BY SEGUN ADEBAYO, ABUJA – The Adara Development Association (ADA) has accused Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna State of running a government that segregates against ethnic nationalities living in the southern axis and barring them from enjoying full rights as citizens of the state.
In a press statement signed by the President of ADA, Mr Dio Maisamari, the Adara ethnic nationalities noted that the recent death of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris and the declaration of a public holiday in his honour is a clear indication that el-Rufai has two rules for two sections of the state.
Commiserating with Zazzau Emirate over the death of the emir, the statement noted said, “We empathize with the Zazzau people most deeply because the loss of this revered Royal Father has brought back the sad memories and deep sorrow of the abduction and gruesome murder of our revered 1st Class Royal Father, Dr. Raphael Maiwada Galadima (JP) of blessed memory. May the souls of the departed through the mercy of God rest in perfect peace, Amen.”
Insisting that the state governor has clearly shown that he has respect for the late monarch, ADA further said, “As a mark of well-deserved honour to the late 1st Class Emir who died naturally, three days mourning period and a public holiday were declared by the Governor. Also, in a matter of a few days, arrangements are in top gear to peacefully appoint a successor to the throne based on established Zazzau customs and traditions.
“On the other hand, the 1st Class monarch of Adara Chiefdom was abducted like a commoner and eventually assassinated in very humiliating and suspicious circumstances. And yet the Governor did not consider his tragic demise deserving of any extraordinary action, special honour, press statements, tributes or even ceremonial calls for public mourning by the state government. This was again followed by the greatest mark of dishonour and treachery to our monarch and Adara people as a whole.
“Our people were shocked to learn that Adara Chiefdom and Adara Traditional Council had been secretly scrapped by the Governor five months earlier. The unacceptable scrapping of Adara Chiefdom and the creation of Kajuru Emirate on Adara land were made known a few days after the murder of our Royal Father. Furthermore, even the investigation and prosecution of the masterminds and executors of the crime are not being given the publicity, importance and urgency they deserve.
“These are displays of sharply contrasting policies, actions, attitudes and body language by the Governor on the death of two 1st Class monarchs. This shows his total and unapologetic disrespect and disdain for the traditional rulers and people of Southern Kaduna. Therefore, the Emir’s death has finally unmasked Governor El-Rufai’s apartheid and segregationist system in Kaduna State beyond any reasonable doubt.”
Lampooning el-Rufai for perpetrating segregationist policies the state, the statement regretted that the governor has “Balkanized the largest Christian majority Adara Chiefdom whose size covers only two local governments. But he has left Zazzau Emirate intact with ten local governments. He sympathizes and apologizes for Fulani terrorists’ attacks in Northern Kaduna, but blames Southern Kaduna communities for the endless atrocities on their people by his kinsmen.
“He has ignored the humanitarian crisis affecting tens of thousands of Fulani terrorists’ attack victims and internally displaced persons in Southern Kaduna. But he is prioritizing the construction of multi-billion naira roads, buildings and markets for the benefit of some Hausa/Fulani Muslim localities and settlements. He has forcefully changed the nomenclatures of non-Muslim Chiefdoms in Southern Kaduna to open them up for Muslim settlers in the area.
“But he has also dubiously converted some Chiefdoms in the area to Emirates to marginalize non-Muslim citizens in the Chiefdoms. In Kajuru Local Government Area, he has even forcefully subjected the more than 95% Christian population under the newly converted and tiny Kajuru Emirate enclave. Based on the above few out of the many examples of religious and ethnic segregation, there is full blown apartheid system in Kaduna State.”
Lamenting on the present state trailing the Adara people, the statement added: “For several years now, Adara community in particular and the natives of Southern Kaduna in general have been crying out against the injustice of el-Rufai’s government. The ubiquitous injustice is reflected in political domination, unfriendly policies, skewed appointments and project execution, selective justice and judicial bullying, economic deprivation and impoverishment, mal-administration and official high handedness, condoning insecurity, educational exclusion, cultural suppression, religious discrimination and moral double standards. With 51% and 56% of the Kaduna state population and land area respectively, Southern Kaduna people should be equal partners with others in a democratic state. However, it is rather very unfortunate that el-Rufai seems to be so fanatical about his tribe, religion and political leaning that truth and justice no longer matter in the state.”
Calling on the Governor to have a rethink on his discriminatory policies against the people of Southern Kaduna in the interest of sustainable social harmony in order to ensure genuine peace and equitable development of the state.