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Challenging El-Rufai’s Record: Middle Belt Forum Accuses Ex-Governor of Fueling Violence, Neglecting Politics

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The Middle Belt Forum, MBF, has launched a blistering critique of former Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai’s tenure, alleging his eight years in office were marked by rampant violence and political neglect in the Christian-majority areas of Southern Kaduna.

In a strongly worded statement on Sunday, June 18, 2023, the MBF claimed El-Rufai displayed indifference towards the reported genocidal attacks on the south’s communities.

According to the Forum, numerous towns and villages were destroyed and tens of thousands of people killed under El-Rufai’s watch, and religious bias was used to deny political appointments to the region’s indigenous groups.

Isuwa Dogo, the National Publicity Secretary of the Forum, admonished El-Rufai’s recent pronouncements at a meeting with Islamic clerics following the presidential and governorship elections.

El-Rufai reportedly told the clerics about his successful plan to establish a same-faith ticket in the state, a strategy that was later replicated at the federal level.

Dogo stated, “What he (El-Rufai) never told his selected preachers was that the state he ruled and ruined for eight years was turned into Nigeria’s headquarters of kidnappings and human barbarities that led to the murder of tens of thousands of people and decimation of over 100 communities under his watch.”

The MBF expressed its outrage over what it described as El-Rufai’s “deceitful attempts” to drive the country towards religious tension and bigotry.

The Forum’s statement described the former governor as a “divisive leader,” “religious extremist,” and “treacherous enemy of Nigeria.”

It warned current Kaduna State Governor Uba Sani and President Bola Tinubu to avoid association with El-Rufai, whom it branded as a threat to national unity.

“This little but dangerous manipulator, who is skilled in the politics of deploying religious sentiments, must not be allowed near the corridor of power. He has become a national evil that must be avoided at all costs,” the statement read.

The Forum concluded by denouncing El-Rufai’s comments to the clerics as a “shameless act of national hypocrisy” and expressed concern that his remarks were designed to provoke religious conflict.

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