Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The Sarkin Yaki of Gonin-Gora, a community in Chikun Local Government area of Kaduna State, Chief Simon Bijeh Bawa, on Wednesday, reacted to Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s evacuation threat of the community.
The governor was reported to have threatened to evacuate and relocate Gonin-Gora, a community with well over 300,000 residents if the youths in the area further attempt to block Kaduna-Abuja Highway and attack innocent travelers.
The alleged threat by the governor had, since last week Friday, witnessed criticisms from prominent Nigerians, including Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, the Chief of Staff to Nigerian Senate President, as to why the governor had to narrow down the threat to Gonin-Gora community as volatile area, during crisis in the state, while he exonerated other volatile communities like Tudun Wada, Mararaban Jos, Rigasa and Kabala West.
Addressing newsmen at his palace, on behalf of the leaders and elders of Gonin-Gora and environs, Sarkin Gonin-Gora said his subjects were peaceful, adding that the governor must have been wrongly advised before he made the pronouncement when he visited the area, after the news of the murder of Agom Adara, Dr. Maiwada Galadima filtered into the air Friday last week.
The monarch said: “It is unfortunate that while the communal clash was going on at Kasuwan Magani which later spilled over to Kujama, Mararaban Rido and Sabon – Tasha, rumours were already being peddled inside Kaduna and certain areas of the town that killings, mounting of roadblocks and attacks of innocent motorists as well as kidnapping of passersby were going on unabated in Gonin-Gora.
“Indeed, all these false allegations and rumours are not new to the people of Gonin-Gora, as this has always been the case whenever trouble is in the offing or had started in any part of Kaduna town.
“What actually transpired was that through-out the violent clash on October 18, 2018, at Kasuwan Magani, and the subsequent spill-over to places like Kujama, Mararaban Rido and Sabon-Tasha on October 20, 21 and 22, respectively, Gonin-Gora and its environs remained calm and peaceful.
“It is in the context of these realities that we, in Gonin-Gora, are shocked by the reported threats of Governor Nasir el-Rufai, to demolish and or evacuate the Gonin-Gora settlement on account of violence to and molestation of travelers which, to the best of our knowledge never ever occurred during this crisis.
“We are sure that it is either that the governor has been misinformed or ill-advised by people hell-bent on giving Gonin-Gora a bad and gory name in order to hang it”, he stated.
He continued, “Indeed, during this tense period the acting Sarkin Gonin-Gora and his ward heads appealed to the residents and the youths in particular to remain calm and law-abiding.
“It remained so until Friday, 26 October, 2018, when news about the killing of Agom Adara started circulating.
“On that fateful day, unknown to the leadership of the Goni-Gora community, a handful of miscreants around Buwaya out of pure mischief took the law into their hands by mounting a road block immediately after the bye-pass overhead bridge coming from the toll gate from Abuja.
“This happened to be at about the same time that His Excellency, Governor Nasir el-Rufai and his convoy were coming from the direction of Abuja where he encountered many motorists that had been caught up by the 24-hour curfew that had been imposed as well as the impromptu blockage mounted by the miscreants.
“On reaching the spot with his convoy and other motorists trailing behind him, the governor stopped and ordered the police to dismantle it to allow the motorists pass into Kaduna town.”