…Warns against coercion, intimidation.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has expressed serious worry over the invitation extended to Dr. Obadiah Mailafia to appear before the Department of State Security, DSS, for the third time, portraying the agency’s action as “biased and selective” treatment.
SOKAPU, in a statement on Sunday in Kaduna compared and contrast that the same treatment was not meted out to leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, and Professor Umar Labdo Muhammed, of North-West University Kano, who caused a national outrage when he recklessly declared that by right of conquest, Benue State belongs to the Northern Caliphate.
SOKAPU, in a statement signed by its national president, Hon. Jonathan Asake, also cited examples of National President of Miyetti Allah Kauta Hore, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, who declared in a media interview that Nigeria belongs to the Fulani, amidst the bloodshed and waves of attack that rocked the country in June, 2018, as well as Governor Nasir El-Rufai, among others.
“This is not the first time a prominent Nigerian would come up with what Dr Mailafia came up with in his radio interview. That, the DSS has continued to be on the trail of this distinguished son of Southern Kaduna, who is a national patriot, reveals that an unsavory plot orchestrated by certain elements in the security agencies to coerce him into silence may be in the offing.
“Dr. Mailafia has every reason to warn against any further threats to our dear country, real or perceived, more so that, today, over 101 communities of Southern Kaduna where he hails from are literally captured, the natives chased away and are now occupied by armed Fulani militia, where the native owners of these lands have been living in dehumanizing conditions as IDPs, mostly in neighbouring communities. What has the DSS and the Nigeria state done about it? Nothing,” it stated.
SOKAPU, therefore, stated that without any form of equivocation, they “hold Dr. Mailafia in high esteem and very proud of his scholarly footprints in both national and international arena.”
“As a Union, we are in total agreement with the disclosures made by the erudite scholar and technocrat. As he rightly said, without doubt, the current gale of killings in our rural communities are deliberately sponsored and a part of a bigger agenda to cause anarchy with the ultimate objective of taking over our ancestral land,” they asserted.
In comparison, SOKAPU also “recalls that in the past, there have been prominent people, who came up with similar disturbing disclosures, but no such invitation was ever extended to them for questioning. For instance, officials of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) had in many instances claimed responsibility over deadly attacks on communities, but the response from the security agencies has always remained an embarrassing silence.
“We also recall an instance when a university don, who was teaching at the North-West University Kano, Professor Umar Labdo Muhammed, caused a national outrage when he recklessly declared that, by right of conquest, Benue State belongs to the Northern Caliphate. Despite the tension and outrage displayed by Nigerians, the university teacher was allowed to roam the streets unmolested by the security agencies.
“Amidst the bloodshed and waves of attack that rocked the country in June, 2018, the National President of Miyetti Allah Kauta Hore, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, declared in a media interview that Nigeria belongs to the Fulani,” they lamented.
Reacting to Bodejo’s reckless and unguarded statement, the Northern Christian Association of Nigeria immediately called for his arrest and interrogation, but the DSS played the ostrich and never invited him for questioning till date, accordingly to SOKAPU.
“In a similar manner, Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna State shocked his audience on national television when he disclosed that he had traced the foreign attackers of Southern Kaduna communities to Mali and other countries where he paid them compensation to stop their murderous expedition in the area.
Nearly four years after this disclosure, the bloodbaths in Southern Kaduna have not ceased; rather, it’s on the increase. If indeed security agencies were genuinely concerned in resolving the insecurity ravaging the people, why have the security organisations not invited Governor el-Rufai to unveil those he paid the compensation to?
“More frightening, the Kaduna State Governor declared during a television programme that foreign observers, who dared to interfere in the conduct of the 2019 polls, would return to their various countries “in body bags.” Despite the bewilderment expressed by Nigerians and other global citizens, not even a whimper was heard from the security agencies.
“There are several instances where security agents have developed cold feet in inviting top officials for a chat, in order to further open up on certain issues with the view of staving off further bloodbath. Why has it remained impossible for DSS to invite MACBAN officials, who had always claimed responsibility for attacks, claiming such attacks as ‘revenge’ or ‘reprisals’?
“Dr. Obadiah has not done anything evil to earn these incessant invitations. SOKAPU totally condemns the invitation by the DSS for the former presidential candidate to appear before the secret police this Monday for the third time.
By constantly inviting the global scholar to appear before it for questioning, the DSS seems to be embarking on a deliberate ploy aimed at coercively silencing Dr. Obadiah.
We believe that the radio interview by the Oxford-trained Economist, which has now become the subject of grilling sessions by the secret police, contains leading facts that could be worked on by security agents to end the current bloodshed.
“As Dr. Mailafia prepares to honour the third invitation, September 14, 2020, SOKAPU wishes to place on record that, should any evil be visited on him, the DSS should be held responsible.
SOKAPU calls on men and women of good conscience in Nigeria and the international community to rise up against this apparent dictatorship and stop further persecution of Dr. Mailafia over his audacity to stand up for truth and patriotism.
“We call on Nigerian patriots and groups engaged in the battle for a better tomorrow for our nation not to relent but speak up against the deliberate attempt at bullying a voice that has courageously spoken for us all.
“We believe that, the lives of Southern Kaduna people matter, and there can be no acceptance of this reality than for all to unite and stop further persecution and hounding of Dr. Mailafia for daring to expose the forces that threaten our corporate existence as a nation,” it stated.