All posts by Gurara

2016 Afan Festival: Kaduna Promises Partnership In Tourism Development

Culled from : www.thedreamdaily.com

From Julius B. Kezi, Kafanchan
The 2016 edition of the AFAN National Festival celebration by the Kagoro Community was lowkey last Friday, January 1, 2016.
The occasion held at Fadan Kagoro, the premises of Kagoro Multi-purpose Hall gathered dignitaries across the state but without the usual Federal Government delegation as against what was hitherto experienced in the past.

In a message to the occasion, through his Deputy, Arch Barnabas Bala Bantex, Governor Nasir el-Rufai, of Kaduna State said his administration was poised to partner communities to package cultural activities for the purpose of tourism development and providing additional alternative sources of economic income and employment for individuals, the communities and government.
However, the governor said to achieve this and revamping education, agriculture and health sectors, which are key to the development of all sectors of the economy, there was need for all hands to be on deck to ensure peace and security of lives and property to attract any kind of investment from the public and private institutions.
According to the governor, his administration has used the six months since assumption of office to strategize and would soon commence implementation of strategic plans in the provision of free education from primary to Junior secondary school , provision of free uniforms, text books and feeding of pupils, including access to free medical care to pregnant women and children under the age of five years.

The government, he said, had been able to restore and sustain peace and security of the state and appealed to all and sundry to cooperate in this regard, as it is the business of all, not government alone .

Assuring that government was implementing the Agwai committee report on how to restore peace in the state, the governor said government has engaged neighbouring states, especial Plateau to resolve boundary disputes once for all.

Chairman of the occasion, General Martin Luther Agwai, a former chief of Army Staff, called on Nigerians particular the youth in Kaduna state and indeed Kaduna south senatorial district to ensure personal, family and community peace for enhancement of good governance, positive change and development .
According to him, “the Bible states that poor is he that does not have peace,” stressing that friendship is understanding, tolerance and forgiveness. He called for prayers, patience and cooperation for government.

The youth should cultivate and practise good virtues of respect for elders and constituted authority, strive at hard work, educational and skill development that will guarantee long life and actualizing their ambitions, he added.

Chairman Interim Management Council Kaura Local Government Mallam Ibrahim Akut, reiterated his call for the sustenance of peace in the area to facilitate development. He assured that his administration would do its best to attract development. Akut appealed to the state government to assist offset salaries of traditional rulers and security personnel.
His Highness the Oegwang Oegworok (chief of Kagoro), Mr Ufuwai Bonet in a message through his son the Galadima Kagoro apologized for his absence from the festival owning, to his being abroad for treatment.

The traditional ruler charged his people to strive at purification of their hearts, peace with God and members of the society so as to attract public and private investments to the chiefdom.
The Oegwam Oegworok seized the occasion to, on behalf of himself and people of his domain, congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor El-Rufai for their victories at the 2015 polls and prayed for their long life and success in their tasks.

Earlier in a welcome address, President, Kagoro Development Association (KDA) Chief Paul A. Abiyong, said Afan festival was unique as it has been observed for over 400 years.
He said it was one of the most leading cultural festivals in Nigeria which fosters friendship, peace and unity within and outside the country. It is also used to glorify God for protection blessings and offering prayers for same in the emerging years.

He applauded the achievements of government at the federal, state and local governments within their short time in office. Abiyong solicited for construction of Kukum Daji- Garaje, Fadan Daji- Madakiya, Mallagum- Fadan Daji, Safio-Anya-Mafok- Sadio- Kadarko- Tachirak roads and completion of shoulders and creating gutters on Kagoro Manchok road.The KDA president also called for the taking over and completion of Kukum Daji Earth Dam, abandoned by the Nigeria River Basin Authority , which when completed, will enable all year round farming , create youth employment, discuss and improved local and national economy.

“On the Kagoro Hills Resort project initiated by past administrations, we prayed for its construction to boost tourism and employment . The state University Kafanchan Campus and Kaduna College of Education projects in these institutions be completed urgently to reduce students’ hardship,” the KDA president pleaded.

He also requested for water supply to villages and prompt and improved seeds to farmers between February and March, entrepreneurship development for self-reliance and job creation, prompt payment of pensioners and upward review of their benefits.

Abiyong assured government of the support and cooperation from the Kagoro Community .
The occasion featured the crowing of Miss Joyce Samuel Amai as Miss Kagoro, performed by Mrs Elizabeth Onazi, the Kaduna State Head of Service, who encouraged her to use her prime to serve God, pursue education, be industrious and lay good legacies for young girls to follow, thus promoting the culture of the land.

There were cultural dances from within and outside Kagoro and attended by traditional, religious and political leaders, among were Agwam BAJJU Mal. Nuhu Bature, Senator Danjuma Laah, Hon Gideon Gwan , just to mention a few.

