…Alleges genocide, impoverishing of its natives by el-Rufai.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Southern Kaduna Leadership Council (SKLC), an apex umbrella body of southern Kaduna natives, has renewed the calls for a separate state of their own, following the recent revelation made by the immediate past Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, towards subjecting their people to Islam by cohesion.
They are now demanding that the recommendation of the 2014 Sovereign National Constitutional Conference supporting the creation of Gurara State be carved out, be implemented.
The body made these passionate appeal in a statement signed by its chairman, Mr. Ishaya Dary Akau, and made available to our correspondent in Kaduna on Monday, June 19, 2023.
“We hereby wish to let the nation and international community know of the heinous plans and to draw the attention of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the 2014 National Constitutional Conference,” he stated.
In particular, they recalled “Where it was agreed to create Gurara State from the present Kaduna State, and to invite the President to activate the demand which has gone through the constitutional process of obtaining the consent of two-thirds of the 36 Houses of Assembly of the Federation.
“The nation and international community should know that the Southern Kaduna region was recorded to have above 3,000,000 people by 2006, and present projections show that there are now above six million people in the area,” the body said, while explaining that the total land mass of Southern Kaduna is above 26,000 square kilometres.
“Southern Kaduna is larger in population than 21 states and larger in land size than 26 states in Nigeria. There are 58 ethnic groups in Southern Kaduna, with similar culture, traditions and beliefs.
“The Southern Kaduna people are requesting for protection from the Government of Kaduna State, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the African Union and the United Nations.
“We call on the international community to constitute a Visitation Panel to ascertain the genocide orchestrated and supervised under the Islamist regime run by Nasir el-Rufai as Governor of Kaduna State, between 2015 and 2023,” they said.
According to them, propaganda by certain disgruntled elements in their midst has had the tacit support of government.
“The Southern Kaduna Leadership Council and, indeed, the people of Southern Kaduna, will not use the statements of Nasir el-Rufai to determine how we live and relate with Muslims, settlers or visitors to Southern Kaduna.
“We are a peaceful people and will follow peaceful and lawful means in pursuit of our goal of surviving as a people under the regime of hostility and hate instituted and handed down as a legacy by Nasir el-Rufai in Kaduna State. However, we will not fail to tell our people to defend their lives, lands and heritage.
“The Southern Kaduna Leadership Council, desirous of developing harmonious and peaceful relations with all the citizens and people of Kaduna State, call on the present government not to follow the path of their predecessor,” the statement averred.
The Southern Kaduna Leadership Council, with its National Headquarters in Kafanchan, expressly stated that, concerning “Nasir el-Rufai’s Viral Video and His Eight Years of Misrule in Kaduna State,” the SKLC said that it held its regular meeting on the 17th June, 2023, and considered several important matters, including the speech by Mal. Nasir el-Rufai, the immediate past governor of Kaduna State, delivered to some religious clerics.
“The SKLC noted that the video of Nasir el-Rufai’s speech has gone viral and has made public certain issues that have hitherto remained in the domain of conjecture and hypothesis among Nigerians generally, but which we the victims of el-Rufai’s actions have lived and experienced over a period of eight years.
“That Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai set out deliberately to misinform the Nigerian Public and the world, and waged false propaganda amongst certain religious circles, to the effect that the people of Southern Kaduna, who are mainly Christians, did not vote for the APC.
“The voting figures cast in Federal, State and Local Government elections in Kaduna State between 2015 and 2023 bear testimony to the fact that Nasir el-Rufai deliberately deceived those in the APC, who are not Muslims, of his actions.
“The system of governance by exclusion practiced by el-Rufai was deliberate against the people of Southern Kaduna.
“That el-Rufai picked a Muslim deputy from Southern Kaduna to spite the Christian majority for not supporting the APC. The most insidious aspect of this el-Rufai Islamist agenda was his claim that he extended such a Muslim-Muslim system to the presidential election, in order to extend the scope of ‘Islamic subjugation’ across the length and breadth of Nigeria within twenty years,” they said.
SKLC said that from the above and many more revelations by el-Rufai in his now viral video, they and the people of Southern Kaduna as a whole conclude as follows:
“The impoverishment of our people arising from the total neglect of the area in 8 years, and the deliberate destruction of farmlands, crops, plantations and forests, harvests and food stocks, in an orgy of terrorist violence were deliberate actions in pursuit of subordination of the people of Southern Kaduna to el-Rufai’s implementation of jihadism in Kaduna State.
“That the incessant killings and maiming of our children, women and youth, and the burning of our homes and destruction of our villages and communities, from 2015 to 2023, was part of a strategy for ‘Islamic dominance’ by the government of Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai in Kaduna State.
“That the assassinations, murders, kidnappings, arrests and imprisonment, and removal of indigenous Southern Kaduna traditional rulers, and the balkanization of our chiefdoms to create emirates out of districts under our traditional leaders, was part of an undeclared jihadist campaign being surreptitiously waged by Nasir el-Rufai as Governor of Kaduna State.
“The removal of our traditional leaders and imposing foreign ones on the people of Southern Kaduna has been calculated to change the structure of traditional leadership in the region, and create conditions to facilitate creation of new settlements of foreigners and change the demography of the area for el-Rufai’s ‘Islamic Dominance.’
“That, while the people of Southern Kaduna paid taxes to government, as Governor of Kaduna State Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai made sure our people were not entitled to the benefits derivable therefrom, in the regime of crass discrimination and marginalization institutionalized under his administration.
“False statistics have been churned out to show ‘settlements’ of foreigners as ‘indigenes’ of Southern Kaduna. Consultants from ‘Islamic States’ were recruited to carry out ‘Settlement Surveys’ in Southern Kaduna, which ‘showed’ that there were ‘more’ Fulani settlements in Southern Kaduna than the existing settlements of the indigenous communities.
“To justify these false statistics, Fulani terrorist gangs began attacking, destroying and removing the existing settlements. Without our consent, our lands were given to the foreigners with the intention of growing their population in 20 years to outstrip that of the indigenous people.
“Just before the now postponed 2023 National Population and Housing Census, thousands of Fulani herders were taken into Southern Kaduna, where they went into the forests and plantations grown by our communities, and began hanging clothes and bags of belongings on the trees, which would then be counted as ‘houses’ belonging to Fulanis during the planned census,” it stated.