Produce the herdsmen you paid money, Apostle Suleman challenge El-Rufai
Apostle Johnson Suleman, the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries, on Sunday challenged the Federal Government to compel the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to produce the Fulani herdsmen he gave money.
The governor, he said, should be made to answer charges of murder and other related crimes against humanity.
The fiery cleric made the demand in a statement issued by his Communications Adviser, Phrank Shaibu.
He said naming the beneficiaries of the money would disabuse the minds of Nigerians of the conflict that Christians were the targets of incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen.
This came as the cleric prepares to appear before the Department of State Services today with not less than 30 lawyers for reportedly asking members of his church to defend themselves against attacks by Fulani herdsmen.
He advised security agents not to allow politicians and ethnic warlords to use them, warning that such a development might lead to grave consequences for Nigeria.
According to him, failure to compel El-Rufai to produce the herdsmen who purportedly collected money from the Kaduna State Government would be an indication of the insincerity of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The governor of Kaduna State confessed that he paid money to some Fulani herdsmen as compensation to stop the killings in Southern Kaduna. That means he knows those who have committed atrocities against Christians. El-Rufai must be made to produce them to answer charges of murder and other crimes. El-Rufai can be safely regarded as an apologist of the herdsmen and with a fact.
“On July 12, 2012, he tweeted the following, ‘We will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes.”
Suleman said the governor’s response to the killings in Southern Kaduna had been consistent with this mindset.
He said, “In a recent chat with newsmen in Kaduna, the governor made different remarks to substantiate his love for the herdsmen and their activities. First, he said when he became governor, he traced the attackers to Cameroon, Chad, and Niger and sent a message to them that one of their own, a Fulani like them, was now governor. This comment displays a dramatically bigoted mindset.
“A governor of a state in Nigeria was making appeals based on ethnic kinship and brotherhood to a group of foreign killers of people in his state! In other words, he was appeasing his murderous foreign kinsmen at the expense of indigenes of his state who are not his ethnic kinsmen but whose safety and interests he swore to defend.
“The governor’s shocking statement indicates that ethnic solidarity trumped his constitutional obligations to protect Southern Kaduna citizens from the external threats of foreign Fulani herdsmen.”
The Federal Government, Suleman said, would be engaging in double standards by asking the DSS to invite him while allowing El-Rufai to move about freely.
According to him, the fact that the governor has immunity does not preclude him from investigation.
“There’s no end to the killing of Christians in Kaduna. Those behind the heinous crime are known to the governor. Yet no one has been charged with murder. Instead, people like us, who speak the truth, are being persecuted. The Federal Government must not give the impression of partiality or suggests that Christians are the target of this administration,” he added.
Suleman wondered why his recent speeches had been taken differently by agents of the Federal Government when all he had done was to remain consistent in telling the truth.
He said, “Which is worse? Saying the truth or offering money to murderers? Did El-Rufai offer money to ghosts? For you to pay someone money, the person must have a known and fixed address. As the chief security officer of the state, was it not his business to arrest and put these hoodlums on trial? How come no one has been caught or being prosecuted for the massacre in Southern Kaduna? Obviously, there is more to it than meets the eye.”