Politics

‘Facts changed’ – El Rufai reacts to old videos of him criticising Jonathan after Chibok girls kidnap

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai claims “facts have changed” while responding to critics circulating an old video of him criticising the administration of former President, Goodluck Jonathan when students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.

In the clip that went viral on Tuesday, El-Rufai who was one of the loud voices that attacked the government of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan criticised Jonathan for not negotiating with the students.

He had said, “If one of these girls was Jonathan’s daughter, the story would have been different. The only reason why these girls are still in captivity is because they are not the daughter of any important Nigerian, and we know it. If you say we are politicising terrorism, go and rescue the girls so that I will not have the basis to politicise it.”

Asked if he was in support of negotiation, he had responded: “I am in support of every option, when you have life’s of a citizen at risk, you should not have any option on the table. You should reflect and listen.”

However, El-Rufai views then in 2014 contrast the stance of his present administration in the fight against arms-wielding bandits who have wrecked havoc on human lives and properties in the northern region.

And despite being under pressure to negotiate with the terrorists who have recently abducted students of the Federal College Of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna and Greenfield University, the Governor has remained defiant in his position of not paying ransom or negotiating with the bandits.

Reacting to the video in a statement published through his @GovKaduna handle, El-Rufai claimed that the path he proposed in 2014 cannot be the same in 2021.

He said in the statement titled ‘Surrender to criminal is not an option – KDSG’, he said, “It is prudent to review one’s position when the facts change. A path proposed in 2014 cannot be taken as the immutable answer to a serious problem which has since evolved. Negotiations have not stopped the criminals. We seek to solve today’s problem with tools fit for them”

“Amidst the violence unleashed by criminals on the people of Kaduna State, some commentators have responded by blaming KSDG for asserting that the duty of the state is to uphold the law and not to reward hoodlums for violating the lives, property and liberties of citizens.

“Those pushing that kind of narrative are sharing a video clip of a 2014 interview in which Malam Nasir El-Rufai called on the government of President Goodluck Jonathan to use all options, including negotiation, to rescue the Chibok girls. The years since 2014 may have led some people to forget the denial and doubt that defined the FG’s response to the Chibok abductions, especially the initial refusal to acknowledge that it happened. That was the context under which civic pressures were brought on the government.

“Nigeria’s journey since the 2014 Chibok tragedy has proven that the solution to violent crimes, including terrorism and banditry, is a robust response from the state and its coercive agencies. The quantum of money paid as ransom following many negotiations with bandits have not stopped kidnappings, reduced their frequency or deterred the criminals.”

He further expressed his regrets with the abduction of students from tertiary institutions and the killings of five of the abducted Greenfield University students.

He said the abductors killed them in order to mount pressure on the no-negotiation stance of the government.

“KSDG regrets the recent kidnaps and killings of students from tertiary institutions in our state and we sympathize with their families with whom we share the aim of the safe return of all the students. We mourn the dead students and we offer our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. Th ruthless and heartless resort of the kidnappers to murdering these young persons is part of their effort to further their blackmail and compel us to abandon our ‘no-ransom, no-negotiation’ policy.”

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