Kaduna Governor paid Fulani herdsmen to stop killing Christians
Mallam Nasiru El Rufai, the Kaduna State governor in north central Nigeria, said his government has paid off Islamic Fulani Cattle Herdsmen so that they do not attack and kill people in the predominantly Christian communities in the southern parts of Kaduna State. According to reports El Rufai said he told the Fulani Herdsmen he is the “new governor who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost and he is begging them to stop killing.”
The governor did not state how much he has paid and to which specific Fulani groups. El Rufai said that, “In most of the communities, once that appeal was made to them, they said they have forgiven. There are one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem, and we paid some. As recently as two weeks ago, the team went to Niger republic to attend one Fulani gathering that they hold every year with a message from me.”
The Governor claimed the Fulani had a grudge from the loss of their cattle and lives of Fulanis lost in the 2011 elections violence, which Muhammadu Buhari then lost to President GoodLuck Jonathan and northern muslims went on rampage attacking christians and destroying churches. Both Christians and Muslims were killed in the unrest.
Defending the Fulani Islamic Herdsmen, El Rufai said that the ongoing killings in the Christian communities that devastated Gidan Waya, Dogon Fili and many more villages, were carried out by bandits but gave no proof of that.
Contradicting the governor’s narrative, the Rev Baba Kwasu, who was an eye witness to the attacks and killings in Gidan Waya, said to Global Christian News, “The attacks were carried by the Fulanis, we know that for sure. They spoke Fulfulde, they chanted ‘allahu akbar!’ as they attacked us, and Sir, we know Fulanis when we see them.”
Another resident in Dogon Fili said, “The governor can say all he want to say to defend his kinsmen. He can pay them as much as he wants after they have killed hundreds of people and destroyed our villages, we here know the Islamic agenda. Tell me what is the difference between them and what Boko Haram is doing when they recruit and pay muslim youths to fight for them?”
Reacting to the admission by Governor El Rufai, a prominent Christian Leader in Jos said, “This country is sick… Can you just imagine the governor of Kaduna State acknowledging that they traced aggrieved Fulanis to their country (that means they are not Nigerians) to pay them to stop killing his constituents and subjects in southern Kaduna? Can you just imagine that foreigners come into Nigeria to destroy Nigerian cities, burn down houses, rape and murder our compatriots in hundreds then, confidently went back to their country. Then Nigerian government will trace them back to their country to beg them not to kill more of their subjects in southern Kaduna?”
El Rufai claimed the move to pay off the Islamist Attackers was initiated by the late Governor of the state, Patrick Yakowa, a Christian who died in a controversial helicopter crash in December 2012.
Governor El Rufai’s claim has further raised questions over the competence of the Nigerian security agencies to protect lives and properties as well as the motive behind compensating the Fulani Killers.