By Femi Fani-Kayode
“We will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier or not, that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes” – Mallam Nasir El Rufai, 2012.
I will never forget these words. How I wish that my friend and brother, Governor Nasir El Rufai, expressed the same level of angst, cold rage, chilling resolve and passion for vengeance after the murder of millions of defenceless and innocent non-Fulanis, including women and children, in his own Kaduna state and indeed all over the country since the coming to power of the Buhari regime one year and seven months ago.
How I wish that he could have learnt a lesson or two from other Nigerian leaders of Fulani extraction who are far more restrained, mature, experienced, knowledgeable and responsible than him like Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Hon. Minister Kabiru Turaki, Hon. Minister Hadi Sirika, Governor Sule Lamido, Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, General Aliyu Gusau and countless others that careless and ill-advised assertions, vicious threats and a lack of decorum and restraint have no place in public discourse and could lead to unimaginable consequences including the loss of innocent lives. After all, we are ALL Nigerians.
Given the circumstances I am constrained to write the following for all to see: the spilling of innocent blood in the name of vengeance, religion, ethnicity or anything else is expensive and it comes with a heavy price.
Those who willfully shed it will face the consequences of their actions. They will pay a heavy price from generation to generation both in this world and in the world to come.
Given all the horror stories of murder and butchery that we hear about in Kaduna state today things have certainly got out of hand and every Nigerian, whether they be Christian or Muslim, ought to be deeply concerned.
Such is the carnage and wasting of innocent lives that I cannot but support the columnist Sam Omatseye’s call on Christians in southern Kaduna to rise up and use all lawful means to defend themselves from what can, to all intents and purposes, only be described as genocide.
I also support the appeal to the Christian Association of Nigeria to use all lawful means to assist and support them and I commend the gallantry and resilience of the Southern Kaduna’s People Union (SOKAPU) who have consistently spoken out and resisted the evil that the good people of southern Kaduna have been subjected to over the years.
I also commend the efforts of men like Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Pastor Temitope Joshua, Apostle Suleiman and numerous others who have consistently urged restraint when it comes to such matters but who, at the same time, have always insisted on justice and equity for the oppressed, the poor, the weak, the vulnerable and the deprived.
For as Thomas Jefferson, one of the great founding fathers of the United States of America once said, “when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”.
Self-defence, like self-determination, is a fundamental and inalienable human right and those that take pleasure in mass murder and carnage must be resisted and stopped.
Those that kill, maim and destroy their fellow human beings and compatriots in the name of ethnic and religious hegemony and under the guise of cattle-rearing and herding cows must be brought to justice.
When the International Global Index identified a group that they described as the “Fulani militants” and “herdsmen of Nigeria” as the “fourth most deadly terrorist organisation in the world” the international community was shocked and many world leaders expressed their concern and outrage.
It was only in Nigeria that we took it in our stride and that people found it difficult to comprehend the implications or appreciate the dangers and complexity of the challenge that we were faced with.
It was also only in Nigeria that the government brushed the matter under the carpet and refused to disarm the murderous terrorists or even condemn their actions.
It was only in Nigeria that everyone hid under their beds and ran for cover and refused to say it as it is even though they all knew the truth.
It was only in Nigeria that the blood and the lives of the numerous victims of the Janjaweed-style marauders and murderers were regarded as being less precious and less sacred than the blood of their tormentors and killers.
The fact of the matter is that this is a major issue and a collective challenge. This fight is beyond politics: it is an ancient struggle which is being fought in pursuance of an ancient cause.
Worst still it has an international and global dimension. Simply put, it is essentially about the supression and systematic destruction and humiliation of the so-called “lesser peoples” and supposedly “inferior ethnic nationalities” of the hybrid mega-nation called Nigeria.
It is about the enslavement, the breaking of the will, the total subjugation and the complete annihilation of an entire people and various ethnic nationalities within that mega-nation.
It is about the forced aquisition of the land, culture, destiny and souls of others, ethnic and religious domination and good old-fashioned conquest.
That is the monuemental challenge that we are faced with in Nigeria today by those that covertly commissioned and armed the herdsmen and that are using them to do a dirty job.
Yet few wish to admit let alone discuss, hear or publish such bitter truths in our country. And those of us that are willing to do so are insulted, attacked, maligned, persecuted, threatened, ostracised and labellled as rebels and dissidents simply because we have cultivated the strength and courage to identify the problem, speak the truth and stand up for the weak and the oppressed.
The tyrant forgets that truth and timely counsel is worth its weight in gold. He forgets that it is better to have an honest and vocal opposition than to have a false friend.
He forgets that he either controls those in his inner circle and his numerous courtiers, security chiefs, Ministers and advisors or they will end up controlling him and pushing him to fatal error.
We his subjects try our best to keep quite and ignore the commission of atrocities that we see in our nation every day by his security forces and his blood-thirsty and blood-curdling kinsmen that have constituted themselves into a well-armed reserve army and a formidable and murderous ethnic militia.
Instead of speaking out boldly and loudly or protesting in the streets we choose to keep the peace and stay at home and pray.
Yet, unabated, the horror show simply goes on and on. The nightmare continues to unfold and the black flag of death, destruction and carnage is hoisted higher every day.
