I Only Said ‘Climb Kufena Mountain And Jump’, I Didn’t Say ‘Die’...

I Only Said ‘Climb Kufena Mountain And Jump’, I Didn’t Say ‘Die’ – El Rufai Clarifies

By Abdul Jummai | Politics Reporter on October 20, 2015
From Left: Former Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi, Kaduna Governor Nasir El Rufai, and Edo Governor Adams Oshiomhole pictured at an APC leaders meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kaduna Governor Nasir El Rufai has refuted that he told critics who are unhappy with his ‘lopsided’ appointments to ‘climb Kufena Mountain, jump, and die’ has he was quoted in leading national daily newspaper, Vanguard.

He clarified that he only said that ‘anybody who didn’t want to hear the truth’ should climb Kufena Hills and jump’. He never used the word ‘die’.

RELATED: ‘Climb Mountain, Then Fall And Die’: El Rufai In Unbridled Outburst Over Critics

However, in the original report, El Rufai is quoted as telling off citizens of Kaduna who have accused him of lopsidedness and nepotism in his appoints, “If you are not happy with appointments made, you can go and climb Kufena mountain,  fall and die!”

“It was what you voted that you got, because we are aware that there are people who did not vote for us, in fact they worked against us.

“But now they claim to be APC members and loyal to the party. We know such people. And so there is no way they would expect anything from us,” he declared.

In a statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, special assistant on Media and Publicity to the Kaduna Governor, on Monday, October 19, 2015, the Governor said that he had demanded a retraction and apology from Vanguard over being misquoted. The statement was accompanied by a video clip with is hosted on Facebook. In the video, El Rufai is speaking in Hausa to an seen audience.

This clarification begs the question, if somebody climbs a hill or a mountain then jumps, what is the end result? A certain death or a new level of “truth” acceptance? Is jumping from a mountain not considered a suicide mission world-over? Is there Is it wrong to conclude that El Rufai was asking those who don’t like to “hear the truth” to commit suicide?

Below a 2010 photo of Kufena Mountain.

A group of tourists pictured on the top of Kufena Mountain in Kaduna in 2010. | Joe Ujah/Panoramio
A group of tourists pictured on the top of Kufena Mountain in Kaduna in 2010. | Joe Ujah/Panoramio

Below is the full press statement by El Rufai below:

El-Rufai video clip shows quote was fabricated
Malam Nasir El-Rufai has watched with consternation the misrepresentation of the comments he made during the question and answer segment of the Kaduna State Government Town Hall meeting of Saturday, 17 October 2015.

These monthly meetings reflect Malam El-Rufai’s strong belief in engagement with the public; to report on the government’s activities and plans and obtain feedback, criticisms and comment.

As the video clip clearly shows, El-Rufai did not ask any one to die. Not over appointments or anything. He was emphatic about the need for frank talk, explaining that: “All of us in the Kaduna State Government have sworn with the Quran; Christians with the Holy Bible to do justice and we will do justice.

“We better stand and tell ourselves the truth. Everyone knows the truth. No matter the noise, the truth is constant. And as I stand here, no matter who you are, I will face you and tell you the truth. If you don’t want to hear the truth, you can climb Kufena Hills and jump.”

Only the reporter of one newspaper, the Sunday Vanguard, inserted the word “die” into what was an avalanche of fabrication dressed as a direct quote. Malam El-Rufai addressed the audience largely in Hausa, but translation into English cannot be a cover for fabrication.

We have therefore written to Vanguard to seek a retraction and suitable apology. Their reporter was not even at the event, although he has been fervent in trying to use his “stories” as a vehicle for his prejudices, in a state like Kaduna that has suffered terribly from incitement and reckless passions.

Everyone knows that Malam El-Rufai is frank and forthright in his views. But even a man of strong opinions deserves accurate reportage.


Samuel Aruwan
Special Assistant, Media and Publicity
19 October 2015


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