La’ah, the Senator representing the good people of Southern Kaduna continued.
He said 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 have forgiven. There are 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 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, SSS, 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.
“I am constrained to add that Nasir el-Rufai with his lack of will to show commitment to the insecurity in Southern Kaduna, and his resolve to carry on with over six Cattle Grazing Reserves in Southern Kaduna, he is actually creating new, permanent “conquered” settlements for his Fulani kinsmen.
“I said this because his Fulani brothers have killed people and chased them out from their communities and are now fully settled with their families and cattle in several villages in Kaura, Sanga and Jema’a Local Government Areas, while the governor turns his eyes the other way round.”
The statement therefore called on the people of Southern Kaduna to use every available legitimate means to defend their lives, properties and communities.
It reads, “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, l 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 wholehearedly 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 Christian 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 continuos resort to the use of religion in order to divide and rule the people of his state and to supress 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 that he 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 qouting 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 qouting 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 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 southen 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.
“It will appear that Southern Kaduna does not deserve the attention, sympathy or intervention of government. It will appear that we have been abandoned, deserted and neglected. We do not deserve the intervention or sympathy of the Federal or State Governments.
“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?
Some critical issues came out of El-Rufai’s 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 bloodfest that took place in the killing fields of southern Kaduna and indeed throughout our nation by these rampaging foreign monsters and alien beasts rest in peace.
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. End!
Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He tweets from@realFFK.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.