On January 13, 2017, a military former head of state, General Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar and members of his National Peace Committee were in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House Kaduna. His team comprised eminent Nigerians like Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, Commodore Ebitu Ikiwe, and the Sultan of Sokoto. The peacemakers had a three hours closed door interface with Governor Nasir El Rufai, Deputy Governor Barnabas Yusuf Bala, and other top Kaduna government functionaries.
The former Head of Nigeria junta stated their mission to Sir Kashim Ibrahim House thus: “We are here due to the recent happenings in Southern Kaduna. And from here within the week, we are going to meet with other stakeholders, religious leaders, the chiefs in the area, and also visit the site where these problems are and discuss with the people. After which we will now sit down and see what we think should be done”.
After their almost late visitation to Southern Kaduna, and after listening to tribulations of victims, and tour of the genocide spots the head of self-appointed National Peace Committee informed the world of their next line of action in this fashion “…after which we will now sit down and see what we think should be done. Then we come back to the governor and if necessary to the federal government”.
From their mission statement, it’s clear that they are going to Southern Kaduna to see political, spiritual and feudal lords of victims. Except they are telling us that they are living in some far off planets, they know what has happened and still happening in Southern Kaduna. Sequel to that, why go to Southern Kaduna?
The peace committee knows who has failed in protecting lives and property of indigenous people of Southern Kaduna via his/their actions, inactions, and pronouncements. Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna governor, and President Muhammadu Buhari, the commander-in-chief, have woefully failed to secure the people of Southern Kaduna in what is obviously appearing to be a genocidal scheme locally hatched, and commissioned to foreign barbarians to execute it.
Wait a minute, are they going to Southern Kaduna to make peace or just see the scale of inhumanity and barbarism perpetrated by some hell-bound territorial expansionists? Let’s yield to the temptation that they are going to talk and promote peace. Now, let me ask; is Southern Kaduna at war within or other communities in Nigeria? No. If it’s incontrovertible and irrefutable that Southern Kaduna people are not at war with any local or external community, why waste time visiting them and seeing Nigeria’s version of Sabibo?
General Abdulsalami’s team are mere attention-seekers whose interest is not to see to the end of the genocide in Southern Kaduna but gained national prominence. Come on, are these mixed grill team ignorance of Governor El-Rufai’s statement of 2nd December 2016 and his chat claims of 21st December 2016? Governor El-rufai claimed he knows the barbarians and vandals killing people, burning houses and running over farmlands in Southern Kaduna. He said, they are foreigners living in Niger, Cameroon, Mali, Chad and Senegal. The chief occupant of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House went further by telling us that he has paid some of them compensation to cease the killings in Southern Kaduna.
With Mr. El-Rufai’s shameful and felonious revelation, are the National Peace Committee not to head to the countries Mr. El-Rufai enumerated and sue for peace? Heading to the direction victims of the mindless killings and arsons amounts to wobbling effort and charting a wrong directions. Let them get the contact of the killers from Mr. El-Rufai and head to their foreign climes and import them from their countries for a peace conference. It will be easy for them to achieve that because the compensator of killers Mr. El-Rufai knows their whereabout.
If the gerontocratic clustered in the national peace committee are serious, let them head to Aso Rock and report Mr. El-rufai’s foreign policy action of linking and negotiating with terrorists. If they want us to take them serious let them openly condemned Mr. El-rufai’s action of compensating foreign killers of Southern Kaduna people because there is no local and global tradition that purified compensation of terrorists. Terrorist are killed and in milder cases arrested and prosecuted. But Mr. El-rufai has introduced a boomeranging angle into the way terrorists are handled.
Do General Abdulsalami and his team members desire we take them serious? Let them insist that victims of known foreign killers be compensated. Let them insist that Mr. El-Rufai should explain why the village of Goska in Kaninkon Chiefdom of Jema’a Local Government that was under 24-hours curfew was attacked on 24th December 2016 with impunity.
Let them, if they are sincere, inquire reasons why Governor El-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari have not created an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)? Or direct them to set-go the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) moving with relief materials to Southern Kaduna?
Are members of National Peace Committee saying they are unaware of Governor El-rufai’s tweet in 2012 that told people that whosoever kill a Fulani man takes a repayable loan? On 2nd and 21st December 2016 he told us that he is Fulani. A simple linking of the dots and reading the thin blue lines in between his 2012 tweet and what is happening today will reveal that when he used the word ” We put it to whosever…” he told us the resolve of his genocidal and barbaric groups. This is logic. No special wisdom is needed to connect the dots.
Gen. Abdulsalami must have heard of the imperial decree of an aspiring maximum leader Governor El-Rufai that anybody that counsel victims of genocide in Southern Kaduna to defend themselves is hate speech. And, that, he will arrest and prosecute such people or person. His tantrum and megalamomic resolve contracted provisos of the country’s 1999 constitution and Geneva Convention of People’s Rights that clearly stated that, self-defense is a human right to a person or people under assaults, specially in a situation where government has vividly demonstrated its incapability in safeguarding them from reckless terminators. From this, it’s clear that Mr. El-rufa’i is telling the people of Southern Kaduna to hold their hands while janjaweeds he knows and have been communing with commits dastardly acts.
Some of us are outrageously elated that patriotic citizens like Governors Ishaku Darius of Taraba, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Bishop Oyedepo of Winners Chapel, Senator Danjuma Tella Laah, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have advanced the position of self-defense. We live to see how Mr. El-Rufai will walk his threats by arresting and prosecuting these people that directly challenged his wicked and satanic philosophy. Let him demonstrate to Nigerians his awesome power by arresting these men of timber and caliber and men he can’t even stand in their front and talk. Preying on people like Dr. John Danfulani of Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Advocacy, (CEDRA) and Jacob Dickson of Authentic News Daily is not the best way of showcasing his executive recklessness and dictatorial disposition. History confirms that bullies are cowards.
This is my counsel to the people of Southern Kaduna and their socio-political group, distance yourselves from the men of the National Peace Committee. They are on a time-wasting and energy-consuming scheme of elites that are malnourished of the capacity to call a spade by its name. People who hardly look the powers that be in the eye and tell them some quinine-tasting truth. Should the targeted groups ignore this divine advice of steering clear and rejecting the invitation, they will sooner or later be confronted with the repercussions of their intransigency because nothing good will come from their interface.
Let them invest the time they will waste meeting these people who don’t share their aspirations or feel their pains in prayers and designing of strategy of how to defend their lands from unabashed land grabbers and 21st century inquisitors.
Going for such compromised meetings will be like singing the Lord’s song by the rivers of Babylon.
John Danfulani, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Advocacy (CEDRA), a leading human rights activist organisation. He can be reached by email HERE.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.