Moses Ochonu’s Demonization Of El-Rufai, A Rejoinder By Mukhtar Garba Maigamo

Published:6 Jan, 2017

“….. Ochonu once asked el-Rufai for a job and got turned down. He has been unable to put behind him that incident, but the truth is that at that time, el-Rufai could not provide him a job because only candidates with technical and numeracy skills were required. Available facts indicate that el-Rufai informed Ochonu and others with non-numerate and or science based degrees that they did not meet the criteria. Though Ochonu left for the US where he has done rather well, he has been unable to hide his disdain for el-Rufai mainly because of the latter as inability to bend the rules to suit primordial personal interests.”

“Moses Ochonu, as an Associate Professor of History works on a project that focuses on “non-Muslim consciousness to counter perceived Anglo Fulani hegemony”. His focus and project fit into today’s Nigeria that is terribly divided along ethnocentric and religious lines following the April 2011 political gerrymandering that has inflicted unprecedented damage on the fragile unity among the diverse ethnic nationalities of Nigeria.” Ajayi O. Olowa

 

My attention has been drawn to a publication by Moses Ochonu, a professor of African History at Vandervelt University USA. The article in question which appeared in Sahara Reporters of Tuesday 26th December 2016 and Premimium Times, is a continuation of a bunkum he started since early 2000, the culmination of which we see now in this recent one on the southern kaduna killings to the extent that he makes a serious allegation against elrufai that he has embarked in a genocide. As far as I am concern this is a gravest allegation which should not be taken lightly.

However, before I go into details, the two quotations in the prologue have actually said it all. They have not only display the true motives of Moses Ochunu, but also summarised the historical background of his deportment; and the rationale for his mudslinging, diatribe and long-running malignity against Elrufai. And without the above revelation (that he wanted Elrufai to give him job at FCT), it would have been surprised to see that this Prof has dedicated his whole academic life to criticizing every moves of Elrufai from his days at BPE to date.

 

Be it as it may, there is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is faced with myriads of security and economic challenges, most of them inherited from the previous administrations. Kaduna state has had its own share of these security challenges in most parts of the state.

Addressing this myriad of challenges and putting the state on the path of greatness is one of the cardinal points on which the El-Rufai APC campaign promises hinged on.

Since coming to power, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai and his deputy, Barnabas Yusuf Bala, have faced, head-on the daunting task of addressing the root causes of security challenges being faced in the entire state. Every one of us in the state is aware that El-Rufai inherited rural banditry, violent attacks, and reprisals in southern parts of the state, cattle rustling and robbery in Birnin Gwari and other parts as well as rampant cases of kidnapping along Kaduna-Abuja expressway and other parts of the state. Suffice it to say that these cases are not only peculiar to Kaduna state; there have been attacks by suspected herdsmen in Benue, Nasarawa and Zamfara states.

While farmers-herders conflicts are not new to Nigeria, the attacks in Southern Kaduna have drawn the attention of many with many voices speaking against the attacks. It is a good thing for all well- meaning citizens to come out against evil and wicked acts such as these but using the pains of those victims affected to gain politically or for any other selfish and sinister motive is wickedness and inhumane to say the least. Sadly, many have taken this path. That will be left to God and posterity to judge but where these people breach the constitution, the law enforcement agencies will be the right institutions to address them in accordance with the law.

It was indeed a bleak Christmas for people of Goska in Kaninkon and the government of Kaduna State is sad about it and has since condemned the attacks and sympathized with the people while strengthening security in the area. The government has stressed its commitment to see the end of the perpetrators.

But in his characteristic manner, as revealed in his previous publications where he promotes divisions, Moses insinuated that there is a war to exterminate people of Southern Kaduna and the governor of Kaduna is sponsoring it. He even likened it to the unfortunate attacks in Agatu, Benue state. But the question is who is at war with the people of these communities? What is happening is part of a plethora of security challenges facing Nigeria; insurgency in Niger Delta, Cattle rustling and Killings in Zamfara, Armed robbery in Birnin Gwari and kidnapping in many other places in Kaduna metropolis where high profile individuals and politicians were victims as well as other parts of the country. It is sad that Southern Kaduna issue has lingered since 2011.

And in his attempt to disown History that he studied and earns a living teaching, (and I wonder what kind of History Moses is teaching his students), he denied existential facts linking the crisis of Southern Kaduna with April 2011 post-presidential elections. These were facts established by the 70-man Peace and Reconciliation Committee set up by the Late Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa which established that the crisis is directly linked to the April 2011 elections.

As the chief Security Officer of Kaduna state and one who wants to see the end to these security challenges, El-Rufai set up the General (Rtd) Martin Luther Agwai’s committee which arrived at similar conclusions. The report of the committee which was submitted on the 1st of February, 2016, also established the existence of a feud between foreign herdsmen and Southern Kaduna communities. The reports stated that some transhumance Fulani pastoralists were affected by the April 2011 post-presidential crisis during which many lives were lost and properties destroyed.

