I have no time for nonsense, I will not appease criminals- El-Rufai fumes over Southern Kaduna killings

NASIR El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State says Southern Kaduna leaders are responsible for the killings in the state because his administration has refused to grease their palms, a practice he disclosed has been ongoing for 20 years.

El-Rufai made the accusation while featuring on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, where he announced that he ‘has no time for nonsense’ and won’t ‘appease criminals’.

According to the governor, all those responsible for the mayhem currently ravaging the state would be brought to book sooner than later.

“Nobody that 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 agencies to carefully map them, and when we accumulate enough evidence, we will get them, put them before a judge,” El-Rufai said.

“I have no time for nonsense. I will not appease criminals. I will not appeal ideal people who have nothing to do but raise a spectre of genocide so that they can get and so-and-so, so that they can get donations and money into their bank accounts from abroad, instead of standing up and having a profession and a business and earn a living.”

The governor further stated that the Southern Kaduna leaders were opposed to anyone seeking peaceful co-existence in the state.

“The problem of the Southern Kaduna elite is that they have their own narrative, whether it is true or false, they stick to it,” he said.

“And anyone that says something to the contrary has taken sides, even among them. This is one of the problems that frustrated my former Deputy Governor, Architect Yusuf Bala to say ‘I don’t want to be Deputy Governor, I’ll rather run for the Senate.”

He further stated that ‘anyone that is moderate, anyone that is promoting peaceful co-existence between various ethnic groups is considered a sellout.”

El-Rufai added that a governor like him who did not appease them – because they were used to being appease, they caused trouble.

According to him, the leaders he talked about organised the killings saying “and they are invited, their leaders are invited by the Governor, they wine and dine, they are given brown envelopes, that’s what they have been doing for 20 years. And we came into office and said ‘no more.”

The Goveronor’s comments follow a public outcry over the ongoing genocide in the state, where hundreds of persons have been killed.

In a report by SB Morgen (SBM), over 511 persons were said to have been killed  in Southern Kaduna as of July 25.

    According to SBM, these killings were recorded from 83 violent attacks that have occurred in the area within the first half of 2020.

    Another report earlier published by The ICIR revealed that at least 20 people died from attacks carried out in August, by unknown gunmen in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

    The incessant killings have moved religious leaders to demand a halt to the ending of innocent lives.

    Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) called on the Nigerian government to end the ongoing genocide in Southern Kaduna, demanding that killings of citizen must not be politicised.

    Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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