West & Central Africa

Row intensifies over admission that Governor paid Fulani herdsmen

Kaduna’s governor. El Rafai, was described this week as a ‘bigot’ and ‘hater’ after it emerged he had paid Fulani herdsmen not to kill Christians.

Dr. Danjuma La’ah, Senator representing Southern Kaduna senatorial district

Senator Dangjuma Tella Laah, of the Kaduna South Senatorial Zone, said the Governor’s comments were “unfortunate, callous, insensitive”. He accused him of “demeaning… his office.”

He said: “It throws him up as a bigot and hater of Southern Kaduna and we are holding him as an accomplice in the ongoing genocide in Southern Kaduna.”

Global Christian News reported that the Kaduna State governor paid Fulani Islamic cattle herdsmen an undisclosed amount to stop killing Christians in Southern Kaduna State in central Nigeria.

In a press statement, the senator lambasted the governor and called on the security agencies to hold the governor accountable “El-Rufai must be held to produce the killers of innocent Nigerians since he has been able to identify them and their locations. This will lead to their sponsors in Nigeria and other places.”

Senator Tella Laah said contrary to the governor’s claims there had never been a time that Fulani cattle or their herders were killed in the region in the 2011 post election violence. He said the claim was “a silly and an absurd lie… The Governor just invented this lie to make excuse for his imported murderous Fulani kindred to continue their extermination of our people and the occupation of our lands.”

Senator Laah called for the governor to be prosecuted “for being an accessory to mass murder, since he has refused to reveal these findings to the rightful authority for actions to stop the evil that is spreading to many states today.”

He argued that the Governor should reveal how much of Kaduna’s ‘scarce’ resources had been paid to the Fulani and on what authority he had spent public money in this way.

On the threat by Governor El Rufai when he said that  “There are people that are sending a message, defend yourselves. We  will get them. Defend yourself is hate speech. You can’t defend yourself if there is a government. We are going to arrest and prosecute all those that pass that message.” Laah said, “I am calling on Southern Kaduna, once more to use every available legitimate means to defend their lives, property and communities. History will not forgive our generation if we succumb to threats and blackmail and fail to defend ourselves and get wiped out. As the Senator of the beleaguered  area, I cannot support that we become sitting ducks each time they come killing. Again, if El-Rufai will not defend us, let us defend ourselves.”

Nasiru El Rufai, Kaduna State Governor

Contradicting the Governor’s claims that the Fulani Islamic Jihadist were from other countries, Dr. Haruna Usman, Chairman, Kaduna State Chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association said, “that the mindless killings and destruction of Ninte village, near Godogodo in Jema’a LGA was carried out by his members in what he said was reprisal against the murder of a Fulani ardo in the village.”

The Rev Baba Daniel Kwasu, who was forced to leave Gidan Waya, due to the attacks by Fulani Islamist herdsmen said, “It is clear what we have always thought that Governor El Rufai has taken sides with his Fulani kinsmen to snatch land belonging to Christians who form majority of the native and displace them in favour of the Islamist, either way the governor and Muslims win. The churches are destroyed, Christians killed and chased out and he pays them for the Jihad.”