The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, has accused Governor Nasir El-Rufai of using hate speech to distort history over endless killings in the area.
According to SOKAPU, “on Tuesday 17th January, 2017, the Governor of Kaduna State, El-Rufai, while speaking on an Aljazeera Television programme, ‘The Stream,’ said that 800 were killed in Southern Kaduna during the 2011 post-presidential election violence.”
In a statement signed by SOKAPU public relations officer, Mr. Yakubu Kuzamani, he said they were shocked, bewildered and surprised by the wrong figure given by El-Rufai and decided to wait, hoping the Governor would realize he made a mistake on the figures and correct himself.
“However, the absence of such retraction or correction has now compelled us to believe that the Governor deliberately gave a false figure of 800 people killed in Southern Kaduna during the post-presidential election riots of 2011 for the purpose of demonizing the Southern Kaduna People.
“This amounts to hate speech against the Southern Kaduna people; the truth of the matter is that the figure of 800 people killed, given by the Governor as those killed in Southern Kaduna was for the entire 12 Northern States of this country where the crisis erupted.
“But for the Governor to continue as usual, in trying extra hard in painting the peace-loving people of Southern Kaduna as something different clearly shows that the Governor is working hard in his hate speech to incite the Fulani people against Southern Kaduna people.
“Whatever may be the incentive for the Governor, we would like to refer him to the Report submitted by the Human Rights Watch on May 16, 2011, which gave the figure of 800 people killed.”
The Report added, “The victims were killed in three days of rioting in 12 Northern States. Human Rights Watch got its statistics from 55 interviews with witnesses and victims of the violence, Christian and Muslim clerics, traditional leaders, police officials, civil society leaders and journalists.
“We are sure the Governor had access to copies of national newspapers of April 17, 18 and Wednesday 19, 2011 that also reported about the killings that trailed the riots, and the figures given.
“Also, the Governor being an information technology enthusiast should check the website of the Washington-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) which also carried a report on the killings and the spread of the killings.
“The reports posited that the post-election killings in 2011 started in 12 Northern States when some supporters who realized that the election result was not going their way went on a rampage, throughout the 12 Northern States.
“Lastly, we refer the Governor to a book, the ‘2011 Election Violence in Nigeria,’ written by Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji and Nkiru Uzodi and Published by Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC).
“In chapter 3 of the book under the subhead “Deaths”, page 44, the Governor would find out that he changed the narratives against the people of Southern Kaduna by giving a figure that is for 12 states and not even Kaduna State alone.
“Since Mallam Nasir El-Rufai emerged as Governor of Kaduna State, he has been giving inciting and hate speeches against the people of Southern Kaduna, intimidating us as well as trying to psychologically put the people of Southern Kaduna on the defensive by his several unguarded utterances.
“Rather than carrying out his constitutional role of protecting us from attackers and terrorists, as victims of the killings in our areas, he has tried to paint us as the aggressors by his constant referral to killings in Southern Kaduna as “reprisal”, the frequency of which we are beginning to consider as deliberate.
“His constant description has emboldened key participants in this one-sided killing to also re-echo it as justification for the murder of innocent, defenseless and unsuspecting people in Southern Kaduna.
“SOKAPU is however consoled by a saying of Buddha that there are “three things that cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon the truth”. The truth shall one day undoubtedly come to light.
”Meanwhile, SOKAPU kindly requests the Governor of Kaduna State, His Excellency, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to publicly retract the figures given and to tender an unreserved apology to the Southern Kaduna People for the hate speeches against them.”
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