El Rufai berates Southern Kaduna leaders
Insists military deployment alone will not solve problem
Vows to deal with perpetrators of violence no matter how highly placed
Gen Zamani Lekwot decries fresh calls for his execution
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has berated Southern Kaduna elites for the crisis in the area.
He made these comments in an interview on Channels TV on Sunday night insisting that the incessant Southern Kaduna crisis will stop when people in the region are willing to embrace peace.
El-Rufai said that no amount of military troops can resolve the crisis in Southern Kaduna, adding that it is far more complicated than what is obtained in other parts of Nigeria.
Appearing on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics, the governor also vowed to deal with perpetrators of crimes in the region, adding that crises in Kaduna are a mix of ethno religious reasons and banditry.
According to El-Rufai: “The Southern Kaduna crisis is far more complicated than what we have in other parts of Nigeria.
“We are not afraid of anybody, no matter how high or low; we would deal with anyone; no one is above the law.
“Southern Kaduna people want anyone who is not from there to be treated as second class citizens.
“All Nigerians are free to live anywhere in the country, and I am ready to protect my people.
“Unless people are willing to embrace peace, no number of military troops can resolve the issues.
“Southern Kaduna elites have their narratives about the crises.
“The crisis in Kaduna is a mix of ethno religious reasons, and banditry has now been added to it.
“I would like to see a situation where perpetrators of these crimes are sanctioned and even hanged.
“The bandits do not discriminate against anyone; they attack any ethnic group.”
Meanwhile, a prominent leader in Southern Kaduna, General Zamani Lekwot rtd, has said that those calling for his execution and others in connection with the 1992 Zangon Kataf crisis should not die again.
He explained that those that called for his execution are playing a script from the White Paper committee recently set up by the Kaduna State government to review the 1992 Zangon Kataf crisis.
Speaking in an interview with journalists at the 3rd prayer session organized by the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Kaduna state chapter on Sunday in Kaduna, Lekwot said, “Everyone would die. Nobody will live forever. Those who said what they said, will they not die? No one knows how they will die.
General Lekwot added, “You see, what they said is a replay of a smokescreen, to hide the truth and divert attention. What is the relationship between what happened in Zangon Kataf 28 years ago and the massive Killings going on in Southern Kaduna and the country.”
General Lekwot, who was also the former military Governor of Rivers State, noted that all religious leaders are expected to preach peace, and wondered why some people are preaching hate and religious violence.
He said “28 years ago the killings in Zangon Kataf was unfortunate, but the genesis was a dispute of relocation of a market, at the end of the day a commission of inquiry was set up, and recommendations were made. All of them have been implemented. So, those referring to it have been clever by half. What we need in the country is genuine tolerance.”
General Lekwot further explained, “Now by saying what they said, they have just confirmed why armed foreign bandits have been imported into our country to destroy our country. How does what they said address the issues at hand? What is happening in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country is a bad omen for our unity and stability.”
He called on Christians all over the country to pray for the peace of Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country, stressing that, “Nigerians should continue to pray so that not only Southern Kaduna but other parts of the country will have peace, at the end of the day, Nigeria deserves peace.
General Lekwot enjoined the people of Southern Kaduna not to attack anybody, adding, “lt is not in our character to attack people, we love peace. We should not allow anyone to attack us, we should protect ourselves but above all, our primary weapon is prayer.
“We should ensure internal vigilance so that anywhere you notice any suspicious movement, you please report to any nearby security post or traditional ruler so that immediate action can be taken before damage is done.”