News The African Way

El-Rufai, Hate Speech, And Conspiracy Of Silence

By John Danfulani, Ph.D

imageIn November of 2015 Governor Shehu Aliyu Shema of Katsina State was caught in a video calling APC opponents Cockroaches and commanded his PDP troop of loyalist to crush them. In March 2016, the former First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan also admonished PDP’s footsoldiers to stone anybody who said change. His Excellency and the First Lady’s statements generated a dark thick mushroom of condemnation, locally and internationally. Notable amongst serious voices of condemnation were the European Union(EU) representative in Nigeria and the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria.

After the First Lady’s command, APC juggernauts led by then Lagos State Governor and now a Minister in PMB’s regime, Mr. Raji Babatunde Fashola condemned her and threatened to sue her in International Criminal Court. Their propagandist saturated Nigeria’s political atmosphere with the moral, legal and political consequences of Governor Shema and Patience statements. The intensity of their analyses drew attention of the world to those statements and their declaration that they are hate speeches. Through hard work, faith and fate, APC got a four years mandate and most of their leading activists were either elected or appointed to various positions.

In just one year,one of APC leading activists, board member, and now the Governor of Kaduna State Mr. Nasir Ahed El-rufa’i has made the following statements:

(i) On 17th October 2015 Mr. El-rufa’i told dissidents and holders of opposing views in a town hall meeting in Kaduna to climb Kufena Mountain and fall.

(ii) On 30th March 2016 Mr. El-rufa’i called all PDP members in all the 23 Local Government Areas in the state viruses while swearing-in the Caretaker Committee Chairmen of Local Councils.

(iii)On 4th June 2016 Mr. El-rufa’i said Sen. Shehu Sani, Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts and Deputy Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of the 8th Senate and kingpins of an APC faction in Kaduna State “APC AKIDA” are ants he will kill, crush and burn.

(iv) On 6th May 2016 Mr. El-rufai said over 800 people were killed in post 2011 elections crisis. And most of the killings took place in Southern Kaduna. That the press under reported the issue.

Are statements highlighted in (i-iv)not hate speeches? When you say someone should go and climb a mountain fall, are you not telling him to go and die? When you called members of the opposition party viruses, is that not dehumanizing and capable of sparking unrest? When you say leaders of a faction within your party are ants you will kill, crush and burn, is that not hate speech? Is labelling Southern Kaduna a killing zone not hate speech? Lest we forget Shema called his opponents cockroaches and Patience Jonathan said anybody who said change be stoned, how lethal are their statements more than those of Mr. El-rufa’i?

Where is the U.S. Ambassador and his EU counterpart? Where are those public affair analysts that rode on moral high ground and condemned Shema and Patience? Are they trying to tell us that Mr. El-rufa’i has permission to say as wish and others don’t ? Is Mr. El-rufa’i above local and international laws that barred hate speeches? How special is Mr. El-rufa’i that is making all to look the other way despite reading his statements that started from October 2015?

People must rise up and face this little monster shooting-up from Sir Kashim Ibrahim House.

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