By John Danfulani PhD
Sen. Danjuma Tellah Laah and the many news media reported invasion of his house in Narayi High Cost Kaduna at the wee hours of Thursday the 9th of March 2017 by a combined team of Police and DSS. An account of the incidence by the member of the Red Chamber suggests that, over a Hundred armed men were involved in the operation.
In his press statement, the senator described the mode of their operation thus: “This morning, 9th March, 2017, my Kaduna residence was invaded by armed policemen, MOPOL and plainclothesmen numbering about a hundred. They came in trucks, buses and pick-up vans at around 5am, forced my security man at gunpoint to open the gate and without tendering any search warrant from any court of law, starting destructive search on my house. They used knives to tear open my furniture, broke louvers of my doors, broke and tossed things around and destroyed the delicately plastered ceiling of my bedroom and entered the roof”.
Furthermore, Sen. Laah counted some of his losses like this: “…also my wristwatches, expensive jewelleries belonging to my wife were carted away.
I am yet to ascertain the extent of missing valuables in the residence”. And ended by stating that, he is yet to know the full capacity of their destruction and looting that the invaders unleashed while executing their unlawful terror and displaying crudest power show.
Sen. Laah’s ordeal with power drunk vagrants of Aso Rock and Sir Kashim Ibrahim House stemmed from the legal and pragmatic counsel he offered the people of Southern Kaduna who were under an obvious genocide to defend themselves. Laah pillared his self defense dictum on the 1948 Geneva Convention and Nigeria’s 1999 constitution (as amended). The concept of self defense was not his invention or trouble his brewing philosophy but a mere reminder to his constituents the existence of an international and local law that they can enjoy if they so wish.
Because sponsors and sympathizers of the genocide in Laah’s constituency (Southern Kaduna) were not cherry of his boldness and realistic advice to his harassed and oppressed constituents, the Special Assistant to Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai of Kaduna State Mr. Samuel Aruwan wrote a rather pathetic rebuttal and crudely took Sen. Laah to the cleaners in a lengthy and clumsily knitted diatribe.
Obviously not contented with the dirty work of his amateur media aide, on 21st December 2016 during a two hours syndicated media chat the imperial Chief tenant of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House Kaduna picked on Sen. Laah by spewing denigrative statements on him. And also deployed uncouth words against the women of Southern Kaduna that confronted and mercilessly pounded him in Kafanchan on 20th December 2016.
There is no contesting the fact that, all these primitive and dictatorial show-of-power is to divert attention from two poignant issues:
(i) Failure of President Mohammadu Buhari and Governor Nasir Ahmed El-rufai’s governments to discharge their most important duty of safeguarding lives and property of the citizens.
(ii) Governor El-rufa’i’s disclosures of 3rd and 21st December 2016 that; he communed and compensated foreign masterminds of the ongoing genocide in Southern Kaduna.
Instead of rendering apologies for their conscious letdown in what is considered their traditional schedule, they are hatching conspiracy theories and spinning novel narratives. On 17th February 2017,Mr.El-rufa’i accused some clergies of Southern Kaduna in Sunrise Daily of Channels Television of fueling the crisis in their areas because of the foreign assistance they are getting. This is in addition to his phantom cum mischievous narratives of 6th April 2016 and 3rd/21st December 2016.
Mr. El-rufai is so poor in monitoring his packs of lies to the extent that, on each occasion he contradicts his previous positions. For example, on 6th April and 3rd/21st December 2016 he said the killings, arsons and running down of indigenous people of Southern Kaduna farmlands was an act of reprisal by transhumance Fulanis. And quoted a line in page 30 of Gen. Martin Luther Agwai committee’s Report to support his treacherous position. But on 17th February 2017 in Sunrise Daily of Channels Television he modified his constantly inconsistent narratives by accusing the churches and clergies of the same crime. This happens when you are poor in monitoring your lies or when you foolishly assumed all people are wool heads without the capacity to read between the lines in issues or connecting the dots in stories told overtime.
I believe Mr. El-rufai knows that he can run but he can’t hide because he must answer questions regarding his fraternization with foreign terminators of Southern Kaduna people. It is only in his or his cohort’s alternative universe that such barbaric creatures from the pits of hell are paid for mindless murders and arsons. All his ostrich game of labeling of payment made to terrorists’ compensation is bunkum balderdash. Not everybody is a semantic lame duck that his wise-by-half mentality thinks can be cheaply bamboozled to concurring that it was compensation not payment.
Let’s assume (without conceding) on his simplitonical compensation theory. Was the money in 2016 Kaduna state’s budget? Still in this, how was/were the payments made to Southern Kaduna peoples killers in Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Senegal and Mali? Was physical cash couriered across porous borders by his agents or wired via acceptable official money transfer channels? Whether the first or second option was adopted Nigeria financial memorandum and currency policies have been broken by an overzealous autocrat and kleptocrat of the second tier of authority in Nigeria federal setting.
The entire country has been calling for Mr. Elrufai to publish the list of the terrorist and the amount sank in the heinously criminal and morally bankrupt scheme. So far he has refused to yield to this popular request and pressure. On this serious issue, he knows that he is only postponing evil days or the day of reckoning that must surely come.
If he decides to persist in his resistance, a time will come when he must willy nilly make a full disclosure in the Hague because the crime of communing and compensating transborder terrorist is an international crime that International Criminal Court (ICC) can’t turn a blind eye on.
Clearly, talking and cutting deals with nationals of other nations on this matter is a foreign policy action. And Nigeria’s 1999 constitution (as amended) placed foreign policy under the exclusive list chart. Consequent upon this, his action constitutes a felony that its punishment is dire. However, his action is not receiving much knocks now because of political kingship and other mechanical solidarity with President Buhari. I’m pretty sure that a time will come when he must answer questions regarding this and other related matters.
President Buhari and Governor El-rufai must know that intimidation and harassment will never beat the people of Southern Kaduna and other Nigerians into submission. The more the quantum of their harassment and victimization, the stronger the resolve of Nigerians to square off with their dictatorship and gestapo-like style of leadership because Nigeria is a democracy not an autocratic political setting.
They also must not forget that the whole world is watching their human rights records. Reports of rights watchdogs like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, other United Nations agencies are capturing their human rights violations accurately. These reports will surely provide a background of their indictment in Hague or local courts, someday. There are numerous examples in Africa and beyond to support these claims. Human Rights related transgressions don’t have expiration date that victims must seek for redress. Redress can be sought way after the demise of the perpetrators.
Gone are the eras where leaders can spread impunity without attracting redress during or after their reigns. And if they are mistaken that when the long arm of the law closes on, they will invoke sentiment and create conspiracy theories, they will ultimately be proven wrong.
Finally, we shall see how far these leaders turned rulers can stretch this impunity. They must not forget that, history holds that all dictators ended in one form of disasters or another. Theirs can’t be different, history will repeat its self in the same fashion.
Johndanfulani@gmail.com, Twitter: @john_danfulani