…Says, “Kaduna’s ungoverned space about size of Abia State now.”
…Decries govt’s continued withholding of parts of LG allocations.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has revealed that it understands why Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State is crying foul that terrorists have “taken over the state and are forming parallel government,” describing it as belated.
The Union also stated that, the area that has now become ungovernable space in Kaduna State is about the size of Abia State, adding that, “This is the grim story of Governor el-Rufai’s new ‘Kaduna State.’ ”
SOKAPU made the assertions on Saturday in a statement signed by its Acting President, Awemi Dio Maisamari, and made available to journalists in Kaduna.
The Union stated that, “With the benefit of other recent revelations or admissions made on how we have found ourselves where we are, we very much understand why el-Rufai is now crying foul.”
It added thus: “While using insecurity to grab and consolidate his power and authority, he rationalized it, defended and appeased the terrorists. Even now that his power, authority, leadership qualities and reputation are being rubbished, he is still only paying lip service to the primary responsibility of government – which is the security and welfare of peace-loving citizens.
“Therefore, we regard the belated alarm he is raising as the shedding of crocodile tears. This is because, in his administration, his priorities are totally different as he does not put his money where his mouth is.
“The ugly reality we have had to endure under el-Rufai’s reign is that protecting lives, jobs and securing livelihoods are treated as an obstacle to grandiose elitist projects and programs. What else did el-Rufai mean, when he said the payment of salaries is not a priority of his government?
“Following from this warped logic in Kaduna State’s urban renewal, which is a code name for demolition of houses, shops, businesses and construction of modern markets and a few streets, have become the primary occupation of his government.
“Terrorists have been allowed to declare and wage a sustained war on Nigeria, especially in Kaduna State. Governor el-Rufai’s State Government, in collaboration with its federal counterpart, only facilitates random and intermittent military actions against terrorists just for public relations purposes.
“The end result is that, Nigeria in general and Kaduna State in particular has become a huge ungoverned space. Governor el-Rufai has never demonstrated empathy for the hundreds of thousands victims of this preventable crime, by way of any form of assistance, but has at least, once taken the trouble of combing the killer herdsmen in their various countries in West Africa and paid them ‘compensation’ to appease their taste for blood.
“Government and governance has lost credibility and legitimacy, if it cannot protect lives and property of citizens. But el-Rufai’s is still managing to parade himself as a Governor in safe corridors created by multiple security cordons. Meanwhile, most people, even in the state capital of Kaduna, have been abandoned to play cat-and-mouse with terrorists.
“In view of the foregoing, SOKAPU wishes to express profound dismay and disbelief at the self-righteous alarm of Governor el-Rufai over the embarrassing leadership failures that culminated in our present security, economic and political nightmares.
“We refuse to belief that Nigeria, or Kaduna State, has been ‘overwhelmed.’ This is because civil authorities at various levels have deliberately refused to invoke effective and extra political, legal and security measures to arrest the continuously deteriorating situation.
“Neither have military authorities created and deployed ingenious strategies that fit the situation. War has not been formally declared on terrorists of all hues in all localities. Neither has there been extra security and military mobilization, including military reserves, if available. Curiously, government has also refused to authorize, support and empower peace-loving and law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their communities,” it stated.
SOKAPU, however, stated that “Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government continues to withhold parts of Local Government allocations supposedly to finance security operations. This is no longer acceptable because it amounts to transferring security responsibilities to Local Governments through the back door.
“The governor has been rightly complaining of being ‘rendered ineffective’ as the chief security officer of the state. It is, therefore, unfair for him to also do the same to Local Government Chairmen by starving them of funds,” it added.
It, therefore, called on the governor to redirect his often strong but misguided political will to truly prioritize the security and welfare of Kaduna State citizens.
“Let him start thinking and acting out of the box like Southwestern Governors – through Amotekun or Governor Ortom of Benue State through his Community Volunteer Guards. Enough of sensational rhetoric without appropriate actions,” it noted.
Earlier, the Union stated that, Governor el-Rufai of Kaduna State has finally made a belated and unfortunate admission that terrorists have taken over the state and are forming parallel government.
“This admission is a confirmation of the various alarms that were continuously raised by SOKAPU and Southern Kaduna community development associations since 2019. It should be recalled that, in reaction to these alarms, the Kaduna State Government once challenged anybody to name any communities that had been taken over and occupied by terrorists.
“In response to that challenge, SOKAPU has variously reeled out more than one hundred communities that had been displaced and some occupied in Southern Kaduna only way back in 2000.
“This number has since increased and it is now almost impossible to keep tract. Beside atrocities committed during attacks, other unspeakable crimes and acts of barbarism daily perpetrated in occupied communities are better imagined than experienced. If only the terrorists had limited themselves to strictly enforcing their own brand of civil and criminal laws, that would have been a bit bearable. But, we now have a situation whereby most rural communities are daily patrolled by well-armed marauding herdsmen and allied terrorists to stamp and enforce their authority.
“Once that is done, they then embark on widespread abductions, forced labour, systematic extortion, outright enslavement, widespread sexual harassment, confiscation of food, other valuables, dehumanization, merciless brutality, torture, killings of innocent locals, who show any sign of lack of cooperation or resistance to the occupiers.
“Consequently, most affected rural communities are deserted. That is the lot of rural villages in Kaduna State, especially in Chikun, Kajuru, Kachia, Zangon Kataf, Kauru, Lere, Birnin Gwari and Giwa Local Governments,” it stated.