Groups, individuals inciting ethno-religious crisis will be prosecuted, says Kaduna Security Council

Groups, individuals inciting ethno-religious crisis will be prosecuted, says Kaduna Security Council

Anyone or group of persons that engage in conduct likely to incite ethno-religious crisis in Kaduna State will be prosecuted, the Kaduna State Security Council has announced. Rising from its weekly meeting, the Council issued a statement explaining that it is issuing the warning following reports on utterances of certain individuals that are capable of creating social unrest.

“The attention of the Kaduna State Security Council has been drawn toillegal activities going on in some institutions of higher learning, places of worship and in social gatherings aimed at inciting people against each other along religious and ethnic lines.

“The Council said it has noted the regrettable circulation of posters and leaflets containing hate speech. While condemning this sort of behaviour, the Council warned those involved to desist or face the full weight of the law.

“The Constitution of this country grants every citizen the right to freely express and hold opinion. The right to free speech is one of the noblest expressions of liberty and it is intended to uplift mankind; therefore, it cannot be used as a cover to set people against each other or to be exercised so recklessly that it becomes a barrier to the enjoyment of similar rights by others or actually imperils the rights of other citizens to respect for their dignity, security and lives.

“All those preaching hate are hereby cautioned that the defence of the constitution will compel their prosecution for violating its provisions. Anyone found culpable will be prosecuted by security agencies in accordance with relevant laws. The Council especially warns against the circulation of false reports, and the propagation of items that alarm people and create tensions without any basis. People are advised to verify the accuracy and authenticity of information they disseminate.

“The Council wishes to add that security agencies will arrest and subsequently prosecute groups and individuals inciting tensions via circulation of hate speech or any act contributory to breakdown of law and order in the State.

“The Council commended citizens for their vigilance in reporting instances of hate speech to the appropriate authorities. People should refrain from taking the law into their hands, no matter the depth of offense they may feel.

“The Council requested that citizens be notified that the following security help lines 08081708671, 08064810676 and 08050366625 are available around the clock.”

Signed

Samuel Aruwan

Special Assistant to the Governor (Media and Publicity)

24 January 2016

Breaking News: Zaria Clash: KDSG names members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry

Breaking News:

Zaria clashes: KDSG names members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry

The Kaduna State Government has announced the composition of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the 12th-14th December 2015 clashes in Zaria between the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the Nigerian Army. The judicial commission of inquiry is established under Section 2 of the Kaduna State Commission of Inquiry Law, 1991.

“Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, has signed the instrument establishing the commission of inquiry. The inquiry, which is expected to submit its final report six weeks after its first public sitting, has several terms of inquiry. These include to determine the immediate causes of the clashes, examine the historical circumstances and contributory factors of the clashes and to ascertain the number of persons killed, wounded or missing during the clashes. The commission of inquiry will also identify the actions of persons, institutions, federal and state actors, and determine whether such actions were necessary, appropriate and sufficient in the circumstances in which they occurred.

“In a statewide broadcast last month, Governor El-Rufai had promised to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into the Zaria clashes, as a matter of utmost importance to the public interest. During the broadcast, the governor regretted the loss of lives and detailed what the Kaduna State Government had learnt about the immediate build-up to the clashes. The government also took steps to begin the prosecution of the people that were arrested during the clashes for crimes, including obstruction of public highways and possession of dangerous weapons. The women and juveniles among the detainees were swiftly processed and released.

“Furthermore, the Kaduna State Government acted to ensure that the sites of the clashes did not constitute sources of public peril after the army withdrew from them. Glass shards, twisted metal and concrete were cleared from the sites and the buildings that were considered structurally unsound following the clashes were removed. In the process of clearing the sites of the clashes, three persons were rescued from the rubble.

“Since the unfortunate incident, the Kaduna State Government has been discharging its obligations to promote the public welfare. There was no reason at any point to put governance in abeyance or to abdicate the responsibility of the government to enforce the law and uphold security. Neither was it necessary for the Kaduna State Government to speak and act as if it was not in possession of any facts relevant to the matter. Government has to acknowledge as much when a building has been put up without evidence of title or the necessary planning approvals; and the state has to initiate prosecutions when valid laws have been broken. It is not in the public interest for government to decline its duty.

“The members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Zaria clashes were chosen for their professional competences as lawyers, jurists, scholars of religion, human rights activists, security experts and media practitioners.

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry, which will be inaugurated next week, has the following membership:

Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba – Chairman. Justice Garba is the presiding justice of the Port Harcourt division of the Court of Appeal.

Prof. Salihu Shehu – Commissioner. Professor Shehu lectures at the Bayero University, Kano.

Prof. Umar Labdo – Commissioner. Professor Labdo teaches in the Faculty of Humanities, Northwest University, Kano.

Malam Salihu Abubakar – Commissioner. Malam Abubakar is a former director of the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Prof. Auwalu Yadudu – Commissioner. He is an accomplished professor of Law, and former Special Adviser on Legal Matters during the Abacha government.

