BY SIMON REEF MUSA
My attention has been drawn to a garbled article purportedly written by a certain character called ‘Tajudeen Ademola’ with the title: ‘The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) and the illegitimacy of Birth.’ Reading through the article, it is very pertinent that the real author, hiding his face, either took pleasure in displaying his ignorance or mischief or both.
On a first glance, I was tempted to dismiss the senseless piece which was a response to my Facebook comment on the non-registration of SOKAPU by the Corporate Affair Commission (CAC). When the news was carried in one of the online platforms that crisis was rocking the Union over non-registration by the CAC, It was obvious that the essence of the news item was aimed at causing a distraction to the newly elected executives of Union, headed by Hon. Jonathan Asake.
I am convinced beyond all reasonable doubts that the so-called ‘Ademola’ only exists as a name in the minds of those who are mortally afraid of SOKAPU and its ability to stand up for the defence of the people. Instead of coming out boldly to show their faces and stand up to their views, the brains behind this unintelligible piece of a garbage are simply political minions who think by speaking ill of a group, they can find comfort in embracing cowardly disposition to fight on a dark platform. By hiding under the bed and reacting incoherently to the issue of non-registration of SOKAPU, these fraidy-cats have shown themselves to be fawning characters who are too afraid to express their views in the public square. For such despicable characters and their supporters, I do not have an iota of respect.
Between the Nigerian constitution that grants citizenry rights to freedom of association and the Company Allied Matters Act (CAMA), which the ghost author refers to copiously; which of the two is superior? Is it the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; 1999 (As amended); under which SOKAPU operates legally, legitimately and constitutionally or CAMA? Without any form of repudiation, considering the writer’s preoccupation with CAMA, it is obvious that the ‘Ademola’ lacks the minimum competence of being an analytical mind. To dwell only on CAMA as the only body that can legitimize SOKAPU and relegating provisions of the constitution that grants freedom of association to all Nigerians has portrayed the writer as a poorly baked public commentator that is out to confuse unsuspecting members of the public. Let it be categorically stated here and then that SOKAPU is a Union of duly registered Community Development Associations (CDAs) in all the 13 LGAs of Kaduna state. It is organized in branches in the 23 LGAs of Kaduna state and in chapters in 21 states of the Federation, including the FCT.
Apart from displaying an embarrassing level of unfamiliarity as to what the mandates of SOKAPU are, I doubt the intelligence of ‘Ademola’ when he writes on the performance profile of SOKAPU: “Regrettably on all fronts its report card is abysmally dismal. Southern Kaduna tribes in spite of SOKAPU remain more divided than they were before the formation of the body. SOKAPU has also in spite of several workshops woefully failed to jump start the economy of the area to address the problem of youth unemployment which is part of the crisis confronting the area. Was SOKAPU focused it would have frontally addressed youth unrest, because it is this generation of angry and unemployed youths who at the slightest provocation take up arms against their neighbors in the name of retaliation, that have given the region a bad name and squandered whatever sympathy there was for the attacks on the area by bandit.”
May I quickly remind the ghost writer that SOKAPU is neither a government nor an agency of government and therefore, cannot be involved to ‘jump start the economy’ or address the problems of youth employments. If the government, both at the state and federal level can’t do that, it is only an unhinged mind ignorant of what a socio-cultural group like SOKAPU is should attach to the Union what government ought to be involved in doing.
I am at a loss when ‘Ademola’ who has the voice of Jacob with the hand of Esau declares: “And the disastrous 2019 General elections is an eloquent testimony of the failure of its negative politics of exclusion, which refused to accept Southern Kaduna as a rainbow region, which also demonized any son or daughter that dared to belong to the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
When did it become a crime for a people to stand by their own convictions? The claim that Southern Kaduna is playing politics of exclusion is not only an apparent falsehood but also a narrative that is embraced by political simpletons. The presence of former deputy governor, His Excellency, Arch Bala Bantex, and his successor, Her Excellency, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, Former Chief of Naval Staff, Ibrahim Iko, Air Marshal Emmanuel Jekada (retd), Mrs Charity Shekari, Professor Kabir Mato, Barr. Chris Umar, Dr Abdulmalik Durunguwa, Dr Clement Woje and Barr. James Kanyip, among several others, in the APC, is a clear pointer that Southern Kaduna is a political rainbow coalition, with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) still deciding where the pendulum swings in the politics of the area. If the APC had worked hard and prove it was better than the former ruling party, Southern Kaduna zone would have by now be an APC stronghold. However, those who should have made that possible chose to create an oasis of influence for themselves, using so many factors to exclude others out of the spheres of power. To state that sons and daughters of Southern Kaduna who are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are continuously demonized by the region as alleged by ‘Ademola’ is an attempt at regurgitating a faulty narrative as espoused by some members of Southern Kaduna indigenes in the APC-led Kaduna State Government. By failing woefully to build bridges for the incumbent administration to reach out to Southern Kaduna; these political appointees are content in self service and engaged in adversarial practice against their people to “redden their soups”. Those who continue to peddle this jaded narrative aimed at portraying Southern Kaduna zone as haters of APC and Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai on account of religion should better bear in mind what happened to the forebears of this wicked misrepresentation. At least, now confined in their political deserts, they now know better.
It is a shame of monumental proportion on the part of many of SK indigenes in the Kaduna APC Government that they have contributed nothing than to alienate their people from a government that enjoyed support of the zone in 2015 and 2019. For those who think denigrating their people is the best approach to walk their way to the political top, taking a cue from the present state of those who yesterday bestrode the stage like colossus is hereby recommended.
When ‘Ademola’ insists that “SOKAPU must take huge blame for the way and manner (politically exaggerating the scale of the killings and its zero contribution to Peace building efforts),” I am at a loss as to which SOKAPU he is referring to. As for the claim that SOKAPU is engaged in exaggerating the scale of killings, I want to debunk such claim as a lie from the pit of hell. I challenge this meddlesome interloper to come up with his evidence(s) that the Union is guilty as he has alleged.
There is no doubt that ‘Ademola’s’ article is a succinct expression of the frustration of many members of Southern Kaduna APC working in the government. It would not be out of place to think that some of them may be tinkering with the idea of encouraging the Kaduna State Government to wield the big stick on SOKAPU as they did with the IMN. The attempt at comparing SOKAPU with IMN is a subtle invitation for nothing less than outright proscription. SOKAPU came into existence before they were appointed into government, and certainly the Union will survive them.
Let me reiterate here that as long as SK indigenes in government play politics of alienation and denigration of their own people, so long will our midnight darkness holds sway. The governor these ‘Ademolas’ are seeking to impress with their ghost-written articles, is too intelligent to be deceived by such inanities. Yes, Southern Kaduna may be experiencing the midnight of its trying moments, but nothing lasts. Both the hard and good times come and go.