- Governor El-Rufai has accused some Southern Kaduna leaders of inciting the violence in the region
- The Kaduna state governor said the leaders want his administration to appease them with brown envelopes
- El-Rufai, however, vowed that he will not grease the palms of those whom he described as trouble-makers, adding that they will be prosecuted
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The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, has spoken on the crisis rocking a section of the state, Southern Kaduna.
Speaking on Channels TV on Sunday, August 16, Governor El-Rufai said some Southern Kaduna leaders accused him of taking sides in the crisis.
He added that the leaders want to be “appeased”, but insisted his administration will not grease the palms of those whom he described as trouble-makers.
“I have no time for nonsense. I will not appease criminals. I will not appease idle people who have nothing to do but to raise a spectre of genocide. They do that to get money into their bank accounts and get donations from abroad instead of standing up,” the governor said.
The recurrent crisis in Southern Kaduna has claimed the lives of hundreds of people over the years as successive administrations failed in restoring peace.
Governor El-Rufai also noted that the crisis rocking the region has a 40-year history, adding that past and present governments have tried to stabilise it.
He, however, denied the claim that he is taking sides in the crisis. According to the governor, he was being accused of taking sides because he stopped "appeasing" them.
“Anyone that is moderate, anyone that is promoting peaceful co-existence between various ethnic groups is considered a sellout. And a governor like me, who does not appease them because they are used to being appeased, they cause troubles, they organise these killings and then, their leaders are invited by the governor, they wine and dine and they are given brown envelopes. That’s what they have been doing for 20 years.
“And we came into office and we said no more, nobody who 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 agents to carefully mark them and when we accumulate enough evidence, we will get them and put them before a judge,” he said.
He continued: “Most of the people saying that they have no means of livelihood; they were living off the governments. The governments before us were paying them money every month, they called it peace money. We stopped it. This is why they say I am taking sides. Whatever they say, I take it. I am the governor of the state. If they don’t abuse me, who will they abuse?"
The Kaduna state governor vowed that he would not appease the leaders, saying he would arrest and prosecute them.
“For years, every Commission of Inquiry said there should be a permanent military base in Southern Kaduna. We established it. There have been service chiefs from Southern Kaduna in the military base.
“But now they have come up with other things because the money they got during the election is exhausted and they can say whatever they want to say. But I want everyone to know this very clear – I will not appease trouble-makers, I will not tolerate people who incite. I will map them, we will arrest and prosecute them, that’s my style, I obey the rule of law," he said.
Meanwhile, troops of the special forces from the Nigerian Army have arrived in Kaduna state to halt the killings in Southern Kaduna.
The troops arrived in Sector 7, the headquarters of Operation Safe Haven ahead of their deployment to parts of the state.
The Kaduna state commissioner for internal security and home affairs, Samuel Aruwan who addressed the troops on their arrival, charged them to take the battle to the bandits and ensure that peace and security are restored to Southern Kaduna.
The commissioner also thanked the defence headquarters for deploying the troops to the state.
Legit.ng also recalls that the defence headquarters deployed more troops to communities in Southern Kaduna as part of efforts to address the incessant attacks, and killings in the state.
The disclosure was made by the coordinator, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Maj. Gen. John Enenche, on Thursday, August 13, during the weekly press conference at the DHQ, Abuja.
Enenche, speaking on the measures to address the criminality in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country, said special forces within Operation Safe Haven were carrying out patrols at the various flashpoints in the communities.
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