Video clips showing 47 kidnapped students in Kaduna state were released recently and this came after another set of bandits or kidnappers had killed three hostages from the Greenfield University dumped their bodies where they could be found. It was reported Monday that the kidnappers also killed two males among the private university students abducted. This was obviously done to send a message to push for the payment of the N800 million ransom the terrorists had asked for.
The spate of killings and kidnappings have become a national issue but Kaduna is a special case in many ways.
Kaduna houses a significant number of military installations and one would expect that its governor who has invested so much in having PR that suggests that he’s an incredibly competent administrator would work better with the military presence and people in his state to do a better job of keeping insecurity and instability to a minimum.
But apparently what’s been suggested by the PR blitz around Elrufai is very different from the impression gotten from looking at the state and just listening to the man himself.
The governor of Kaduna was one of the 3 most vicious critics of the GEJ administration and even went as far as accusing the SE and SS regions of being the sponsors of Boko Haram terrorists.
Well, he’s governor now and his state has had the highest frequency of school abductions and the scale of attacks and killings there have been off the charts.
The Fulani terrorists are clearly looking to earn billions for their nefarious cause via ransoms and it might help to remember that on December 3rd, 2016 Mallam Nasir el-Rufai said his government had paid supposedly aggrieved Fulanis to stop the killings of Southern Kaduna natives.
It would be simplistic to put the blame for the entire trend on him but one sure thing is that if he had moved strongly to ensure that these confessed killers were arrested, prosecuted, and punished then instead of paying them off financially, this thing might have been gotten under control from the beginning.
Some of these militias were in Southern Kaduna slaughtering people and the governments at state and federal levels treaded indifferently probably because of the ethnicities of the people on the receiving end of the violence but it was always clear to the informed eye that militias like this always eventually become emboldened by a lack of backlash and go commercial targeting other areas.
And this has unfolded as foreseen with the militias first of all moving onto the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway and now they are targeting the outskirts of the FCT itself.
Militias tend to evolve into professional criminal groups, retain some military organisation and keep in touch to share information and resources.
Then to reduce infighting, they choose different territories so they don’t get in each other’s way while engaging in criminal activity.
All these things are much harder to deal with when mature and should and could have been easily dealt with in their infancy but the North’s tolerance and encouragement of religious extremism are what made it difficult for state governments there to kill these monsters while they were babies.
At some point in the run-up to the 2019 presidential election, Hafsat Baba, Commissioner of human services and social development in Kaduna reacted to a mere rumor of the redeployment of a northern INEC official by calling the Igbo replacement “Biafra-Apologist” publicly on Twitter.
There really isn’t enough time or desire to go into ElRufai’s records as regards public utterances or even those of his family members on social media. Sometimes you just look at what people say openly and it makes you wonder what they feel but aren’t comfortable saying.
Well, finally we’re at a point where the insecurity and deaths are affecting people of every tribe and religion so maybe we might finally have our public officials taking insecurity and its triggers seriously.
The North has spent decades investing in religious extremism partly for political reasons and now we have found ourselves with the predictable outcome we really didn’t have to face.
Kaduna’s Greenfields are Blood-red today because some people choose to be neutral on black Days and the terrorists saw this as a green light and these are facts that we should not whitewash.