Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, at the 19th Prayer Summit of the Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders Association, charged the Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, against marginalising the people of Southern Kaduna stating that they are neither slaves nor second class citizens.
Fani-Kayode who was invited as a guest speaker at the Summit held at the new Township Stadium in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area of the State on Saturday, and represented by Rev Emmanuel Olurunmoaba, said: “El-Rufai, I want to say this to you that you need to stop the marginalization against the Southern Kaduna people. El-Rufai, I say this to you, stop oppressing Southern Kaduna people.”
He called on the governor to ensure equitable distribution of resources, appointments, empowerment, and development in Kaduna State.
"Southern Kaduna people are not slaves. Southern Kaduna people are not second class citizens,” he said.
Fani-Kayode alleged that there are plans to take over the land from them by changing the title of their traditional rulers to emirs.
He warned that if such is allowed to succeed, strangers will be imposed on them "just as Fulanis are ruling in Ilorin, Kwara State, till today.”
He noted that the people of Southern Kaduna are under “siege” saying that the chains and sufferings can only be broken through fervent prayer, “but not by prayer or just talking alone, there must be a solemn assembly, there must be strategic planning, and a strategic well mapped-out corresponding action.”
He further noted that "there is marginalization against the Southern Kaduna people in terms of development through government projects. The people are being downgraded in terms of appointment. It is only when they need your votes that they know that you are important, after that, they continue with the marginalisation, subjugation, oppression, and dehumanization."
“Is it a crime to be a Christian? Is it a crime to be a non-Fulani man? Is it a crime to be of Southern Kaduna extraction? But that is what they want to make you believe and you must reject that,” he charged.
The former aviation minister urged the Southern Kaduna people to come together as one people, and put their differences aside to produce a governor.
“Don’t be intimidated, arise, shine and move forward for God is with you. I want to categorically affirm that when you are ready for the governorship in Southern Kaduna, you can count on me, Olufemi Fani-Kayode, to give you all the support within my power,” he said.
In his remark, the chairman of the Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders Association, Bishop Simon Mutum, also complained that a level playing ground has not been given to everyone citing the conduct of the 2019 general elections which gave the association serious concerns.
He said, “As impartial religious leaders and elders who watched all that happened, we affirm that a level playing ground was not created for all the players.”
He further added that “Unless and until the electoral processes are critically looked into and addressed, we may never conduct just, fair and credible elections in Nigeria. The survival of our nascent democracy is dependent on INEC who ought to be truly independent. The rule of law must also be applied and that, not just for some aesthetic reasons.”