Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna state has declared that the continuous killings in Southern Kaduna is a deliberate attempt by mischiefs to get money from the government.
El-Rufai stated that “his administration would not appease trouble-makers seeking attention to get money into their accounts from both the government and foreign institutions.”
El-Rufai had severally being accused by some Southern Kaduna leaders of taking sides in the conflicts between various ethnic and religious groups in the area.
Dismissing them however, the governor, while featuring on a Channels Television programme, “Sunday Politics,” said the crisis rocking Southern Kaduna has a 40-year history, with efforts by the past and present governments in the state to bring about peace to the area.
Declaring his stand, the governor said: “I have no time for nonsense. I will not appease criminals. I will not appease idle people who have nothing to do but to raise a spectre of genocide. They do that to get money into their bank accounts and get donations from abroad instead of standing up.”
“Anyone that is moderate, anyone that is promoting peaceful co-existence between various ethnic groups is considered a sell-out. And a governor like me, who does not appease them because they are used to being appeased, they cause troubles, they organise these killings and then, their leaders are invited by the governor, they wine and dine and they are given brown envelopes. That’s what they have been doing for 20 years.
“And we came into office and we said no more, nobody who does not encourage peaceful co-existence will have access to the governor or the Government House. I have no time for them. I am using the security agents to carefully mark them and when we accumulate enough evidence, we will get them and put them before a judge.”
He further said: “Most of the people saying that have no means of livelihood; they were living off the governments. The governments before us were paying them money every month, they called it peace money. We stopped it. This is why they say I am taking sides. Whatever they say, I take it. I am the governor of the state. If they don’t abuse me, who will they abuse?”
In a reaction to the statement of the governor, Apostle Johnson Suleman, Senior Pastor of Omega Fire Ministries asked El-Rufai to name the names of the leaders or keep quiet and fix the mess.
“Just heard the Kaduna governor say some elites in Kaduna want ‘brown envelopes’, that’s why they are fanning the embers of war.
“If you are sure of your claims, mention their names so we drag them on this street. If not, keep quiet and fix the mess. Enough of the bloodshed,” Suleman tweeted.
Meanwhile, President Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Reverend Samson Olasupo Ayokunle has expressed the body’s readiness to partner the Kaduna state government to put an end to the Southern Kaduna crises.
Speaking at the Council Chamber of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House during a courtesy call on the governor on Monday, Ayokunle said the crises predate the present administration, while urging the state government to find a lasting solution to the crises by learning “from the past in order to draw a roadmap for the future.”
“The continuing crisis has made people to tag it religious or ethnic because it has given them room to say whatever they are saying. Government should bring the killers who are variously referred to as ‘unknown gunmen’’ to book. The rate of prosecution so far, is not proportional with the frequency of attack.
“Whoever attacks first and whoever is doing reprisal are both criminals that must be made to face the wrath of the law. The Christian Association of Nigeria is ready to partner with your government and security agents in finding a solution to this matter. Let there be a roundtable discussion and a pledge of cooperation rather than confrontation,” he added.