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FLASHBACK: How We Paid Terrorists From Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Others To Stop Killings In Kaduna – Governor El-Rufai

August 12, 2022

Kaduna state is currently among states being terrorised by terrorists who sack villages and kidnap residents in exchange for ransom.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said terrorists are consolidating their grip on communities in Kaduna state with a parallel government and permanent operational base in the North-western state.

The governor, who made this known in a memo issued to President Muhammadu Buhari in July, as obtained by Premium Times, said members of the Jama’atu Ansarul Musulmina Fi’biladis Sudan, popularly known as Ansaru are hibernating in Kuyello district of the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state.

The terrorists, according to reports, moved to Birnin Gwari in 2012 when they broke away from Boko Haram.

El-Rufai in the memo, alerted the President that the terrorists are exercising control over social and economic activities and dispensation of justice in the area where they are believed to have established a “permanent operational base”.

Kaduna state is currently among states being terrorised by terrorists who sack villages and kidnap residents in exchange for ransom.

However, in 2016, the governor said his administration traced some violent and aggrieved Fulani herdsmen to their countries and paid them to stop the killings in the state.

He said the herdsmen demanded to be compensated for the loss of their cattle after they were affected by the post-election violence of 2011.

El-Rufai said at the time, “For Southern Kaduna, we didn’t understand what was going on and we decided to set up a committee under Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd) to find out what was going on there. What was established was that the root of the problem has a history starting from the 2011 post-election violence.

“Fulani herdsmen from across Africa bring their cattle down towards Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria. The moment the rains start around March, April, they start moving them up to go back to their various communities and countries.

“Unfortunately, it was when they were moving up with their cattle across Southern Kaduna that the elections of 2011 took place and the crisis trapped some of them.

“Some of them were from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal. Fulanis are in 14 African countries and they traverse this country with the cattle.

“So many of these people were killed, cattle lost and they organised themselves and came back to revenge.

“So a lot of what was happening in Southern Kaduna was actually from outside Nigeria. We got a hint that the late Governor Patrick Yakowa got this information and he sent someone to go round some of these Fulani communities, but of course after he died, the whole thing stopped. That is what we inherited. But the Agwai committee established that.

“We took certain steps. We got a group of people that were going round trying to trace some of these people in Cameroon, Niger Republic and so on to tell them that there is a new governor who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost and he is begging them to stop killing.

“In most of the communities, once that appeal was made to them, they said they have forgiven. There are one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem, and we paid some. As recently as two weeks ago, the team went to Niger Republic to attend one Fulani gathering that they hold every year with a message from me.”