El Rufai, Kidnappers and Other Matters


Did you hear that over 348 school children are in the hands of Bandits in Northern Nigeria in the last one month?Yet, the concerned state governors are sleeping and waking and making merry?

What do you expect the said state governors to do? They should enter the forest to look for the kidnapped children?

What kind of question is that? Are you not a father? Is that what you can say in the face of this dire problem facing Northern Nigeria? Do you realise the eventual consequenc­e on education?

You want me to join you in heaping all the blames on the governors? Do you know the efforts the various state governors have been making to ensure that abducted children are safely rescued and returned? Some of you just think….

(raise his palm) Stop! Don’t typecast me. I am not among the ‘some of you….’ What we are saying is that we cannot see any effort at all. What is the outcome of this so-called effort? Imagine the 136 toddlers and infants of Tegina Islamiyyah School, in Niger State kidnapped since late May, are still in captivity. The headquarte­rs of school pupils’ abduction seems to be in Kaduna State with a major abduction taking place every forth night.Yet the Governor, Nasir el Rufai, remains obstinate about solving the problem.

You talk about efforts. What efforts? What do they do with their huge security votes?

There you go again. Gov El Rufai maintains that he will not negotiate with bandits, since they have elevated kidnapping to a major lucrative going concern. He argues that negotiatin­g and paying them ransom makes the crime a commercial venture that should be sustained. In a way his argument makes sense.

Yes, the governor’s argument makes sense, but has it solved the problem? Was he not the same one who started it all in 2016 by inviting and settling the bandits? Have you asked yourself why the kidnappers seem to have all relocated to Kaduna State? Need you be told that it is all aimed at teaching El-Rufai a lesson of how not to be cocky and refractory on such sensitive matters about life and death?

Who is willing to use his son or daughter to test the efficacy of the strategy of the governor? When the bandits shot and killed those five abducted undergradu­ates from Green Field University, did ElRufai’s strategy bring back those children?

Do you think it was out of normalcy that the parents of the remaining students gathered N180 million to rescue their children from the hands of the kidnappers? Yes,

N180 million!

Now they have kidnapped 140 students from Bethel Baptist High School , Kaduna, on Monday. How many rivers do we have to cross to end this scourge?

But for how long will a government condone this height of brigandage among its people?

Are you asking me? Go and ask Gov El Rufai? And don’t forget to also ask him why he withdrew his two children from public schools? Didn’t he say even if his child was kidnapped, he would not negotiate with bandits?

You can be sure no mother would allow that kind of experiment­ation. Don’t forget, “wisdom is profitable to direct…”, as the scripture says. You know that his children will be prime targets for the bandits, just to prove a point.

So, whose child is fit for this test-of- stubbornes­s experiment? You see what the people mean by saying what is good for the goose is good for the ganders?

Watch it!, you cannot accuse Gov El Rufai of being partial in the applicatio­n of his principle. He merely withdrew his children from school. He did not secretly go to enroll the children in some fortified schools. In fact, he had gone ahead to close down 13 schools which he suspects are prone to attacks.

So, is that the solution? He is treating the symptoms of the disease and not the disease itself. How does closing down 13 schools forestall the big buzz in the business of kidnapping school children?

What are the alternativ­es? What are the defence strategies? What are the baits to discourage the banditry? Can the whole world not see that the hard-headedness approach is not paying off? Is there no wisdom in the saying that if you want to catch a monkey, you behave like a monkey?

Those of you hell bent on defending the malaises of Gov El Rufai should tell him that when strategies are proven to be ineffectiv­e, they should be reviewed. Even if it means playing the fool, to achieve a given end, it will be adjudged a wise decision. It is called the doctrine of Necessity or even Expediency.

Sticking to your guns and allowing such degree of banditry and unrest to practicall­y seize the state, while sacking the workforce in the state civil service amidst threats of doom and danger are surely not means of ending a scourge that has come upon the people. He should be conscious of how history will judge him at the end of his tenure.

We should pray for the courage to do the right things.

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El Rufai

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