Letter To Sister Ankut: Kaduna Peace Commission As “Conflict Dividend” For APC Buffs
My dear Ms Pricilla Ankut,
I hope this letter meets you well. I trust the Lord to be your protector.
My dear sister, it is true that we have not met one-on-one, but your dazzling carrier at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and allied services at the global arena has endeared you to my heart as one of great Nigerians I am proud of.
I must confess, that I am one of several persons, some who claim to know you closely, that had expressed concern when we heard that you have been picked to become the Executive Vice Chairman of Kaduna State Peace Commission in November, 2017. At that time it piqued me and left me wondering why a young woman like who would leave blooming, prestigious, well-paid professional carrier overseas into an uncharted dubious looking job with no clear mandate and powers, outside fulfilling a political promise. It was even more worrisome to me that you were to serve under a man who is shameless in displaying his hate and bigotry to your people and others who have refused to be sucked into his exclusive ring of questionable leadership. Well, you picked the job in the end.
I was privy to the several meetings you had with stakeholders in the state including members of the press. Even though I knew it was one step in a stormy journey of a thousand miles, I hailed your effort. But I knew it would take us nowhere, as you can still sadly see, that there was no time in the history of this state that we have been so insecure and so divided. From what I heard of you, I suspect you must be unhappy that so much is spent monthly to run the commission with very little to show for it almost one year since its formation: Yes, even though, (not as a credit to the Commission), the brazen invasion of Southern Kaduna communities have stopped, but isolated murder and kidnapping has not ceased not only in Southern Kaduna, but the entire state. I wanted to come to see you and lend you my hindsight into the reality of present Kaduna state and those running the government, but I saw you surrounded and monitored by those who consider my types enemies of the government. It is easy to get blackmailed under this government.
My dear Ankut, When I got a phone call on the 15th September 2018 by an angry youth who is fan of mine(I shall not mention his name), I decided I must have an open communication with you.
He had told me that he had found something very embarrassing, hypocritical and shameful on the integrity of Kaduna Peace Commission. When I asked further he said he was at some place were some APC youth were gloating over their ‘achievements.’
“The woman running the Peace Commission (Ms Priscilla Ankut) is a staunch APC woman. Look at her posters being displayed live with its APC logo. It is like she is among some APC youths celebrating themselves. I can’t believe this. How can she be so bold not to hide her partisanship,” he had fumed.
He returned with the evidence: A poster with your picture in which you grinning, as one of the kingpins in ‘Kaduna APC Emerging Young Leaders Summit 2018,’ with the APC logo and all intact. True, I had never suspected you could belong to that kind of party, though it is your fundamental right to belong to any party of your choice. It is just like, sometimes, when I figure someone that is urbane, polished and civilised, I find it had to link such a person to the APC. Should I put a call to challenge your unwise upon display of your membership of the party, a second thought said it may have been a designed mischief to display a woman of honour to dignify, decorate and deodorise the stinking scoundrel status of the APC in the state. In my mind I said if truly you are not APC you would protest shortly and disown the ‘evidence.’ And Knowing fully well that I am a hunted indigene of the state, who has been steadily harassed, abused, insulted, prosecuted, held in jailed by Kaduna State government under the leadership of Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, I said I would and see what you do over the matter.
My dear, as if in a final confirmation of your non-neutrality in the Peace Commission that you head, I discovered that the spokesman of the Governor, Mr. Samuel Aruwan had since September 13th, gleefully displayed your posters and others on his facebook wall for the world to see how much of the APC you have been. (He can bring it down now, if he likes).
No country in the world, no matter how backward, would pick a member of particular party to head a Peace Commission. Never
Curiously, one week has passed today without your public denial of that blatant display of partisanship while sitting on a position that calls for utmost neutrality. And I beginning to wonder if indeed you understand and appreciate the importance of that office to the wellbeing of Kaduna state if it where it truly created to achieve result. I am therefore, sufficiently pained and worried over this development under the following reasons:
That as an indigene of Kaduna state, who has no any other home outside, Zamandabo village in Southern Kaduna, I am totally, completely, wholly and irreversibly in support of genuine, sustainable, seamless peace and security in Kaduna state. After all, my part of the state has seen more of the horror of the pervasive evil in which many of our communities have been taken backward by at least 100 years to recover, if they will ever recover.
I covet and crave for peace and genuine reconciliation so that our people whose lands have been taken over by ‘conquering’ occupying herdsmen, and have never enjoyed a grain of physical sympathy by the present government, can have back their lands and homes and start rebuilding their damaged lives. As a people, I believe that all true natives and residents of Kaduna state crave for same.
