​El Rufai denies paying herdsmen over southern Kaduna

El Rufai denies paying herdsmen over southern Kaduna

Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna state said that just resuscitated former
Governor Patrick Yakowa’s initiative,  by  persuading  aggrieved Fulanis
to forgive the losses  which  they suffered in the 2011 Post Election
Violence and they responded  by asking for  compensation for loss of cattle.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, the Special Assistant to the  Governor
on Media and Publicity,  Mr Samuel Aruwan clarified that El Rufai never
paid herdsmen money in order to either appease or arm them as widely
reported in the media.

Aruwan who lamented the distortion of what the governor said in an
interview with some journalists last week, said that ‘’government is
combining security action with dialogue and peace-building efforts in
southern Kaduna.’’

According to the governor’s spokesman, ‘’El-Rufai has continued what was
admirable in the peace efforts of late Governor Patrick Yakowa, and would
do whatever is legitimate to secure lasting peace in the area.’’

Aruwan  pointed out that the late Yakowa  tried to foster reconciliation
with the affected Fulani communities, in order to stem the spiral of
vengeance and reprisals.

‘’Yakowa’s efforts were not sustained after his death and violence
persisted. When it became our responsibility to provide security for the
state, we re-established these contacts so that those who felt they lost in
the 2011 violence could let bygones be bygones,’’ he explained.

Aruwan also pointed out  that ‘’the quest for peace and the imperative of
stemming human suffering requires leaders to explore conventional and
unusual means to build peace. That is why the Kaduna State government is
combining security action with dialogue and peace-building efforts in
southern Kaduna.’’

The Governor’s Media aide further said that El Rufai built on Yakowa’s
peace building efforts by setting up the General Martin Luther Agwai Peace
and Reconciliation Committee to look into the crises in Southern Kaduna.

Aruwan said that the Agwai Committee  report identified  three categories
of Fulanis that were affected by the 2011 Post Election Violence which was
the root cause of the Southern Kaduna crises.

According to the Agwai Committee,  the settled Fulani, the semi-settled
Fulani and the transhumance Fulani, many of whom  are the Bokolo from Chad,
Niger, Cameroon, Senegal and Mali, lost lives and cattle in the violence.

Governor El Rufai blamed Senator Danjuma La’ah  who represents Southern
Kaduna at the Upper Legislative Chambers, of playing to the gallery instead
of playing his role as a leader.

The governor’s spokesman lamented that rather than help El Rufai in
salvaging the situation, Senator La’ah is engaged in reckless
grandstanding, whereby he  simulates or manufactures reality and then
summons  a pretended outrage over his own confection.

‘’The Senator is responding to the mischievous headline published by his
campaign spokesman, who moonlights as the Vanguard reporter in Kaduna. This
reporter, who was not present during the governor’s recent media interview,
wrote a story that was bereft of context and was laced with a dangerous
headline,’’ Aruwan said.

According to him,  ‘’the same interview detailed the governor’s
observations about the disproportionate involvement of young Fulani men in
crime, and his challenge to Fulani leaders to tackle the menace.’’