The month of April marks the beginning of the raining season in Southern Kaduna and central Nigeria and, therefore, at that time, the transhumance Fulani were on transit back to the Northeast, Northwest, Chad, Niger, Cameroun, as well as Senegal and Mali. They were compensated by the government on the loss of their cattle and to pacify them not to come for revenge on that account. So also were other victims of the crisis assisted or compensated.

 

As a professor who studied history, Moses Knows that conclusions are only drawn on the strength of available facts but he is doing a disservice to the Academic Discipline of History by twisting facts, providing misleading information as he is used to, and raising languid arguments that are devoid of solid premises while drawing conclusions that lack logical strengths and evidence.

While he goes on to play his game of promoting sentiment and hatred,  Moses should know that the El-Rufai led government will continue to handle what he is elected to do which is provide leadership to the people of Kaduna state. On this, the government will not be deterred or distracted

Preachers and promoters of hatred, divisions, and confusions will never prevail over good intentions. This is because God and all good people in the state will join forces to overcome these forces of evil, and by the grace of God we will see the end of these criminals.

If Moses and his likes are concerned about the conflicts that is claiming lives, apart from their condemnation of El-Rufai and using the media to conflagrate the embers of hatred, what meaningful suggestions have they ever posited, how have they helped the people they claimed to be supporting?

A question for Moses Ochonu, do you have respect and value for history even if its facts stands somewhat opposed to what you stand for? Are you denying that there was an outbreak of violence immediately after the presidential elections in April 2011,  are you contesting that Fulanis were killed as well as their cattle during the crisis, would you deny that immediately after the outbreak of post-election violence, the attacks and counter attacks escalated in Southern Kaduna? It will be sheer mischief to ignore such facts, particularly by someone in the academia and even a professor who teaches African History.

Moses Ochonu has joined the group of those who massacre well known evidential facts of history by twisting facts and propounding unfounded lies and fallacies. There have been attacks in the immediate aftermath of 2011 post-presidential elections in Kaduna after which President Good luck EbeleJonathan set up the ShiekShehuLemu Committee. One more action taken by the Federal Government was to set aside money to compensate those who suffered loss from the crisis, compensations were paid and herdsmen also suffered the loss of cattle that the government of Kaduna paid.

Naisr El-Rufai did not legitimize revenge and has vowed to always arrest those involved in reprisal attacks on innocent people. El-Rufai has always called on people to report cases and issues to the constituted authorities in their areas such as community, traditional rulers or law enforcement agencies. He has been working with the FG and all security agencies to tackle the restiveness in the state.

While people have their constitutional rights to freely express their views, those who peddle lies should know that posterity and God will judge them. El-Rufai will continue to do what he thinks and knows is right and his allegiance is to God his maker and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The governor and his cabinet are deeply committed to the oath of allegiance they took to uphold the constitution of Nigeria. Protection of lives and property is topmost in their minds. And this, the governor will pursue with all seriousness without letting baleful people to distract him from this obligation. He is working assiduously with all security agencies to not only apprehend criminals carrying out these evil and wicked acts but also make them and their sponsors face the wrath of the law.

 

 

 

Ochonu relishes presentation of disjointed facts and information, and conclusions in order to portray the Governor of Kaduna state as supporting the killings going on in Southern Kaduna by criminals, which drapes from the reasons I quoted above. And his tendentious analogy portraying Nasir El-Rufai as a Fulani supremacist who supports Fulani terrorists to carry out genocide in Southern Kaduna is hardly surprising too, giving the above quote also. It is not different from what Moses is known for; that is promoting divisions and encouraging sectionalism especially among the different sections of the populations in the north.

That is what his book “Colonialism by Proxy: Hausa Imperial Agents and Middle Belt Consciousness in Nigeria” and other publications sought to achieve.

Had he beckon the sense of history , a simple search through contemporary history and check on the profile of Nigeria politicians would have revealed to him that there are few politicians in Nigeria today whose political appointees, partners and associates are drawn from different sections of the country other than Nasir El-Rufai. This is incontrovertible and it has been El-Rufai’s tradition and principles.

Hinging his demonization of El-Rufai on the attacks of 24th and 25th December in Goska, and the government measures taken to curtail security it, Moses disowned history and massacred well known facts and evidence just to paint El-Rufai as a failure and one who encourages the killings in the region.

But the real facts of his penchant for demonization of Elrufai have just been revealed. His own is not a genuine interventions but an attempt to settle a personal score. He feels the only way to get Even with Elrufai for refusing him job is to constantly write bad about him. But while the Prof has taken that self-vocation, he is indirectly smacking the pedagogy he’s riding on. He is creating an image of intellectual vacuity for himself, for how can you relegate your academic life to constants criticism of single personality?

