BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal has said that the actions and utterances of Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State are aggravating and worsening the crisis situation in Southern Kaduna.
Lawal also said that worse of it if the fact that El-Rufai has not shown an iota of sympathy to the issues in the zone.
Lawal, who stated these in an interview with Daily Independent, equally condemned the marginalization of Christians in Kaduna and other parts of the North, adding that the legacies established by a former governor of the state, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, who ensured that the crisis is the State was well managed have been destroyed by El-Rufai.
He noted that Makarfi in handling the crisis during his tenure, saw it from an ethnic and not religious prism as it is presently being seen.
According to Lawal; “Initially, I think from 1980, most of the problems of Southern Kaduna are ethnic. When Ahmed Makarfi became governor, he understood that most of the issues were ethnic than religious and he was able to address it. Roads were being constructed equally in all parts of the state; traditional institutions were strengthened in all parts of the state. Everybody was getting his fair share of the resources that the state has and the matter didn’t get out of hand.
“The problem I see in Kaduna is that the state government led by Governor Nasir El-Rufai is not sensitive to the issues. Their utterances simply indicate that they are not sympathetic to the issues.
“Like I saw a write-up by Shehu Sani today, he said when it happened in Zamfara, government calls it banditry and they sympathized with the affected communities but when it happens in Southern Kaduna, government starts to explain what is happening, rather than calling a spade exactly what it is and sympathising with the people”.
“So, it depends on how the government handles the issue at all levels; from the federal to the state to local government and ward levels. I remember when the banditry started in Sokoto and they overran a village, the state governor with all his cabinets went there to sympathise with the victims. They went with blankets, food items and other basic things.
“In some states, they don’t do that; rather than do that, they will even insult the communities that are the victims.