….Says El-Rufai Prominently Projected Religion and Nepotism
An organization, Lap Abin Atyap, has said that the total lack of empathy over the mass killings of Atyap and burning of their villages during El-Rufai’s 8 years governance in Kaduna State is evidence of his disdain and hatred for the people.
A statement issued by the organization’s Chairman and Secretary, Tabakwot Shimkyang and Kajang Goma said the people thanked God that the attacks, killings, burning and maiming in their land abated with the exit of Mr. Nasir El-Rufai from the governance of Kaduna State
The organization which speaks for the community, said the governor purportedly proscribed Atyap Community Development Association for telling him the truth in the killings and his bias merging of some district heads for no reason whatsoever.
Lap Abin Atyap was reacting to a paper presentation in Lagos by El-Rufai at a book launch as part of events to mark the retirement of Prof. Ishaq Akintola, founder of Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC
Describing the paper as deliberate mischievous and manipulation of facts to deceive his audience, the organization said the desperating remarks on Southern Kaduna people and the Atyap in particular, was an attempt by El-Rufai to get undeserved sympathy and understanding over his battered public image.
This, it emphasized, was brought about by his discriminatory and unpopular governance in Kaduna State.
It further observed that the ex-governor’s ungodly comments and shocking realization and frustrations that the political powers which he so much loved and enjoyed has slipped out of his hands forever, accounts for his outburst.
On religious politics, the organization stated that it was mischievous, ungodly and blatant falsehood for the former governor to allege that it was in decade of military rule after 1983 Buhari- Idiagbon junta, religion and ethnic identity took a new resonance.
According to the organization, no government in Nigeria has prominently projected religion and Nepotism like El-Rufai.
HEREUNDER ARE EXCERPTS:-
“We congratulate Prof. Ishaq Akintola, the founder of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), on his retirement from the academia and wish him good health and a happy retirement.
“The Keynote Address delivered by Mr. Nasir El-Rufai at the Book Launch/Retirement Event of Prof. Ishaq Akintola was a deliberate and mischievous manipulation of the facts to deceive his audience. His disparaging remarks on Southern Kaduna people and the Atyap in particular was an attempt to get undeserved sympathy and understanding over his bartered public image which his discriminatory and unpopular governance in Kaduna State brought out. His ungodly comments and his shocking realization and frustration that political power he so much loved and enjoyed has slipped out of his hands forever accounted for his outburst.
“It is mischievous, ungodly and blatant falsehood for Mr. El-Rufai to alleged that ‘it was in the decade of military rule after the 1983 Buhari-Idiagbon junta that religion and ethnic identity took on a new resonance.’ It is on record that no government in Nigeria has prominently projected religion and nepotism like the Mr. El-Rufai so call democratic governance. Crucial political appointments and citing of major developmental projects were solely based on who holds their religious belief and belongs to their ethnic group. His inability to manage Nigeria’s diversity was unmatched.
“His favoritism and nepotism was not only illegal but raised to the status of a religion. During Mr. El-Rufai’s 8 years as Governor of Kaduna State, his religion took central stage in the consideration for crucial political appointments and the citing of developmental projects. For the first time in Kaduna State, Mr. El-Rufai completely abandoned the traditional fair practice of a government of inclusiveness for Christians and Muslims and adopted the notorious Muslim-Muslim ticket and ensured that all crucial political positions like Senior Counsellor ( his de facto Deputy Governor), Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief of Staff, Head of Service, Principal Private Secretary (PPS) and other top government positions were occupied by Muslims and his Hausa/Fulani kinsmen only. These positions were usually shared between Christians and Muslims to ensure balance and inclusiveness in government. His claims that such appointments were made on merit was an insult to Christians and other ethnic groups who are as qualified and merited for such appointments as his Hausa/Fulani kinsmen.
“To Mr. El-Rufai, only Muslims and his Hausa/Fulani kinsmen can do justice to none Muslims and none Hausa/Fulani ethnic groups. Certainly, it was El-Rufai that took religion and nepotism ‘on a new resonance’ in Kaduna State and Nigeria in general, and not the military who appreciated and respected Nigeria’s diversity.