Prof. Ibrahim Gambari – Commissioner. Professor Gambari is a former minister of Foreign Affairs. He was also Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and headed the UN department of Political Affairs. He is often consulted on African Affairs, Peacekeeping and Global Security.

Mr. Afakriya Gadzama – Commissioner. Mr. Gadzama, a career intelligence professional, is a former Director-General of the Department of State Services, where he served in various positions, including as Kaduna State director of the agency.

Brigadier-General Aminun-Kano Maude (rtd) – Commissioner. General Maude is a retired Deputy Director, Army Finance and Accounts. He holds a Ph.D in Accountancy.

Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim – Commissioner. Dr. Ibrahim is a well-known academic, civil society leader and columnist. He taught politics at the Ahmadu Bello University, and has researched and written about religion.

Mrs. Khadijah Hawaja Gambo – Commissioner. Mrs. Gambo is a gender rights activist, social entrepreneur and conflict resolution expert active in Plateau and neighbouring states. She is fluent in Arabic.

Mr. Bilya Bala – Commissioner. Mr. Bala is an accomplished banker, management consultant and journalist.

Major-General Alexander Anjili Mshelbwala – Commissioner. General Mshelbwala is a retired infantry general knowledgeable in civil-military relations and counter-insurgency. He is a one-time Military Secretary of the Nigerian Army.

Mrs. Desire Deseye Nsirim CP (Rtd.) – Commissioner. Mrs. Nsirim was a distinguished police officer. She retired after serving as the commissioner of police of Niger State.

Dr. Bala Babaji has also been appointed the Secretary to the Commission. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Islamic Legal Studies, Institute of Administration of the Ahmadu Bello University. He will be assisted in the discharge of his functions by a secretariat with experts drawn from academia, civil society, private sector and the public service of the state and the Federation.

The Kaduna State Government consulted widely with the governments of the 19 Northern States and the Federal Government in a bid to identify credible, independent and impartial persons knowledgeable in various aspects that the Inquiry is expected to cover. The government expresses its gratitude to all those that participated in the meticulous process that led to the appointment of the Commissioners and Chairman, and thanks the chairman, membership and secretariat of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for accepting to serve.

Signed

Samuel Aruwan

Special Assistant to the Governor (Media and Publicity)

16th January 2016

Governor El-Rufai’s First Quarter in Office: An Interim Assessment

Governor El-Rufai’s First Four Months in Office: An Interim Assessment

SOKAD, U.S.A. & Canada
Governor El-Rufai’s First Quarter in Office: An Interim Assessment
By Southern Kaduna Diaspora (SOKAD), U.S.A. & Canada

(Lake City Florida, October 18, 2015) Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State assumed office May 29th, 2015. It is now about five months since he took the mantle of leadership of the state. It is about time we gave an interim opinion evaluation of his performance.

Southern Kaduna in Diaspora (SOKAD) has been following the developments in Kaduna State since Governor El-Rufai assumed office with keen interest. One of the first actions by the Governor was abolishing the state policy of funding Christians and Muslims pilgrimages. Such state involvement in pilgrimages was largely a smokescreen for officials to enrich their pockets.

SOKAD is very impressed by this action by the Governor. The millions of Naira spent by previous governments on these religious pilgrimages was counterproductive, wasteful, and needless. SOKAD, therefore, commends the Governor for this bold and decisive step. We hope that the money saved, will be put to good use.

The uncovering of N1.3 billion pension racket reported by various media on October 6, 2015, is highly commendable. It was reported that 2,484 ghost pensioner names were uncovered, and another 1,404 identified as probable ghost pensioners; it is an important economic loophole that has been blocked and will save the state billions. SOKAD hopes that all the perpetrators of this corrupt practice will be identified and punished to the full extent of the law.

Then, there is the ‘draft Fiscal Responsibility Bill’, which the Governor has approved. When the bill becomes law, it will “provide for an independent commission to monitor and enforce the provisions of the proposed law”. Also, the government abolished payment of fees for admission forms and processes in relation to Fiscal Responsibility. SOKAD hopes this will make room for fiscal transparency and accountability.

Furthermore, the government, while noting the resumption of schools this year, has reiterated that “its elimination of school fees and sundry levies in basic education will save Kaduna State parents N3.7 billion per year.” Again, this will be another financial loophole blocked. We commend the Governor for this as well.

On Sep 14, 2015, the Kaduna State Executive Council approved a draft bill for the establishment of the Kaduna State Geographic Information Service (KADGIS). Mr. Samuel Aruwan, the Special Assistant, Media and Publicity wrote: “When passed into law, this will create an electronic land registry for the state, and facilitate the electronic registration of land documents.” SOKAD hopes that if this Bill is passed into law it will truly make it easy for citizens to secure titles for their land; but SOKAD cautions that it should not be an excuse to depose the people of their ancestral lands.