No-one is spared in this bloodfest of terror and butchery. Today it is the defiant Biafrans and the good people of the south-east that are being shot, slaughtered, tormented and “cut to pieces” and tomorrow it is the good people of Agatu and the Middle Belt or the residents and farmers of the south-west and the Niger Delta.
And in all this our response is nothing but fear, trepidation and weakness. Our collective resolve to stand against evil has long been broken. We continue to bite the bullet, take the pain, reign in our rage, maintain our stoic and cowardly silence and encourage those that seek to avenge their loved ones and kinsmen to do nothing, to remain calm and to leave it all to God.
Yet there are some things that are beyond the pale and that cannot be ignored. When those that are charged with the responsibility of protecting us and bringing those that kill our kith and kin to justice are complicit in the barborous actions of the terrorists we cannot remain silent. And if we do God Himself will judge us.
When a sitting Governor like Nasir El Rufai can boldly and openly say “tell them (meaning the terrorising and murderering Fulani militants and herdsmen) that the governor is a Fulani like them and give them this money” you are encouraging murder and empowering murderers.
When you talk like that you are provoking the sensitivities and rage of every non-Fulani in your state and in the entire nation.
When you say such a thing you are rubbing raw salt in a fresh wound and you are plunging a sharp and long butchers knife deep into the hearts of the loved ones of all those that were murdered and mutilated in your state and elsewhere by those barbaric killers that you have described as your kinsmen and friends.
When you speak so callously and with such insensitivity you are murdering and butchering the murdered and burchered victims all over again, rubbishing their memory, insulting their families and pissing on their graves.
When you say that you have paid your Fulani brothers and kinsmen from Chad, the Niger Republic, Mali, Senegal, the Camerouns and God knows where else money to stop them from coming to our country and your state to kill our Christian brothers and sisters in southern Kaduna instead of bringing them to justice for shedding innocent blood it means that you are a murderer as well.
When you talk like that it means that you are what is known as an “enabler” or as an “accessory after the fact” in law and you are nothing but an accomplice to and friend, sponsor and sympathiser of mass murderers.
It means that you are not just a murderer but you are also a genocidal maniac. Worse of all you know very well that the money that you have publicly admitted to giving them will be used to buy more deadly weapons and ammunition which will then be used to slaughter, maim, kidnap and terrorise even more innocent and defenceless people from your constituency and elsewhere in Nigeria.
If it is not Shiite Muslims that are being killed in Kaduna today it is our brothers and sisters in southern Kaduna. Not only are they massacred but they are also buried in unmarked mass and shallow graves where pigs feed off their carcasses and decaying flesh.
How wicked and heartless can we be to one another? Where is the milk of human kindness? Where is compassion and mercy? Where is justice, succour and protection for the poor, the deprived, the unconnected and the needy?
For God sake the killing must stop. I implore you in the name of God to use your powerful office to defend the oppressed and to protect the voiceless in your state and not to encourage or support the predators who feed on human flesh and who take pleasure in the destruction, suffering and misery of others.
Those that bathe in the blood of the innocents and that delight in indulging in cruelty and crushing the bones of the weak may have today but tomorrow belongs to us.
As the leader of the American-based Nation of Islam movement, the respected Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, once said,
“God is on the side of the weak, the oppressed. God is never in favor of the tyrant! And fighting against tyranny really is obedience to God. So God will have His way, no matter what the jury or government does. But if they are wicked enough to deny these families justice, then God will answer—and I fear the terrible nature of His chastisement. Be warned”.
For those that are in power today in Kaduna and Nigeria a word is enough for the wise. Our God is alive and He rules in the affairs of men. Vengeance belongs to Him: He will repay.
Permit me to conclude the first part of this write up with the words of Senator La’ah who represents the people of southern Kaduna in the Senate.
In a statement he issued to newsmen on Wednesday 4th December the Senator asserted that Governor El-Rufai has been able to identify the killers and their locations.
He added, “This will lead to their sponsors in Nigeria and other places. Nigeria should then use its diplomatic relationship and extradite these murderers of its citizens, plunders and arsonists to face justice in Nigeria.
“After Governor El-Rufai’s term in office, it should be possible to prosecute him for being an accessory to mass murder, since he has refused to reveal these findings to the rightful authority for actions to stop the evil that is spreading to many states today.
“This is from the outcome of Newspapers’ and online captions quoting governor El -Rufai as saying that he has had to trace some of the murderous Fulani herdsmen that have been killing defenceless innocent Southern Kaduna natives and destroying their villages, the news sources said that after tracing them, he told them that he was also a Fulani man and paid them sums of money to stop the massacre, burning and tearing down of scores of communities in Southern Kaduna.
“That not done with, the Governor also uttered a very bizarre threat that he has compiled for arrest and prosecution, names of persons asking the people of Southern Kaduna to defend themselves against the obvious inability of the Chief Security Officer of the state – Governor Nasir El-Rufai – to secure their lives and property and save them the trauma of being under perpetual fear of further unprovoked violence.
“Knowing how swiftly he reacts to any untoward issue unfairly thrown at him in the media, I have waited for days to hear or read a rebuttal from him but to no avail.
“This therefore confirms these unfortunate utterances as truly that of the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.
“I wish to state that these statements are not only unfortunate, callous, insensitive, crude and demeaning of his office and intelligence, it throws him up as a bigot and hater of Southern Kaduna and we are holding him as an accomplice in the ongoing genocide in Southern Kaduna.” (TO BE CONTINUED).