by Yinka Odumakin,
An accessory is criminally responsible for all the probable consequences of the act committed.
An accessory after the fact is one who, knowing a felony has been committed, aids the felon in his effort to escape punishment. It is essential that the accessory after the fact should have notice that the person whom he assists has committed a felony, and the felony must have been fully completed. Also that the assistance given is to prevent the apprehension, trial or punishment of the felon.
This introductory definition is necessary in appreciating the confessions by the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai that he knows the murderers who have been killing the minority Christians in Southern Kaduna and has been making monetary compensations to them instead of bringing them to justice .
The Vanguard edition of December 3,2016 quoted the governor as telling newsmen the unimaginable:
“For southern Kaduna, we didn’t understand what was going on and we decided to set up a committee under Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd) to find out what was going on there. What was established was that the root of the problem has a history starting from the 2011 post election violence.
Herdsmen across Africa
Fulani herdsmen from across Africa bring their cattle down towards Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria. The moment the rains starts around March, April, they start moving them up to go back to their various communities and countries. “Unfortunately, it was when they were moving up with their cattle across Southern Kaduna that the elections of 2011 took place and the crisis trapped some of them.
“Some of them were from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal. Fulanis are in 14 African countries and they traverse this country with the cattle.
“So many of these people were killed, cattle lost and they organised themselves and came back to revenge.
“So a lot of what was happening in Southern Kaduna was actually from outside Nigeria. We got a hint that the late Governor Patrick Yakowa got this information and he sent someone to go round some of these Fulani communities, but of course after he died, the whole thing stopped. That is what we inherited. But the Agwai committee established that.
“We took certain steps. We got a group of people that were going round trying to trace some of these people in Cameroon, Niger republic and so on to tell them that there is a new governor who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost and he is begging them to stop killing.
“In most of the communities, once that appeal was made to them, they said they have forgiven. There are one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem, and we paid some. As recently as two weeks ago, the team went to Niger Republic to attend one Fulani gathering that they hold every year with a message from me.”
You would have thought this was Mallam Ibrahim Shekau talking and not a governor who swore to protect the lives of the citizens of his state .
The statements credited to the governor can only be fully appreciated when situated within the complaints of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union, SOKAPU, about the palpable indifference of the Federal and Kaduna State governments to their plight in the hands of Fulani killers.
Southern Kaduna’s complaints
The Leadership Newspaper of of 17th October 2016 quoted the group as saying through its President , Barr. Solomon Musa that the killings in Godo Godo, Jama’a and Sanga local government areas were successfully carried out by terrorist herdsmen because the government has abandoned the entire people of Southern Kaduna to be “maimed, raped, brutalised, killed, slaughtered and destroyed.”
“Godo Godo communities once again came under very fierce, terrifying, brutal, savage and barbarous attack by Fulani herdsmen without provocation of any nature from Saturday 15th October, 2016 to Sunday afternoon. This is despite the frantic calls for help from the beleaguered villagers to those constitutionally saddled with the task of safeguarding their citizens.”
According to SOKAPU, the barbarians wreaked maximum havoc and destruction by killing uncountable number of lives of our people is unacceptable.
“So far, the locals have been able to identify not less than 40 corpses aside from the several other corpses burnt beyond recognition. Virtually all houses have been burnt in Godo Godo. Property worth hundreds of millions destroyed while crops have been grazed by cattle and the rest destroyed by the invaders. The savagery and barbarity of the attack is beyond belief. Yet, governments at the Federal and State levels appear quiet and noncommittal. We have been abandoned, deserted and neglected,” he said.
The SOKAPU President who likened the killings in southen Kaduna to that of the Rwandan genocide, said “the Tutsis were abandoned, deserted and neglected during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 until over 800,000 Tutsis were brutally massacred by the Hutus. This is the scenario that is taking place in Southern Kaduna. We are being killed, slaughtered and decimated by Fulani Herdsmen, yet it will appear to our people that the government has failed, refused or neglected to intervene decisively to end the carriage. As a peaceful people we have spoken, we have carried out peaceful protests, we have appealed and pleaded for intervention by the authorities, yet our appeal and plea have appeared to have fallen on deaf ears. It will appear to our people that government is not concerned, moved or bothered by the carnage and pogrom in Southern Kaduna,” he said.
SOKAPU further regard it a national shame and an indictment of the state government’s commitment to security issues in Southern Kaduna that about seven villages in Godo Godo chiefdom are now completely deserted after being ransacked, burnt and the people killed.
“More nauseating is the added fact that in villages like Ninte, Akwa, Ungwan Anjo, and Antang – where the people had been sacked from their villages, the armed herdsmen have permanently taken over the villages and boldly grazing their herds on the farms of the villagers. With thousands of people who have been displaced, the current attacks can only add to that number if the State Government does not muster up the will to urgently address the ongoing genocide in our zone.
“It will appear that Southern Kaduna does not deserve the attention, sympathy or intervention of government. It will appear that we have been abandoned, deserted and neglected. We do not deserve the intervention or sympathy of the Federal or State Governments.
“Security personnel are posted to the main highways only; from April to date, there does not appear to be any form of intelligence gathering, any form of surveillance, any form of proactive measures to forestall future occurrences; any form of intervention by government.
“From April to date, neither NEMA nor SEMA has not seen it fit to rehabilitate, resettle or to bring any kind of relief materials to the victims of the attacks in the area. No relief materials, no IDP camps; no protection for our villages. What have we done to deserve this? Is it because of who we are? Why have we been abandoned, deserted and neglected? Will this have happened if it is elsewhere? Are we part of Kaduna State? Are we part of Nigeria? If we are not, we then deserve our state and our nation. We can stand on our own,” they asked.
“In view of the fact that Boko Haram has been degraded; cattle rustling was brought to an end in Kamuku forest and Zamfara State by the joint action of several states and the Federal Government, we call on both the State Government and Federal Government to place greater premium on human lives by carrying out decisive and combined operation to halt the genocide immediately in order to assure the people that we are indeed part of Kaduna State and Nigeria,” they said.
Can anyone fault SOKAPU with the insensitive ,bigoted and reckless comments of the state governor?The Yoruba talk of the man who returned from the war front and boasted he killed six people at the war front and his friends asked if he was that dexterous.He answered them by entering the nearest Buka where he devoured six wraps of pounded yam,washed it down with six bottles of beer before proceeding to the “ayo” game centre where he won six games. Some critical issues came out of El-Rufai incendiary remarks. The first is that the official lie that the Fulani herdsmen who have been terrorising Middle Belt and Southern communities are from without Nigeria has been repeated. This is to give the nauseating impression that government is helpless as if Nigerians who commit crimes in other lands are not punished outside Nigeria.
The second issue is that of the clash of civilisations which makes the Nigerian crisis unresolvable unless we embrace cultural democracy. El-Rufai says because he is Fulani like the herdsmen, he had no difficulty in cutting deals with them by paying bribes to people he should be dragging before the law.
It was from that mindset he also revealed he had compensated them for their cattle killed five years ago while he cannot even clean the fresh wounds of Southern Kaduna who are not his ethnic stock.
Perhaps, the greatest revelation from this leakage is a subtle reminder of the warning El-Rufai gave on his Twitter account four years ago on the killing of any Fulani “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”(11:51 am,15 July,2012).
He must have been grinning from ear to ear as he signed the cheque to the herdsmen when he was satisfied they have taken enough “revenge”.
Will the people of Southern Kaduna not proceed to the International Criminal Court now that there is an Accessory who has confessed to knowing the murderers and exchanging money with them ?Victims of these Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and Southern Kaduna should follow suit!