It has not been all roses for the state since the Governor took over the helms of power. Some of his decisions are of great concerns, particularly two important ones. The first is the Governor’s decision to abolish the settler/indigene dichotomy status, after receiving the report of General Martin Luther Agwai’s special committee on Southern Kaduna crisis. For one, the report was rushed because interested parties were not given enough time to provide input- significant number were not even aware of the existence of the Martin Agwai’s Committee, even if it were an offshoot of a previous one. Second, while it is true that we need peace and reconciliation among all ethnic groups in the state, no ethnic group should be the sacrificial lamb for peace. Land is the only wealth for Southern Kaduna minorities and to depose them of it, by a “free Kaduna State citizenship status for all”, will not bring peace and is a violation of our constitution. The argument against this decision has been succinctly and forcefully articulated in an article by Tunga Lergo: “Kaduna State Indigene Question and The Sociology of Claim of Place”. The last paragraph of the article is relevant here:

” Kaduna State should not be another guinea pig, at least not now. Kaduna State should not be an experiment on eroding ethnic boundaries and identities (even if that erosion is desirable). The people of Kaduna State expect the governor in his first four years to alleviate poverty, create jobs for our graduates, foster peace, advance education, and encourage development. Such goals are more transformative than the idealistic policy of making everyone a Kaduna State indigene. Such transforming goals cannot be met without justice, fairness, and the rule of law. Declaring that everyone in the world can now come to Kaduna State and enjoy dual indigeneship, and thereby disempowering ethnic groups, who have laid claim to spaces and places in the State for time immemorial, while all other Nigerians can claim ownership of their respective ancestral and historical spaces, is morally unjust. Until it is a policy in all thirty-six states of the country (Sokoto is an exception, to some extent), this policy should not be implemented. I hope our governor reconsiders”, (08/27/2015), http://nigeriavillagesquare.com/forum/articles-comments/90581-kaduna-state-indigene-question-sociology-claim-place.html;
http://www.elombah.com/index.php/opinion/217-kaduna-state-indigene-question-and-the-sociology-of-claim-of-place;
Kabido Newspaper, Vol.7, No.78,October 12, 2015.

SOKAD feels the decision is ill-advised and detrimental to peace and justice for indigenous minorities. We appeal to the governor not to implement it. Moreover, the indigene-settler relation is akin to guest-host relations and, frankly, does not lend itself to either legislative or executive intervention. Just as the behavior of a guest would endear a host to welcome him or her and make him or her feel at home, indigenes are likely to welcome settlers in their community- depending on how the settlers conduct themselves.

Already, the consequence of the idea to abolish state citizenship, is manifesting in appointments where an unprecedented number of non-indigenes have been appointed- giving the impression that the Kaduna State does not have qualified sons and daughters to help run the state. This has been called into question by a coalition of 13 groups from Southern Kaduna (http://odili.net/news/source/2015/oct/16/47.html).

But granted that some of the appointments may have international connections that potentially can be beneficial for promoting business in Kaduna State, but the integrity of those appointed should be above reproach. Anything short of that undermines the anti-corruption message that the Governor is preaching. It is one thing to reward those who supported and voted the Governor, but they must be men and women of integrity, even if they are APC loyalists and donors.

The case of Jimi Lawal, the Kaduna State Investments Advisor to the Governor merits specific mention. If the allegations of conviction in 1996 by the Failed Banks Tribunal are true, over serious charges of swindles involving millions of dollars, then his appointment is rather unfortunate. It is doing incalculable damage to the image of the administration, especially as serious concerns were raised at the time of the appointment but were ignored.

Another decision by the Government that SOKAD is concerned about, is the action by the State Security Council on September 15, 2015, to close the property: 2 churches, an hospital, a college, and a seminary, belonging to the Assemblies of God Church in Saminaka, in Lere Local Government, because of perceived security threats and fear of “total breakdown of law and order in the area.” An intra leadership squabble in a harmless religious community, with no history of violence nor even threat of it, should not warrant such an exercise of power by the state. There could have been a better way to address the issue, such as bolstering security and improved surveillance.

SOKAD concords with the “Group of 13”, in the words of its leader, Mr. Kanyip, that, “while the insecurity challenges in Birnin Gwari area of northern part of the state had since been tackled on assumption of office by the governor, many people were still being killed in the Southern part of Kaduna State with little or no attention from the governor” (http://odili.net/news/source/2015/oct/16/47.html). It is sad to note that violence against defenseless and peace loving people in the southern part of the State has not received the serious attention that it deserves. We want the Governor to succeed as a transformation leader for the State. But not being there for the people who did not overwhelmingly vote for him is not the way to achieve that status. We urge the Governor to focus like a laser on this matter so that real peace can return to that part of the State.