Having affirmed the above, let me say that though I share pride in your stunning carrier at the UNDP, I am not a one to cheer you when, willingly, or unknowingly you made yourself a pawn in a game of choking hypocrisy and dirty subterfuge disguised as “I appointing their own” to lead the Peace Process. Because in the end it appears you were given the job as a faithful APC stalwart in the Diaspora – not an expert in peace, conflict and sundry matters. Your stature as a fecund expert of international stature has been eroded and replaced as one who has come to do the bidding of APC government in Kaduna state. They have demeaned and downgraded your social and professional standing through your own consent and for a morsel. The consolation you may have is that you are not the first from Southern Kaduna to be a castoff under el-Rufai.
Priscilla Ankut, you may have been living abroad not to know that El-Rufai has a penchant for luring a few unsuspecting Southern Kaduna indigenes of exceptional achievements in their fields of endeavour into his service just to see some of them ruined socially, politically and even lethally, naturally or by other forces. But I decree unto you that it shall not be your portion to go as low as them in the saving Mighty Name of Jesus! Amen.
Few examples: Global statesman and Prodigious soldier, Gen. Martins Agwai who was said to have recommended the payment to killer herdsmen, an allegation he denied strongly but has left him tainted forever. The next one was virtuoso, Nigerian science genius and potential Nobel winner, late Professor Andrew Nok, who was said to have approved the sacking of over 26,000 teachers most of them from Southern Kaduna. He died before clearing his name. Mr. Silas Liman, a prolific banker, Kaduna State patriot who was the interim Chairman of Southern Kaduna Indigenous Progressive Forum (SKIPFo). He left SKPFo in 2016 after accepting to be Deputy MD of Kaduna State Water Board. He was buried in July, Gora Bafwai, Zango Kataf LGA of the state. The thring that attended his burial was a testimony of his greatness.
The worst illustration on this is our deputy Governor, Arc. Barnabas Bala Bantex: One of the founding fathers of modern Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU); a brilliant architect and politician who was the toss of Southern Kaduna over his inflexible stand against the imposition of Sharai law over Kaduna state in 2000. He was also known as a fiery patriot of the state who insisted on justice and development of the place. Today, you cannot recognise the Bantex of those days from the Bantex that is deputising for el-Rufai. There are many more to mention but for want of space.
By this revelation of your partisanship, Ankut, el-Rufai has tragically proven that if indeed there are persons who have profiteered and gain from Southern Kaduna violence, it is the predominantly APC members he created jobs for in the guise of a Peace Commission. By this truth you have inadvertently, or otherwise, proven to be one of his infamous “conflict entrepreneurs.” Yes, ma’ as the person who runs the shot in the commission, it can easily be inferred that you are the beneficiary-in-chief of the ‘conflict merchandise’ from the structure that was formed in the aftermath of violence. I challenge your conscience, brilliant sister, to remain on that seat with all its privileges and perks of office, while your employer speaks so degradingly low of your people and is doing nothing your ravaged communities. Is being APC worth this burden on your, dignity morality and sense of justice?
But you don’t have to worry much, sister. You are not alone. There are also another group that are still, or have benefitted from the ‘loot’ of conflict in Southern Kaduna: They are the killer herdsmen that el-Rufai has identified, traced to their various countries and paid then huge sums of money after killing Southern Kaduna natives and destroying their homes. It should be a shocking insult that politics of APC has come to place you side by side such insidious, sinister monsters, from the height you are coming from.
And for the records, sister, that Southern Kaduna masses, elites and clergy have gotten only woes, ruins and blood and nothing more in the genocide , no matter how forceful el-Rufai wants to sell his ruse on the evil cast over our beautiful land. I said so, because despite the nauseating, deceitful, misleading propaganda by el-Rufai and his lost sheep, that Southern Kaduna elite and clergy were making profit from the blood of their own, they has totally been incapable of proving it. Again, and regrettably, history will put you, Ms Ankut, among those who got plumb jobs because you are APC members that were carefully selected to come and ‘chop from’ the structure created out of the violence that has left part of your ancestral land bleak and ruined.
After nearly one year in office, I am sure you now know that it is the utterances and actions of el-Rufai couple with his intemperate and unstable nature that constitutes the biggest threat to peace in Kaduna state more than anything else. And that your coming here will not change anything, if you cannot change the conduct of the Leader of the APC in Kaduna state.
Like I mentioned to you earlier, it is a pity that the same people who ought to protect and preserve you, have unmasked you and left you naked in the court of public opinion, when you should have been enjoying a blissful professional carrier at the UNDP in the UK or Zambia.
Let me conclude by saying that though the largely PDP part of Southern Kaduna love and respect you as our daughter, we cannot trust you in mediation between us and the larger APC northern areas of the state, because of your partisanship.
But, that is a prize you have to pay, for not heeding to wise counselling.
However, the good news is that by this time next year, your boss shall be somewhere –but certainly not in Sir Ibrahim Kashim House. Also, after you must have read this letter, I don’t know where vengeful and intolerant boss will keep me. But that is a price I have to pay too, if indeed Kaduna State must be free.
From Zamandabo village,