SOUTHERN KADUNA AUTOCHTHONES
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATIONS FORUM
No. 47, KEFFI ROAD, BARNAWA G. R. A., KADUNA, NIGERIA
Dr. Yusuf Gandu Magaji and His “Coalition of Southern Kaduna Nationalities” Do Not Speak For the Southern Kaduna People
A NEBULOUS AND SHADOWY GROUP
It has come to the attention of the Southern Kaduna Autochthones Community Development Associations Forum and all the Ethnic Nationalities of our region, that one Dr. Yusuf Gandu Magaji, claiming to speak for an unknown group calling itself “Coalition of Southern Kaduna Nationalities CSKN)”, gave a press conference at the NUJ Centre Kaduna, on the 2 March 2019. This nebulous group claims to be speaking for “Southern Kaduna people”; and falsely asserts that they held “wide consultations” before they addressed the Press. Their press statement is highly suspicious, mischievous and ill-intentioned, given that it was issued on the same day that the Southern Kaduna Autochthones Community Development Associations Forum was holding a meeting widely attended by several dozen CDAs from the twelve (12) LGAs of Southern Kaduna. At the meeting held at Samaru Kataf on 2 March 2019, the Southern Kaduna CDAs Forum resolved unanimously to call on all the people of Southern Kaduna to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship and state assembly elections of 9 March 2019. It is obvious that the so-called CSKN quickly issued their very badly written press statement, partly typed and hand written, with very poor English, to sabotage the resolve of the Southern Kaduna CDAs.
The CDAs were formed in the 1940s, and in 1958 came together to form the Nerzit Association led by Mallam Dan’zumi Kudaru. In 1966 the CDAs renamed the Nerzit Association as Southern Zaria Development Association, and again changed its name to Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) in 1976. In 2003 – 2005, the CDAs caused SOKAPU to be restructured to make the CDAs the primary members of the Union, while running the CDAs Forum for the Autochthones. Enquiries have been made regarding the identity of this so-called CSKN, and no one has heard or knows anything about them. We are aware that since 2003, some self-serving persons hastily form “Youth” groups whenever there are elections. These groups serve as platforms for “electoral entrepreneurs” trying to make money out of gullible politicians from Northern Kaduna, by peddling influence. After collecting their money they disappear, until the next elections come around. This CSKN appears to be sponsored by some desperate politicians to benefit from the righteous anger of the Southern Kaduna people following the shameless rigging and crass manipulation of the presidential and National Assembly elections on 23 February 2019.
We hereby demonstrate how hypocritical and mischievous Dr. Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his so-called CSKN are; we examine the contradictions in the issues they harp upon in their press statement.
SECURITY SITUATION IN SOUTHERN KADUNA
It is no longer news that from 2010 Boko Haram terrorists carried out bombing campaigns in Kaduna state, which ended abruptly after Governor Patrick Yakowa was killed. From 2011, herdsmen attacks began and became widespread by 2014, and then escalated from 2015 into systematic massacres and genocides. Thousands of Southern Kaduna have been killed, maimed, driven out of their homes, their farmlands destroyed. From 2015 the Kaduna State Government under the APC began to attack our traditional institutions with the stoppage of their emoluments. Our District and Village Heads were sacked in their hundreds; the paramount rulers were harassed through queries, some arrested and imprisoned; while others were kidnapped and or murdered by “unknown” groups. Our chiefdoms have been deliberately broken by the APC government, and against our communities’ expressed wishes, the Governor of Kaduna State has with utter disdain and extreme arrogant display of power, changed the nomenclatures of our traditional institutions. Since late 2018 the Adara nation has been repeatedly attacked, their monarch kidnapped and murdered. Their people have been killed, their prominent leaders arrested. Dr. Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his shadowy group of “promising youth” see these killings as “a joke”, which they feel “has gone too far”. How can the killing of even one person, not to speak of hundreds, be described as “a joke” by any human being with conscience?
While Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his group pretend to sympathise with Southern Kaduna, they are full of praises for Governor Nasir El-Rufai, whose administration has caused so much damage to the people of Southern Kaduna through systematic exclusion and discrimination on the false claims that “Christians” are only 30% of the population of Kaduna State. Anyone who sees the killings and destruction of the Southern Kaduna people and communities as “a joke” cannot be taken as a sympathiser.
THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN KADUNA STATE
While the so-called “Coalition of Southern Kaduna Nationalities” pretends to be concerned about the security situation, their main objectives are to promote apathy, cause confusion and disorganise the people of Southern Kaduna. To the best of our knowledge, it is only this group that has congratulated Buhari and the APC for their “INEC declared victory” (to mimic CSKN) in the election of 23 February 2019. This group, which claims to speak for the southern Kaduna people, is telling our people to abandon the PDP, not because the PDP has not done well in Southern Kaduna, but because it did not do well elsewhere. They are threatening Senator Makarfi, Hon. Isah Ashiru and others, that if they do not provide “concrete and convincing” reasons for the PDP’s failure in “Zone 1”, they will, purportedly on behalf of Southern Kaduna people, begin to negotiate with a “more viable party”. In the next sentence, they announce that they have already set up a team of “young and promising” men and women who have started negotiating with their “more viable party”. After the February 23 presidential election, which Dr. Yusuf Gandu Magaji states was manipulated by the ruling party against the opposition, which other viable party remains for them to negotiate with apart from the APC?