SOKAD welcomes the determination of the new regime at making Kaduna State a safe and secured State. The determination, as reported by the Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Mr. Aruwan, that the government “will not tolerate the use of religion and ethnicity to cause crisis in the state”; and that it “will prosecute anyone, no matter his or her standing, that is implicated in fomenting crisis in whatever form in the State”, this is music to the ears. However, it is rather strange that the government would make a harmless Christian church the first example.

SOKAD is all for the success of Governor El-Rufai’s government. The interim opinion evaluation card is mixed; much good has been done, with many more crucial issues that need to be addressed. We intend to issue such reports periodically to alert the government on issues they may be inadvertently blinded to. As restful citizens of Kaduna State, we will continue to give opinion on the administration, as we did on the previous one, and act as watchdogs for the benefit of our people.

As we look forward to the next months-to-years of Governor El-Rufai’s administration, SOKAD prays for better days for our dear State.

Signed:
The Executive Committee
Aminu Likita, MD, MPH, President
Freeman Kamuru, PhD, MD, Secretary General
Ibrahim A. Maikori, M.Ed Financial Secretary
October 18, 2015
________________________________________

Kaduna State Indigene Question and the Sociology of Claim of Place

Tunga Lergo

First they come for our identity—next may be our land.

Recently, Governor El-Rufai announced that his administration is abolishing the settler-indigene dichotomy in Kaduna State. It seems that by the power of one man’s pronouncement, a whole group of ethnicities lost power; they lost their claim to ownership of ancestral land and became drifting peoples, peoples without boundaries or identities. On August 6, under the facade of a committee for peace and reconciliation, Governor El-Rufai declared that there is no longer a difference between indigene and settler in Kaduna. Rather, the government considers all Kaduna State residents to be Kaduna State indigenes. (Note that the governor did not specify whether only Nigerians are qualified for this status.)

Such a sweeping change in policy defies both logic and morals. Moreover, the change may be unconstitutional, because citizenship is exclusively a federal legislative prerogative. The change was suggested by the General Martin Agwai’s panel that had only one month to sit and deliberate. Indeed, many interested parties did not even know that the panel had been constituted, and I do not believe the panel had a public sitting. Certainly the panel did not have enough time for the serious deliberation and analysis required to create a report that will transform the state or bring much-needed peace to the state, particularly the southern part of the state.

Stripping Kaduna State indigenes of the exclusive right to indigene status is not transformative. Governor El-Rufai is the governor of Kaduna, not of all states. Why the rush to make this change? The governor is taking some steps that demonstrate laudable eagerness and haste, but this change is not such a step. Rather, this change is a revolutionary transformation of the state that is detrimental to Kaduna State indigenes. A genuinely transformative agenda must be fair, logical, moral, and sociologically and constitutionally grounded in the unity and progress of the state.

Perhaps some indigenes of Kaduna State consent to surrendering their birthright, but the southern Kaduna indigenes, who have been marginalized for too long, do not consent. They have no other place to go. It may be an overstatement, but I dare say that an indigene of southern Kaduna can live more easily and peacefully and freely in Ghana or Mali, than in Kano State, Katsina State, Anambra State, or Ondo State

If this policy is implemented, Kaduna State will become a no-man’s land, which will open a floodgate of all sorts of shady characters. We will have to compete with not only scores of Nigerians from other states but also the non-Nigerians who already are here simply because they profess to be Muslims and/or speak Hausa and claim that they are indigenes. Since admissions to schools (especially into competitive disciplines such as medicine, science, and engineering), employment, and political appointments are based on “federal character”, Kaduna State indigenes are the most disadvantaged.

It is a high injustice that Kaduna State will become a no-man’s land, because its indigenes cannot claim indigene status in any of the thirty-five other Nigerian states (except Sokoto, and only in limited circumstances)—Kaduna indigenes will become Nigerians without a state, without a home, without a claim to any place. What a travesty! It is morally wrong to deprive a people of their most precious intrinsic possession. A leader who loved his people would show cautious deliberation in a matter of sociological possession and identity.

Before my detractors accuse me of parochialism, let me preempt them: I am member of a diaspora group, Southern Kaduna Diaspora (SOKAD), which made submission to President Jonathan’s National Conference in 2014. My group advocated for abolishing indigene status and following the U.S. model, under which every citizen has all rights in the state in which they reside. Americans can therefore claim to be “indigenes” of several different states during their lifetimes. It is not uncommon for members of the same family to be “indigenes” of different states and enjoy all the rights, privileges, and benefits of their respective states of residency. This policy applies in all fifty U.S. states, not one—unlike the lone-state system Governor El-Rufai is trying to implement in Kaduna.

If Governor El-Rufai’s policy is implemented, Kaduna State will be transformed in ways that divide, not unite. The policy he proposes must be a federal government policy, not a state policy. While we wait for pundits to evaluate the governor’s one-hundred days in office, I must say, there are things I appreciate about Governor El-Rufai. I love his zeal, and his monthly outreach is informative and innovative. But for this policy, the governor and I part ways. For this reason, I am conflicted about who Governor El-Rufai is and what his agenda is for the state.