“Furthermore, all major projects executed by the El-Rufai administration were exclusively cited in Muslim dominated areas in the State. His Urban Renewal Program Projects in Kaduna town were concentrated in Kaduna North Local Government Area while the roads he completed in Kaduna South Local Government Area were only in areas where his Muslim Hausa/Fulani kinsmen reside leaving the few linking Christians areas uncompleted and abandoned. The same scenario is tenable in Kachia, Kafanchan and other places in Southern Kaduna Local Government Areas.
“To show his total disdain for the Atyap who are predominantly Christians, Mr. El-Rufai did not execute a single project in Atyap land throughout his tenure despite repeated promises and the fact that the Atyap are among the three largest ethnic groups in the State. What more is religious and ethnic bigotry than this?
“To further demonstrated his incredible prejudice, antipathy and hatred for other ethnic nationalities he mischievously alleged that ‘Zamani Lekwot led ‘indigenous’ Katafs to attack and slaughter thousands of ‘Hausa settlers in Zangon Kataf …’, that His Excellency James Bawa Magaji, an amiable Bajju gentleman, was Kataf. He had boasted on 11th May, 2023 in a meeting that if he were Governor in 1992 he would have signed the warrant for the execution of the Atyap that were unjustly convicted under Decree 55 by the kangaroo late Benedict Okadigbo’s Tribunal and showed the Atyap ‘pepper’ for daring to defend themselves during the 1992 Zangon Kataf Crises and the several attacks, killings, burning and maiming of Atyap and their villages during his 8 years’ misrule in Kaduna State. Mr. El-Rufai know that Decree 55 strangely placed the burden of proof of innocence on anybody charged before the Tribunal contrary to the constitutional presumption of innocence of all defendants and the open bias and antagonism shown to the Atyap by late Benedict Okadigbo, the Chairman of the Tribunal turned Chief Persecutor of the Atyap, which led to the withdrawal of Graham Douglas, Esq of blessed memories, from membership of the Tribunal and the defence legal team. Gen. Zamani Lekwot’s driver, Mohammed Musa, a Muslim, made it clear in court and publicly that Gen. Lekwot and himself were in Kaduna and therefore nowhere near Zangon Kataf during the crises despite threats and inducements by the likes of Mr. El-Rufai. Furthermore, the prosecution witnesses couldn’t even identify Gen. Lekwot in open court under cross-examination.
“This is the person Mr. El-Rufai want to execute. Funny enough, Mr. El-Rufai did not sign a single execution warrant for those on death roll in Correctional facilities in the State throughout his tenure as Governor because they are not Atyap.
“Mr. El-Rufai’s total lack of empathy over the mass killings of Atyap and burning of their villages during his eight years’ maladministration of Kaduna State is evidence of his disdain and hatred for Atyap and Atyap land. He rather threatened the Atyap on 11th May, 2023 that the weapons in the hands of Hausa/Fulani in Zangon Kataf town can finish the Atyap within a matter of hours. We thank God that the attacks, killings, burning and maiming in our land abated with the exit of Mr. El-Rufai from the governance of Kaduna State.
“The general public should know that the Atyap Community Development Association (ACDA), a duly registered Incorporated Trustees with the Corporate Affairs Commission, was purportedly proscribed by Mr. El-Rufai on Sunday 28th May, 2023 with retrospective effect to 24th May, 2023 for telling him, (Mr. El-Rufai), the truth on the killings in Atyap land, resisting his bias merger of our Districts from 16 to only 2, sacking of some District Heads for no reason whatsoever and resisting his attempted take-over our land by executive fiat and hand same over to his cronies. The ACDA being law abiding has never engaged in, been involved in or accused of engaging in any unlawful activities throughout its existence, including during the 8 years’ reign of Mr. El-Rufai as Governor of Kaduna State. Infact Mr. El-Rufai had a meeting with the ACDA on 11th May, 2023 together with Security Agencies, Fulani and Hausa Representatives, some Non-Governmental Organizations and Peace Advocates in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House (Government House), Kaduna which discussed various issues in the State successfully. Since that meeting ACDA never had any activity till date. The purported proscription therefore came to us as a great shock but certainly not surprising. Our lawyers are however handling the issue.
“In conclusion we leave Mr. El-Rufai to his conscience and God’s judgment. His obsession against the Atyap must stop. “MAI DUKKAH YA SAKA MANA.”