Southern Kaduna killings: A never ending topic?

 

The incessant killings in the southern part of Kaduna state has been the most talked about topic on social media across all platforms like Facebook, Instagram and more specifically Twitter with different hash tags like #SouthernKaduna, #SouthernKadunaKillings etc trending on a daily. Pictures of corpses and videos of how residents of this place have been ravaged by notorious criminals who some people claim are bandits, others claim are people of other tribes who want to wipe out the existence of Northern Christians and there are those who claim the attacks are reprisal attacks between two communities are littered all over the timeline. Southern Kaduna has always been on the news for the same reason it is now and seems like it is never going to end.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has received backlash from the media, residents of Southern Kaduna, relations of the dead and injured and other concerned stakeholders for his lackadaisical attitude in nipping the crisis in the bud. It is unfortunate that when interviewed to speak on the Southern Kaduna crisis the governor rather takes time to oppose the belief that the crisis is reprisal and postulate that it is nothing more than the usual crimes that occurs in other parts of the country and that this is only being exaggerated. At what point does talking about the loss of lives and property in a part of the country become exaggeration?

Speaking on the Liberating Nigeria online show organized by Liberating Nigeria a leading online political forum,  Debo Onifade, author of the book; Liberating Nigeria: a guide to winning elections and reviving our country, described the situation as pathetic and El-Rufai as incompetent. He said he has not handled the situation well and it doesn’t seem like he’s doing anything about it.

Onifade urged the governor to forget about the crisis bring reprisal or not and be more concerned with solving the problem. He added that even if he considers them as too little and not needed during elections, he shouldn’t sideline them as they remain indigents of Kaduna state.

In response to Elrufai’s statement that the crimes being committed in Southern Kaduna is not different from that of other regions and that it is only being exaggerated, Onifade said he is only being unserious and failing to address the situation. He said the fact that the people are talking about Southern Kaduna doesn’t mean that the things happening in other part of the country have been neglected. He should rather fix what’s happening in his own state and leave other governors to attend to theirs.

Still on the show, Onifade talked about the quest by some people in the South East to separate from the country under the umbrella of BIAFRA and leadership of Nnamdi Kanu. He said what they seek in his opinion is unachievable as he doesn’t see the country splitting anytime soon, he added that Nigeria is a sophisticated country and it will take a long process for a region to pull out.

According to him, Yorubas and Igbos would not be allowed to leave easily as it will take wars and violence which is not an option or better still a long time of negotiation.

He also criticized Kanu’s leadership strategy. Onifade said the strategy of scaring people so they can be your followers or buy your philosophy no longer works, he considers it an old strategy and that he said is the reason why some south East leaders do not support him.

He added that Nnamdi Kanu as a leader is not factual in his statements and is not well knowledgeable in history, this he says his followers also lack who blindly follow him and not cross check his statements. He added that his lack of facts is the reason why some South East leaders do not support him though he is quick to dismiss them and say it is because they are corrupt but there are many Igbo leaders of integrity who will not support him because they know he is not saying the truth.

Onifade described what he says most times as nonsense.

 

In other news, Anambra state seems not to be left out of the political brouhaha going on in Edo state as the state prepares for elections in 2021. The governor, Willie Obiano had suspended some traditional leaders for going on a visit to the president in Abuja alongside Arthur Eze who he considers a strong opponent of his. They were suspended on the grounds of not seeking permission from the state government before embarking on a journey outside the state.

He said the suspension would last for one year after which the reversal or continuation will be considered, although the affected leaders have countered this statement on grounds that they have right to freedom of movement.

On this, Onifade pointed out that Willie Obiano should stop being bossy and not create chaos in the state even if it is glaring Arthru Eze does not support him knowing that he reserves the right to support whoever he wants to just like every Anambra indigene has the right to vote who they want and not be coerced into voting the leaders choice.

 

He said Obiano should learn to be calm as his godfather Peter Obi was when he handed over to him so he should also ensure peaceful transition in his time.

 

Onifade also talked about the possibility of having an Igbo president come 2023, he opined that unfortunately, 2023 presidency may not come from the South East but rather from the South West or the North as there are several groups in the North who want power to remain in the North. He said it would have been nice if the Igbos win 2023 as technically they have not ruled Nigeria, they only had a ceremonial president but they are not playing politics well enough to win elections.

According to him, the Igbos need to learn to collaborate and partner with others to win election and become president especially in a heterogeneous country like Nigeria.

 

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By Deborah Yusuf

 

August 31, 2020

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