 

 

Mukhtar Garba Maigamo,

A Public Commentator, Conflict Resolution expert lives in Kaduna State.

 

 

** The views, sentiments and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the position of Omojuwa.com

Related Posts

Recent Posts

BREAKING: Police raid PREMIUM TIMES head office; arrest publisher, journalist.

The Nigeria police have raided PREMIUM TIMES head office in Abuja, and arrested the newspaper’s publisher.   The publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, was arrested alongside the paper’s judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu.   Plain-clothed officers conducted search at the office shortly after 5p.m. Thursday, and said they were acting on a complaint filed by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.   The arrests came days after PREMIUM TIMES turned down the army’s demand to retract news stories about the Nigerian Army and its operations.   The paper’s Editor-in-Chief,...

UPDATE: Nigerian air force ‘overflies The Gambia’ as ground troops prepare to strike.

The Nigerian air force is flying over The Gambia, an official said, as African troops prepare to force incumbent Yahya Jammeh to quit after his December election defeat. "I confirm that the armed reconnaissance air force are over Gambia," Nigerian Air Force spokesman Ayodele Famuyiwa told AFP. "They have the capacity to strike."

BREAKING: Adama Barrow sworn in as President of Gambia.

Adama Barrow, the man who won The Gambia's disputed election, has been sworn in as president. Mr Barrow took the oath at the country's embassy in Senegal. He has been recognised internationally. But Gambian strongman Yahya Jammeh has refused to step down and his term in office has been extended by parliament. West African leaders have tried to persuade Mr Jammeh to admit losing the election. They have threatened to remove him by force. Mr Jammeh lost last month's elections, but wants...

Comic Relief: Even Google is confused about who the President of Gambia is.

As ECOWAS troops continue to march into Banjul the capital of Gambia, in a bid to oust the incumbent president, Yahya Jammeh whose tenure expires today, there has been much uncertainty about the state of the presidency of Gambia.   Presently, the President-elect, Mr Adama Barrow is being sworn-in at the Gambian embassy in Senegal. This unfolding event and more gives rise to the question; "Who is the president of Gambia?" and this has turned out to be a difficult question...

Senegalese troops take over Gambian border as Jammeh’s mandate ends today.

Yahya Jammeh, the Gambia’s longtime president, was holding out in the capital, Banjul, on Thursday after last-ditch diplomatic efforts to persuade him to stand down appear to have failed. The country has been in a state of political uncertainty since Jammeh refused to cede power to the winner of last month’s presidential election, using the courts and parliament to try to extend his 22-year rule. His mandate ended at midnight but he has steadfastly refused to hand over to Adama Barrow,...

BREAKING: Nigerian Senate loses bid to stop deployment of troops to Gambia.

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki on Thursday deflected a move asking President Muhammadu Buhari to approach the National Assembly for permission before embarking on any military action in Gambia.   A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator from Enugu state, Chukwuka Utazi, had raised a constitutional order which was rejected by Saraki who presided over plenary.   Standing on order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, Senator Utazi quoted section  5 (4) of the 1999 constitution which required the consent of both Houses...

Gambia’s president is refusing to leave office — even as foreign troops near.

Twenty-three years after taking power and more than a month after a shocking election loss, Gambia's defeated president isn't ready to step down. But by Thursday morning, the pressure on Yahya Jammeh mounted as the country lurched towarda political crisis. Troops from neighboring Senegal moved to the border with Gambia, a tiny West African country on the Atlantic Ocean. Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz arrived in the capital, Banjul, the latest in a series of African leaders who have...

Buhari’s Military Action In The Gambia Without Approval, Senate Says.

 The Senate on Thursday criticised the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for deploying troops to The Gambia without seeking legislative approval. The Nigerian Air Force had moved a contingent of 200 men and air assets, led by Air Commodore Tajudeen Yusuf, to Dakar, Senegal, which is the...

Journalists Write Buhari On Southern Kaduna, Call For Stakeholders Conference.

Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER), a leading Nigerian media rights group, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to launch an intensive campaign aimed at mopping up arms in the hands of non-state actors across the country, especially in the Northern states. This is necessary to stem the tide of violence that threatens the country's stability, the media group stated. JODER also urged the President to create time to visit Southern Kaduna, saying such a step will boost the dwindling trust...

EFCC Arrests LG Councilor, Six Others For Diverting IDPs’ Rice

A supervisory councilor with Mafa local government area of Borno State, Umar Ibrahim, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) in Maiduguri over alleged diversion of 300 bags of rice meant for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area.   Ibrahim, who supervises the local government’s agricultural department, was arrested alongside others named Bulama Ali Zangebe and Modu Bulama in a sting operation carried out by officials of the EFCC zonal office in Maiduguri.   According to...

