Press Statement From Senator Danjuma Tella Laah
Gentlemen of the Press,
As the Senator representing Kaduna South Senatorial Zone, I hereby wish to make my assertion, and indeed, views and position of my constituency on some very vexing and serious utterances made by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state as it concerns the survival and wellbeing of Southern Kaduna.
This is from the outcome of Newspapers’ and online captions quoting Governor Nasir 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 hatter of Southern Kaduna and we are holding him as an accomplice in the ongoing genocide in Southern Kaduna.
According to the Leadership Newspaper of 4th December, 2016 under the headline: “Foreigners Behind Southern Kaduna Massacre – El-Rufai, he was quoted as saying about what happened during the 2011 post presidential election violence:
“Some of them (Killer Fulani) were from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal,” adding that “Many of these people were killed, cattle lost and they organised themselves and came back to revenge. We took certain steps. We got a group of people that were going round trying to trace some of these people, 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.”
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. 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. El-Rufai must be held to produce the killers of innocent Nigerians since he has been able to identify them and their locations. 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, plunderers and arsonists to face justice in Nigeria.
After Governor Nasir 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.
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 constrain 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.
My conviction on this is based on the findings that the State government was able to wage a concerted war against cattle thieves and bandits in the expansive forests and hills of Birnin Gwari environs and easily succumbed the criminals, but has refused to extend even a fraction of that effort to save precious human lives and human communities in Southern Kaduna. The simple reason is that just as it is in the interest of law abiding Fulani to recover their cattle and goats in Birnin Gwari from same rogue Fulani, it is also in the interest of Fulani to leave our damaged and, yet to be ruined communities, weak and helpless for them to easily take over.
I hinged my believe on the above based on threat the governor gave against Southern Kaduna trying to defend itself from the unprovoked aggression. He said in that story:
“There are people that are sending a message, defend yourselves. We will get them. Defend yourself is hate speech. You can’t defend yourself if there is a government. We are going to arrest and prosecute all those that pass that message.”
To me, this is very strange and ridiculous. But it is also pregnant with meanings. Why is the governor saying that Southern Kaduna should not deploy self-defence when El-Rufai’s Fulani marauders come hacking them down and burning their communities with the governor unable to tame his brothers?
In what way will it benefit Southern Kaduna if it does not defend itself and it’s population killed, survivors sent out as refugees? Because it is clear that instead of El-Rufai stopping the carnage, it seems to be rising the more since he has gone to give them money. It is only the Fulani that will gain, of course!
That is the meaning. It cannot be that Nasir el-Rufai is unaware that section Chapter VII, Article 51 of the Human Right Charter of the United Nations and Section 33(2) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria has affirmed self-defence as a Human Right.
I see this as a threat to scarce Southern Kaduna from standing up to the his Fulani killer brothers.
Based on this, I call Governor Nasir el-Rufai to first arrest me.
Because I am calling on Southern Kaduna, once more to use every available legitimate means to defend their lives, property and communities. History will not forgive our generation if we succumb to threats and blackmail and fail to defend ourselves and get wiped out. As the Senator of the beleaguered area, I cannot support that we become sitting ducks each time they come killing. Again, if El-Rufai will not defend us, let us defend ourselves.
On the 15th of August 2016, Dr. Haruna Usman, Chairman, Kaduna State Chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association said, as revealed in several news publication the next day, that the mindless killings and destruction of Ninte village, near Godogodo in Jema’a LGA was carried out by his members in what he said was reprisal against the murder of a Fulani ardo in the village.
Again, on the 7th of November 2016, Abdullahi Hassan Mohammed (Wanban Jema’a) of Jema’a Foundation; Ahmad M. Yandeh, of Mobgal Fulbe Development Association and Abdullhamid Musa, Zonal Chairman of Miyetti Allah Zone III addressed a press conference in Kaduna and again, said that it was Fulani that have been carrying out the bloodshed and arson in Southern Kaduna. They said they were defending themselves. The killings of infants; pregnant women; the burning to ashes children and women and very aged people; the burning down of entire villages; the burning of churches; the stealing of livestock, looting and burning of food and crops on farmlands; the further occupation of the villages, all as “self defence.” The Fulani chieftains are walking free and the killings are ongoing.
But, when the 85 year old traditional ruler of in Misisi village, in Kaninkon Chiefdom, in Jema’a LGA, John Zogo was killed by Fulani armed men with six others during a phony meeting with soldiers, instead of a Fulani ardo to be held to account for the killings, it was the district head of late baba Zogo, the District Head of Goska, Mr Moses Barde that was arrested and detained illegally for weeks by the police in Kaduna.
Mr Moses Barde is just one of several other southern Kaduna men held on trumped up charges after their communities have been ravaged, while the armed Fulani armed men continue to freely prowled over our communities. This scale of injustice is rare anywhere in the world.
I call on all Southern Kaduna natives, all Hausa and Fulani of our area who are genuinely interested in peace to forget about political, tribal and religious leanings and come together in prayers and for genuine dialogue amongst ourselves as the last option left for peace and security in Southern Kaduna.
I want to add that my colleagues and I in the National Assembly will continue to do our best to secure Federal assistance to add to what we are doing at home against this evil.
However, as it has become manifest through the utterances, actions and inactions of Governor Nasir el-Rufai, Southern Kaduna must prepare to defend itself using every possible means of defence that is lawful against killer Fulani who are now on the loose more than ever, even as we search for solutions to this heinous crime against our land.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Sign: Senator Danjuma Tella Laah,
(PDP, Kaduna South Senatorial District)