It is crystal clear that Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his so-called CSKN are political jobbers who are out to make money, or are sponsored to disrupt the march of Southern Kaduna toward liberation in
the March 2019 elections. We should note that:
- This CSKN group has conveniently forgotten that the PDP did not do well in the Northern part of Kaduna in 2015. Why did they not campaign for abandoning the PDP at that time?
- The PDP presidential candidate in the 23 February 2019 election received his highest votes in all states of Nigeria from Kaduna State. Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his group do not even acknowledge this fact. Atiku Abubakar has begun legal processes to challenge INEC’s declaration of Buhari as winner. Why should the Southern Kaduna people abandon the person and party they voted for in their time of greatest need for support and encouragement?
- From their utterances, Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his sponsors want to cash in on the anger of the Southern Kaduna people over the results of the presidential election. For the avoidance of doubt we state as follows:
- The Southern Kaduna people have no quarrel with Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Namadi Sambo and Mukhtari Ramallan Yero, and certainly not with Isah Ashiru. We got our chiefdoms under the PDP. It is these chiefdoms that Nasir El-Rufai and his APC are destroying with extreme prejudice. When Makarfi, Smabo, Yakowa and Yero of the PDP were in power our communities were not attacked and our people massacred. Our people were not shut out from government appointments. Southern Kaduna’s only good roads were constructed under the PDP Dr Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his whimsical group are denouncing. Southern Kaduna people became Ministers, GMD of NNPC, Chief of Defence Staff, Chiefs of Army and Naval Staff and GOCs under the PDP. Yes, we complained of fewer appointments and less patronage even under the PDP, but since 2015 we have not seen any federal appointments, and the so-called state appointments are restricted to Personal Assistants.
- Why is Dr. Yusuf Gandu asking why the PDP lost the presidential election only in Kaduna state? What of Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi, Borno and Yobe? How does he explain that Borno, a war zone, returned more votes in 2019 than in 2015?
- If Yusuf Gandu Magaji is complaining about Kaduna State, then he and his group are merely being mischievous because we all know why the elections turned out the way they did.
- In Southern Kaduna election observers have reported that in several LGAs, Wards and many Polling Units votes cast were deliberately and illegally cancelled at Local Government collation centres. Voting materials were in short supply in many PUs. Card readers malfunctioned. Voting started late in many places. There were deliberate disruptions of elections, which were used as excuses to cancel the votes. All these happened where the PDP was winning or had the most support. Why is Yusuf Gandu not concerned about this great disenfranchisement?
- It has been reported in many areas of Northern Kaduna that card readers were not used, but were enforced in Southern Kaduna. Why is Yusuf Gandu not complaining about these double standards by INEC?
- Can Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his sponsors explain to us why the votes supposedly won by the PDP in four LGAs in Ikara, Kubau, Kudan and Makarfi the same number with just minor variations? Who decided to allocate about 14,000 votes to the PDP in each of these LGAs?
- From Yusuf Gandu Magaji’s press statement we quote:“There should be good level (sic) of fair play and sincerity” in politics. Was there such a level playing ground, fair play and sincerity in the Northern Kaduna LGAs during the presidential and National Assembly elections?
Yusuf Gandu Magaji states that “The ruling party (APC) has short changed the Southern Kaduna people and has not treated us fairly and justly”. Are they now telling the people of Southern Kaduna that they will now convince Nasir El-Rufai to treat the people of Southern with fairness and justice?
Yusuf Gandu Magaji further states that “A desperate ruling party can use the power of incumbency to manipulate results against the opposition”. Since this was what happened in the whole of Kaduna State, why are the Yusuf Magajis demanding explanations from the victims of the manipulation of votes, and not from the APC and INEC?
Even after these glaring statements Yusuf Gandu Magaji still claims that there was “betrayal” by PDP in “Zone 1” without offering a single piece of evidence to that effect. What of in Zone 2? Who do you blame there? Most people who voted in Barnawa, Kakuri, Gonin Gora, Makera, etc, stated that INEC frustrated their attempts to vote in several ways. The problem is not about the manipulations and the rigging ways of the APC, but that Yusuf Gandu and his group are targeting Zone 1 because Isah Ashiru, the PDP governorship candidate, comes from there.
No one has asked Yusuf Gandu Magaji and his faceless young men to negotiate on behalf of Southern Kaduna. Their boast that they have the “capacity to turn our votes elsewhere overnight” is an empty one, and refers only to their own individual votes, and not those of the people of Southern Kaduna. We reject, renounce and denounce any attempts by anyone to cause confusion amongst our people. Those who have oppressed and suppressed us in the last four years, and are still arresting our people, and promising to further “deal with” us, cannot change overnight. The Southern Kaduna people through the CDAs forum, have met and decided to support the PDP in the governorship election and state assembly election, and we stand by this resolution. We ask the people of Southern Kaduna to ignore Magaji and his so-called “coalition” and to treat them as detractors. We should not empower those who have done us grievous harm, and continue to do and subject us to dehumanisation.
Dr. Zuwaqhu K. A. Bonat
Southern Kaduna Autochthones CDAs Forum