First they come for our identity—next may be our land. I have spoken with some Gbagyi people of Abuja and others. Many Gbagyi people do not favorably evaluate Governor El-Rufai’s tenure as the Administrator of the Federal Capital. To transform the capital from a Lagos-type swamp to the modern capital that it is today, ancestral land had to be taken, and the Gbagyi were the ethnic group that suffered most. However, the non-Gbagyi see Governor El-Rufai as a transformative administrator. Each group has its reasons.

Kaduna State should not be another guinea pig, at least not now. Kaduna State should not be an experiment on eroding ethnic boundaries and identities (even if that erosion is desirable). The people of Kaduna State expect the governor in his first four years to alleviate poverty, create jobs for our graduates, foster peace, advance education, and encourage development. Such goals are more transformative than the idealistic policy of making everyone a Kaduna State indigene. Such transforming goals cannot be met without justice, fairness, and the rule of law. Declaring that everyone in the world can now come to Kaduna State and enjoy dual indigeneship, and thereby disempowering ethnic groups who have laid claim to spaces and places in the State for time immemorial while all other Nigerians can claim ownership of their respective ancestral and historical spaces, is morally unjust. Until it is a policy in all thirty-six states of the country (Sokoto is an exception, to some extent), this policy should not be implemented. I hope our governor reconsiders.

Tunga Lergo is a Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Santa Fe College, Gainesville, Florida, U.S.A.

SOKAD Congratulates Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and Kaduna State on Election Victory.

SOKAD Congratulates Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and Kaduna State on Election Victory.

Written by Southern Kaduna Diaspora (SOKAD)

PRESS RELEASE

(Columbus, Ohio, USA, April 18, 2015). The Southern Kaduna in Diaspora (SOKAD) is happy and excited with the outcome of the Gubernatorial and State legislative elections in Kaduna State. The relatively peaceful conduct and outcome of the elections is commendable. We, however, regret the few incidences of violence that led to the loss of lives in Saminaka.

By all accounts, the conduct of the election was largely free and fair. SOKAD congratulates the Governor-Elect, Mallam El-Rufai and his party (APC), and all those elected to the Kaduna State House of Assembly, for the victories in the election on April 11, 2015.

We also wish to congratulate the Kaduna State electorate who spoke clearly and loudly through the ballot box.  Our prayers and advice for a peaceful and successful election were answered.

To Mallam El-Rufai, Kaduna State people have entrusted you with the governance of their State. Your campaign promises contributed to your victory. We hope they will be kept. We pray that God will give you the wisdom and courage needed to be the transformational leader that the State has waited for.  As the Governor of Kaduna State, we ask that you work hard towards protecting and safeguarding the rights of minorities who have been largely disregarded or ignored in much of the modern history of that part of Nigeria. We are confident in your “can do” attitude, and trust that you will make Kaduna State secure, and great, again.

We thank Governor Yero for his service, and, in particular, for his magnanimity in defeat.  For putting love of the State and country over self by conceding defeat in a peaceful manner, he followed in the footsteps of President Goodluck that defeat- sometimes- is, in effect, victory of self. We hope this will be a precedence for all our Nigerian politicians.

As we approach the inaugurations and beginning of the new administration, we pray and hope that God will guide the Governor-elect and his party in all policies and decisions as they affect the people. We urge that the security situation, among other concerns, be addressed as a matter of urgency.

May the next four years be good and productive years for our State!

Signed:

Aminu Likita, MD, MPH (President)

Freeman Kamuru, PhD, MD (Secretary General)

Ibrahim A. Maikori, M.Ed (Financial Secretary

April 18, 2015

 

PRESS RELEASE: The 2015 Presidential Election: A Mandate and a Legacy.

The 2015 Presidential Election: A Mandate and a Legacy.

Written by Southern Kaduna in the Diaspora (SOKAD)

gurarakaduna@yahoo.com

PRESS RELEASE

(Columbus, Ohio, USA, April 2015). It is with great pleasure and joy that we are writing to commend the Federal Government of Nigeria and our Nigerian people,  for the success of the recently concluded Presidential election, and elections to the National Assembly.  We have closely followed event before, during and after the voting with keen interest.  By all accounts, the conduct of the election was largely free and fair.

We wish to congratulate the President-Elect, Major General Muhammadu  Buhari (Rtd),  for his victory.  Majority of Nigerians have entrusted him with their votes with the hope that he will fulfil his promises to them made during the campaigns.  We pray that God will give him the wisdom and courage needed to be the transformational leader that the country has been waiting for.  As the President of all Nigerians, we hope that he would work hard to protect and safeguard the rights of minorities who have been largely disregarded or ignored in much of the modern history of our beloved country.

We thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his service, and in particular for his magnanimity in defeat.  For putting love of country over self, he has elevated the standard of democracy in Nigeria and aligned himself with the few champions of democracy in Africa, such as the late Nelson Mandela who eschewed bitterness and placed the love of country above everything, even as he guided South Africa from the precipice of explosive racial crisis to a stable democracy.

Above all, the Nigerian people should be proud of the strides that they have collectively made towards attaining political maturity.  Using the ballot box to express dissatisfaction with a government widely seen as inept, especially on matters of National security, is what a well-informed, sophisticated, and mature electorate does.  This should serve as a reminder to the incoming administration that in four years, Nigerians will return to the ballot box, again, to pass a verdict on their stewardship.

As we approach the Gubernatorial elections, and elections to  the  state Houses of Assembly, SOKAD pray and hope that the outcome would also be a success, as it was in the Presidential and national elections.  Political parties and their candidates must educate and instruct their supporters to conduct themselves properly and to avoid any activities or actions that would undermine public peace and order.

May God Bless Nigeria and all her peoples.

SOKAD

Signed:

Aminu Likita, MD, MPH, President Freeman Kamuru, PhD, MD, Secretary General Ibrahim A. Maikori, M.Ed, Financial Secretary

 

SOKAD Urges Southern Kaduna Voters to Go and Vote on February 14 & 28. 

 

SOKAD Urges Southern Kaduna Voters to Go and Vote on February 14 & 28.

Written by Southern Kaduna in the Diaspora ( SOKAD)

gurarakaduna@yahoo.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO (February 7, 2015). The Southern Kaduna People in the Diaspora are very keenly following the political campaigns leading to the upcoming 2015 elections. We are praying and hoping that the election will go smoothly.  More importantly, we call on all the people of Southern Kaduna who are eligible voters to come out and vote on the Election Day. It is civic duty of every eligible voter from Southern Kaduna to vote.  Your voices must be heard loud and clear.  No individual, organization, or institution should take you for granted. You have power in your vote. Use it. Don’t waste it.  Here are some points to bear in mind as you go to vote:

Review each candidate’s credentials very well. The candidate’s education, skills, experiences and maturity on how each had performed before; most importantly, his campaign promises for Southern Kaduna.

Can the candidate be trusted? Is the candidate a person of integrity? Can he be trusted to keep his campaign promises? What if the Person losses? How will he handle the situation? Will he let hell loose or will he concede defeat, peacefully.

Consider the utterances and the behaviors of the candidates in the past. Are they in line with his claims now? Or will history betray his conduct and utterances now?

Consider the two parties and their candidates.

PDP: This is the ruling party. Gov. Yero should be judged on his performance in last few years. What efforts has he made in the distribution of services and infrastructure including appointments, to reduce the imbalance between Southern Kaduna and the rest of the state? Does he merit being given some more time to finish the work he has begun? Or has he failed and therefore is expected to fail again.  Can he pull his weight to deliver on the promises he makes.

APC. What will El-Rufai bring to the table for Southern Kaduna? Does he have the cloud to bring the changes we are seeking? The provision of Federal educational institutions, Federal Hospital, Agricultural facilities and social infrastructures are some of the issues to look out for. What has El-Rufai done in the past that shows he is a candidate who can deliver? Yes, El-Rufai may be new to govern Kaduna state (if elected). Can he pull his weight to deliver on the promises he makes.

On security, who will do better? Our people are being killed and survivors are systematically displaced. Our lands are seized by force. Has the incumbent, Gov. Yero done enough? Will he do better if given another chance? Or should he be replaced by someone who will start afresh and tackle the issue headlong?

Who will do better in tackling the problem of bribery and corruption, the threat of Fulani mercenary attackers and the atrocities perpetrated by Boko Haram? Gov. Yero or El-Rufai. By the time you read up to this point (this current line) you should have decided who to vote for.

We call on all Nigerians in general, and Southern Kaduna people in particular, to respect the voice of the people in this election period. We ask that governments (local, state, federal) ensure that the election is peaceful. Adequate security must be provided at all polling stations. The election must not be rigged. We urge all citizens to shun violence and embrace peace and reconciliation.  We also ask that whoever wins should be congratulated. Whoever losses should concede defeat peacefully and gracefully.

We call on all eligible voters in Southern Kaduna to go out and vote and not be afraid. Exercising this civic duty will yield great dividend. Therefore, cast your vote on Election Days, February 14, and 28. Remember that you will reap the fruit of your action whether you vote or you don’t. Whatever your choices are on February 14, & 28, we, your sons and daughters in Diaspora, will accept them.

May the best candidates win! And may the Almighty God make the elections free, fair, and peaceful!

Signed:

Aminu Likita, MD, MPH, President Freeman Kamuru, PhD, MD, Secretary General Ibrahim A. Maikori, M.Ed, Financial Secretary

February 7, 2015

 

 

Southern Kaduna Diaspora Making the Case for Indicting Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State, Nigeria, for Crimes Against Humanity.