Why Buhari was not invited for Trump’s inauguration – Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has described the non-extension of invitation to President Muhammadu Buhari to attend the Donald Trump’s inauguration as a clear signal that the president does not enjoy international relevance any more. The governor said that the development was a very clear signal that Buhari’s government would not enjoy tangible support from the new US government. Fayose, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka,

Child Trafficking: Police Intercepts Another Syndicate. [Video]

The Plateau State Police Command has intercepted another syndicate specialised in trafficking children to the south east region of the country. The Police rescued 16 children at a motor park in Jos, Plateau State. The Public Relations Officer of the Command, ASP, Mathias Tyopev told Channels Television that the suspect, a female was apprehended at the Gada Biyu motor park while boarding a vehicle in company of the...

Appeal Court Reserves Judgement On Rickey Tarfa’s Appeal

The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division has reserved judgement in two different appeals filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa, challenging his trial for alleged age falsification and obstructing officers of the law from carrying out their duties. The appellate court presided over by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba reserved the two appeals for judgement after hearing arguments from the appellant’s counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) and that of the respondent, Rotimi Oyedepo. Mr Tarfa had appealed against the rulings of...

Rann Bombing: NAF Sets Up Board to Investigate Accidental Air Strike

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has constituted a board of senior officers to investigate the accidental air strike on January 17, 2017 at Rann village, Borno State.   Among its terms of reference, the Board is to determine the immediate and remote cause as well as the circumstances that led to the incident.   A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, reads: “This is with a view to forestall future occurrence. In addition to a...

Kaduna Government Proposes 1Bn Naira To Tackle Malnutrition

The Kaduna State government has said it is proposing an annual budget of 1 Billion Naira, to tackle malnutrition, among children in the state. Governor Nasir El-Rufai disclosed this at a summit on emergency nutrition action plan held in the state capital. The governor announced that as part of efforts to address hunger and starvation in the state, his administration will set aside funds to take care of 50,000 malnourished children in collaboration with UNICEF. He however called on the citizens...

Enugu police rescues kidnapped girl sold for N350,000 in Abia

The Enugu State Police Command said that it has burst a kidnapping and human trafficking syndicate that abducted and sold a four-year-old girl in Abia for N350,000. Ebere Amaraizu, the command’s spokesman, said in a statement that the little girl’s kidnap was aided by a family member from Inyi community in Oji River Local Government Area. According to Mr. Amaraizu, the little girl went missing from school without a trace at about 12:45 p.m. on December 15, 2016 and was only...

Woman arrested for stabbing PHCN official in Akowonjo

A joint effort by security operatives attached to the Lagos State Command and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, has led to the arrest of a suspect identified as Mrs. Ediale Ayodele.   The suspect was apprehended for stabbing an official of power distribution network, Ikeja Electric in the Akowonjo axis of Lagos State.   According to a report by PM News, the suspect who resides at No. 6, Ayodola Close, Akonwonjo, allegedly stabbed the official who was on a routine...

Gambia: Adama Barrow Reaches Out To Jammeh

Gambia’s president-elect Adama Barrow has again appealed to outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to step aside in the supreme interest of his people and safe the Gambia from civil strive. Mr Barrow said  Mr Jammeh’s refusal to step down will result in a military confrontation and the loss of lives and destructions of public and private properties. President Jammeh’s mandate expired on Wednesday but he is refusing to relinquish power to Adama Barrow, who was declared winner of last month’s election. He had vowed...

University student bites off neighbour’s ear – Police

A 30-year-old student, Tobi Justice, who allegedly assaulted his father’s tenant by biting off his left ear, was on Thursday in Lagos released on a N50,000 bail.   The Chief Magistrate, Alexander Komolafe, who gave the ruling, also told the accused to present two sureties in like sum.   The accused, a student of the University of Abuja, had pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge bordering on assault occasioning grievous harm and breach of peace brought against him at an Ikeja Magistrates’...

Osun State Government identifies 458 unregistered schools

The Osun Government on Thursday gave two weeks ultimatum to owners of unregistered schools in the state to register them with the state Ministry of Education or stand the risk of closure.   The warning is contained in a statement signed by Festus Olajide, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Oshogbo.   The ministry said that it discovered that 458 schools in 11 local government areas of the state...

Nigerian lawmakers propose bill to jail Ministers, others who defy them.

A bill that could see officials of the executive arm of government thrown into prison if they fail to honour a summon by the legislature has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.   The bill also recommended an alternative fine of up to N1 million for any official found guilty of contempt of the National Assembly.   The sponsor of the bill, Sunday Karim, said during plenary on Thursday that lawmakers were frustrated by frequent refusal of members of the executive...