Southern Kaduna: Babachir Lawal Reveals How El-Rufai Is Fuelling Crisis
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal has said that unguarded utterances and lopsided appointments by the Kaduna State Government under Nasir el-Rufai are exacerbating the Southern Kaduna crises.
He said that unlike his predecessors, el-Rufai has not been “sympathetic” to the issues, and has been fuelling the crises.
According to him, the Southern Kaduna crises began as an ethnic issue in the 1980s before it degenerated to a religious issue subsequently.
Lawal stated that the past administrations spread resources across the state and were sensitive to the issues as a way of managing the crises.
“The problem I see in Kaduna is that the state government led by Governor Nasir El-Rufai is not sensitive to the issues,” Lawal told Daily Independent.
“Their utterances simply indicate that they are not sympathetic to the issues.
“Like I saw a write-up by Shehu Sani today (Sunday), he said when it happened in Zamfara, government called it banditry and they sympathised 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.”
He explained that as a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society, the choice of Muslim governor and Muslim deputy governor was insensitive.
“Why should Kaduna end up with Muslim governor and Muslim deputy governor? The Speaker is Muslim as well as the Deputy Speaker. Two cabinet ministers are also Muslims. There are about six or seven local governments in Kaduna that are predominantly Christians.
“Nigeria must look at these issues because the day it will explode, it will surprise everybody. While elders like us are willing to tolerate these things because of peace and harmony, our children may not be able to do so because they can’t accept to be northerners only during election periods and suffer neglect when positions are shared,” the ex-SGF warned.
Lawal said that banditry and terrorism have increased in the north because of incompetent governors and leaders.