By Southern Kaduna in the Diaspora (SOKAD), U.S.A. & Canada

Atlanta- Georgia ( March 3, 2014) :  On February 6, 2014,  the Southern Kaduna Indigenes Progressive Forum ( SKIPFo) declared its intention to take the Governor of Kaduna State, Governor Yero, to the International Criminal Court ( ICC) for crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the peoples of Southern Kaduna.  On behalf of Southern Kaduna in Diaspora (SOKAD), we wish to officially declare our support for what the group intends to do. It is about time the ethnic cleansing agenda in Southern Kaduna was brought to global awareness and justice. While the devilish atrocities of Boko Haram in the North East of Nigeria has attracted international focus, the gradual cleansing of the peoples in the middle belt of Nigeria, and of Southern Kaduna in particular, is barely given a passing mention, and yet, it is older than Boko Haram, and is  as vicious as Boko Haram’s murders. Both the Federal and state governments have done little to solve the problem. If a group can’t get justice at home, in a globalized world, it is proper to seek justice internationally.

For a long time, the peace loving people of southern Kaduna State have pleaded, in vain, with  the Kaduna State government, through several of its administrations, to stop the wanton killings and maiming of  the  peoples of southern Kaduna by the nomadic Fulani pastoralists. After careful examination of the logistics, the strategy and execution of the killings, SOKAD has come to the conclusion that it is quite clear that it is a coordinated plan to cleanse the indigenous peoples of southern Kaduna from their ancestral lands to pave the way for both the nomads and their sponsors to occupy. We have lived with the nomadic pastoralists for decades until now, when there is a systematic and coordinated push by northern Fulani Muslims to extend their domination southward. The people of that part of the state did not state the war, they are victims of it, and are simply defending themselves.

The current state administration is both complacent and party to the  genocide and ethnic cleansing and Southern Kaduna in the Diaspora is in full agreement with those, especially SKIPFo, who seek to take Governor Yero to the International Crime Court.

It will not be the first time that a state governor has been taken to the ICC. Governor Jang of Plateau State was taken to the court in 2009 by the Hausa-Muslims settlers of Plateau for genocide, ethnic cleansing and killings. He was forced to defend himself and his government. He was exonerated because it turned out to be a case of barawo da sauri maraba.  We would like for Governor Yero to have his own turn to defend himself and why the Kaduna State government is allowing the pogrom and ethnic cleansing of ethnic minorities of his state to persist for so long.

In its press release, SKIPFo catalogued the atrocities by the ethnic cleansers on the peoples of Southern Kaduna, even though it was a  partial list, the atrocities  are too many and gruesome to recount here. There is no person of conscience reading about the atrocities, will not agree that Kaduna State government is complacent. There is no legitimate government- democratically elected or not- administrating  a state where a section of  its citizens is systematical, gradually, but surely being slaughtered like animals for years, and   has not even as much arrested the perpetrators, has not compensated the victims, and offers  no protection, can claim not to be complacent.

SOKAD and others have always argued that the Hausa Fulani nomads are always the initiators of any crisis in Kaduna State, and that other ethnic groups either defend or retaliate, but the state government has always denied this claim.  We know that the southern Kaduna peoples are peace loving agrarian people, who are welcoming to all Nigerians; and we have always cited the incidents in other Middle belt states, and the Boko Haram siege in the north-east, to support our claim.

We take this opportunity to sympathize with, and pray for, the people of Benue state who were raided by 700 Fulani nomads on February 17, 2014; more so, with the Tor Tiv and his family, for the defilement of his Palace. Our prayers and sympathy also go to the people of Bauchi and Adamawa States for all the pains and sufferings they have had in the hands of Boko Haram, especially the recent devilish acts on school children.  We wish to assure the victims of such hellish acts that the acts are the work of the devil, and that your God is a true and powerful God, who does not need the hands of mortal beings to kill for Him: He is capable and loving.

It is on this note that on behalf of southern Kaduna diaspora, join this brave group- SKIPF0- in taking Governor Yero to ICC, and call on other organizations in the state and beyond to join with them to make a case for the indictment of the Governor of Kaduna.  SOKAD wants to go further and include in the indictment, the Kaduna State commissioner of police, and all the legislators (National and State).  Our Representatives have failed us. Though our southern Kaduna legislators can be indicted through the ballot box, it is proper to have them as co- defendants in this case.

We thank SKIPFo for taking this initiative and bold step and pledge our cooperation and support. The lives, identity, and destiny of the Southern Kaduna peoples are at stake.

Signed:

Dr. LikitaAminu (President, SOKAD-USA)

Dr. Freeman Kamuru (Secretary General, SOKAD-USA)

Mr. Ibrahim Maikori (Treasurer/Financial Secretary, SOKAD-USA)