By George Onmonya Daniel
Nigerians all over the social media yesterday slammed Governor Nasir El-Rufai over the arrest of Audu Maikori, lawyer and founder of Chocolate City, an entertainment outfit that has signed the likes of M.I., Ice Prince and many of the popular musicians on television. Mr. Maikori himself is sort of a celebrity. He was aledgedly over post on Facebook in which the Kaduna State Governor thought us capable of incitement. Prior to this arrest another high profile personality, Dr. John Danfulani, was arrested severally for the same reason and for criticizing the Nasir El-Rufai administration.
Audu Maikori was said to have posted that five students of some polytechnic in Southern Kaduna were killed by Fulani herdsmen, a claim which was later false, but he quickly came to apologize for the post, but Governor Nasir El-Rufai who has been very insensitive to the Southern Kaduna massacre is now very sensitive to discussing the matter, has continue to threaten bloggers and people on social media that they face arrest for incitement.
Most Nigerians see him as guilty as well, as during the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Nasir El-Rufai was known for fabricating stories on the administration and many capable of inciting the public. In fact he started the story that the past president of Nigeria was a chronic drunkard, an allegation which was later found to be untrue. He championed the propaganda that Goodluck Jonathan had planned to assasinate some leaders.
THIS IS WHAT SOME NOTABLE NIGERIANS ARE SAYING OVER THIS ARREST.
GIMBA KAKANDA wrote this on his wall on Facebook:-
Nasir el-Rufai: A Taste of His Own Medicine
The arrest of Audu Maikori, even after tendering an apology for sharing information found to be untrue about the killings in Southern Kaduna, reveals a side of Governor Nasir el-Rufai that amused me.
Ironically, spreading false and misleading information was el-Rufai ‘s major occupation during Jonathan’s years. So much so that a number of us kept calling him out and reminding him of his age and status. One of such instances was when he alleged that Boko Haram was being sponsored by Christian Association of Nigeria, an accusation we interpreted as inciting, rude and low even by his own standard as a drama queen.
El-Rufai’s citing of law now to disarm Maikori comes to me as either a stretch of hypocrisy or a measure of amnesia. There were only a few politicians who could match el-Rufai’s record of serial public incitements pre-2015.
Goodluck Jonathan was a magnanimous – or rather incompetent? – leader, truth be told. He could’ve had El-Rufai locked up, and legally so, but he ignored the petty man. But, then, that only corroborated the former President’s infamous assertion that if he were to use 70% of his power, he would be branded a dictator.
We are here, we are learning. Politics is an interesting venture.
PROFESSOR MOSES OCHONU wrote-
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 detentions too about the policy of consequences or familiar expressions of the governor’s legendary Napoleonic intolerance for dissent and criticism?