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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Rwanda-level genocidal incitement: El-Rufai Should First Arrest Himself

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has caused Audu Maikori to be arrested for sending a tweet that relied on false information about an attack that never occurred, a tweet for which he has since apologized. Maikori has been a critic of the governor's handling of the Southern Kaduna killings.

El-Rufai's latest canard to defend his tyranny and intolerance for critique is what he calls "a policy of consequences." Very chic. The problem is that not a single one of the foreign herdsmen he says are responsible for killing hundreds of Southern Kaduna people has been arrested for murder. Not a single one of them has faced this "policy of consequences."

In fact instead of being arrested, El-Rufai rewarded them with handsome payments to silence their guns. Yet Southern Kaduna folks like Maikori who complain about their menace, even if relying on unreliable information produced in the haze of crisis, are hounded into detention. It's different strokes for different folks.
We have a situation now where the governor prioritizes what he nebulously calls the offense of incitement over that of mass murder. But even here, he is being disingenous. Governor El-Rufai is the inciter-in-chief in Kaduna. Just the other day, he was on Channels TV accusing Southern Kaduna elders and church leaders of encouraging and profiting from the murder of their own people! What could be more inciting than this recklessly incendiary statement?

Just a few years ago, he tweeted that soldiers and civilians who killed a Fulani person had taken a blood debt that would be avenged by the Fulani in the future. He has never apologized for or taken back this Rwanda-level genocidal incitement.

The same El-Rufai tweeted that the Nigerian army was "Jonathan's genocidal army." Here is a governor who once peddled the wicked conspiracy theory that Boko Haram was being sponsored by CAN, among several other inciting public statements capable of inflaming the polity. Here is a man who once insinuated in a tweet that former president Jonathan was visiting Chadian President Idris Deby to plan more Boko Haram attacks. Instead of facing the consequences of sowing the seed of incitement and division in Kaduna and the nation at large, he became the state's governor and has continued this pattern of incitement. So much for the policy of consequences.

All tyrants are also hypocrites. The inciter-in-chief now talks about "a policy of consequences" but exempts himself from the consequences of his own hateful, inciting speech while going around arresting citizens who, even if overzealously, call attention to the consequences of the governor's past and present incitement.

Perhaps El-Rufai should start by arresting himself. He would be setting a good example and modeling his new "policy of consequences." He should lead by example and surrender himself to the police for his numerous acts and speeches of incitement.

And by the way, El-Rufai has arrested and charged several journalists and commentators critical of his administration since becoming governor less than two years ago. One of them, Dr John Danfulani, has done several stints in El-Rufai's gulag and still faces the governor's trumped up charges. Were those in detentions too about the policy of consequences or familiar expressions of the governor's legendary Napoleonic intolerance for dissent and criticism?

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