My parent’s house at Anguwar Fulani Palladan Zaria, is sandwiched between two Christian neighbours. Infact on arrival, a massive church by name JESUS Evangelical Mission, built on over 10 hectares of land, right behind a seminary school, is the most conspicuous and distinctive structure at sight.
From the name, Anguwan Fulani, it’s very obvious whom the dominating inhabitants are. Yet for ages, Christians and Muslims have been coexisting peacefully with a lot of structures erected by the Christians on a daily basis.
The result of this harmonious and peaceful coexistence is the immense economic growth that Zaria enjoys, both in township and environs.
Between the early 2000 and 2020, an area behind the College of Aviation Technology, now known as GRACELAND, saw to the building of over 20 massive churches.
Regrettably, in southern Kaduna, where I spent my early childhood, the story is the reverse! such harmonious relationships have since ceased to exist. During a recent trip to Manchok and Gidan Waya, I noticed some places that I have known and even lived since 1989, maintaining the same position and shape, no visible sign of recent development or facelift.
It was a herculean task locating a befitting restaurant from Kasuwan Magani to Manchok. A two and half hour journey!
For commuters, absence of restaurants, eateries, ‘suya’ or ‘mai shayi’ joints along highways depicts the economic index of an area. Passing through Kachia, the low cost house we lived in 1987, senior staff quarters No1, was still intact, with all the space and vast land untouched.
Even the locust tree, which shade served as our play ground was perfectly in place. In clear and broad terms, we can deduce that the entire southern Kaduna is a place that is desirous of structural and physical changes.
And only a peaceful atmosphere coupled with full economic impact, could guarantee that. Zaria for example, couldn’t have witnessed massive migration and urban development if there were frequent ethno-religious crises over the years.
It is instructive to note that every single big city around the world, became what it is today as a result of economic activities, aided by migration.
Recently, both the conventional and social media spaces in Nigeria have been a washed with what was coined “the Southern Kaduna Crisis”. With many media outlets, so-called human rights activists and opinion leaders, majority of whom have never been to Kaduna state, being in the fore front of accusing Govr. Nasiru Elrufai of an agenda to “exterminate Christians”
These agents of hate, divisive politics and their local collaborators have been working day and night to cause chaos in southern Kaduna with provocative and inciting headlines! One wonders if their own environment is a peaceful as paradise!
They have been making futile efforts to link Mallam Nasiru Elrufai with the “Southern Kaduna Crisis” without success.
But what exactly is Governor Elrufai’s “sins” against the elites and religious leaders from southern Kaduna and the so called human right activists on the other hand? This is what I seek to evaluate.
Any close observer of the political development of Kaduna state, will essentially admit that since 29th of May, 2015, there has been a “radical shift” from the old ways of conducting government business in Kaduna state.
It had been the tradition of past governments in Kaduna state to consult traditional, community, religious and political leaders in major decisions in the state. Especially in contracts, appointments and other forms of political patronage. Of course, the beneficiaries of these patronage, owe their allegiance to these people, not to the governor or his administration that appoints them.
Invariably, it had been the norm for these traditional, religious and political leaders to dictate who gets what, when and how in the state. The fate of the public lay in their hands as far as political gains are concerned!
Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai rattled them with his first set of appointments.
The subsequent ones also came without any external consultations and interference.
As he rolled out his programmes and policies, it was apparent to these “entrepreneurs” feeding off government’s patronage, that this government begged to differ. Which necessitated their going back to the drawing board, resolute; el-Rufai must not get away with this!
The policy of Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai of not patronizing middlemen before appointing people to sensitive positions cuts across all the 23 local government areas. This perhaps is one of his many ‘Sins’ as far as the middle men are concerned. But for an average Kaduna State person, the governor is working and deserves all the support!
BY MUHAMMAD LAWAL SHEHU
– Shehu lives in Kaduna
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