Source: thewillnigeria.com

The PDP and GEJ propaganda machine have been spreading fabrications that Buhari is a religious extremist for many years. All those fabrications have been debunked by me and other public affairs analysts in the last 3 weeks. The PDP is the party of the extremists. The PDP has religious extremists like Adamu Muazu as its National Chairman. Muazu as Governor of Bauchi state in 2001 ordered the slaughter of Christians and the adoption and implementation of Sharia law against both Christians and Muslims. The PDP has Modu Sheriff, the Founder of Boko Haram as its leader in the North East. The PDP has Alhaji Shekarau as its leader in the Northwest.

24 hours after Boko Haram detonated bombs at the Nyanya, Abuja Bus Station and killed over 100 people, President Jonathan jetted out to Kano from Abuja in one of his 12 Presidency private jets and declared Shekarau the leader of the PDP in the Northwest with pomp and pageantry and wild celebrations characterized by skelewu and azonto dance steps.

President Jonathan was accused of dancing over the graves of those who lost their lives only 24 hours earlier. Shekarau also joined President Jonathan in dancing over the graves of those who died in the Nyanya bomb blast. This article reveals why Shekarau could display such despicable level of inhumanity.

Shekarau is an unrepentant Islamist who initiated, encouraged and incited the bloody Kano riot of May 11th to May 13th 2004 which left thousands of Christians dead. Most of whom were killed in their homes, schools and offices. Shekarau was the Governor of Kano State at the time and was elected in 2003 on a campaign promise to adopt and enforce Sharia law and make it applicable to all and sundry.

Azu Robert Mary of Nigerian Village square in an article published on Jan. 20. 2011 referenced a paper by Olufemi Oluniyi, Ph.D. presented at the International Peace Research Association Conference, “Building Sustainable Futures, Enacting Peace and Development” University of Leuven Belgium 15-19 July, 2008, which undertook an in-depth analysis of Shekarau's religious fundamentalism.

Azu Robert Mary's article and Dr. Oluniyi's paper have been reproduced below

It's no longer news that Kano state Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau is the 2011 presidential flag bearer of All Nigeria's Peoples Party, (ANPP). Having voluntarily offered to run for the highest office in the land, it is assumed that Shekarau has opened himself up to public scrutiny. In every democracy, a candidate running for president must explain his past records, present health condition and why he wants the sought after position, in order to convince the public that he could be trusted for that role.

For candidate Shekarau, he comes with a baggage of religious incitement and extremism allegations that are too weighty and messy to be swept under the carpet. The allegations are very fundamental because it goes to the root of who he is. Is he a leader of a secular nation or a global mujaheedin in the mould of the failed under pant bomber, AbdulMutalab? Only Shekarau can answer this.

Shekarau came into national limelight on a very negative note in 2004, barely a year after his election as a governor, following a very rare public bashing by a fellow governor, the then Ebonyi state governor, Sam Egwu.

Egwu in an interview, which made the front page news in Thisday newspaper of 20th may 2004 with the heading; Egwu: Hold Shekarau responsible for Kano riot, accused Shekarau of complicity in the May 2004 Kano riot that led to the needless deaths of scores of innocent Nigerians. Shekarau replied through a letter deliberately leaked to the press by Kano state government.

It is important at this point to give a background to this public spat by the two. For that, we refer to a published research on the incident by the University of Leuven, Belgium*. The research noted as follows;

On 2nd and 3rd February 2004, a dispute over land in Yelwa-Shendam, Plateau State, led to religion-related violence that claimed many lives with casualties heavier among the Christians. On 2nd and 3rd April, as well as 2nd and 3rd May 2004, dispute arose in the same locality resulting in heavier casualties among the Muslims.

On 10th May 2004, the Council of Ulama, Kano State Chapter, sought permission from Governor Shekarau for a street protest in solidarity with Muslims in Plateau State. The following day witnessed thousands of Muslims, including prominent state officials and a cabinet minister, in a violent protest and wanton destruction of lives and property of non-indigenes, especially Christians. Several Muslim leaders within and without Kano State foresaw wanton destruction of lives and property and looting in what the Council of Ulama was seeking. They therefore advised the governor not to grant the permit but the governor ignored wise counsel. …The counsel by fellow Muslims for refusal of permit was therefore not an attempt to deny fellow Muslims the freedom of assembly or expression; rather it was their awareness of the world of difference between the rhetoric and the reality of rights. They were keenly aware of times when calls for protest were merely rhetoric, whereas the real intention was for violence – and they were proved right the following day.

Egwu like most Nigerians was appalled and shocked beyond belief by the role of Shekarau, a former school teacher with the benefit of a higher education, in the Kano blood bath, especially his inability to intervene in order to save innocent lives that he had to publicly indict his colleague in the killings. Shekarau was undoubtedly livid and fired a leaked letter to the press, purportedly addressed to Egwu but never sent to the addressee. In the letter, see Daily Sun 4th June 2004; Shekarau tackles Egwu over Kano killings, Shekarau refused to explain his role in the human carnage nor any effort his government applied in avoiding the needless massacre. Rather Shekarau spent five out of the ten paragraph letter accusing Egwu of been misinformed, without bothering to enlighten the reader of what actually happened. The rest was a reference from a protocol note by a delegation of Igbo leaders in the state who perhaps out of courtesy 'thanked' him for his role in the crisis. Shekarau did not make available the details of the supposed 'thank you' letter. Till date, Nigerians are still waiting for Shekarau's explanation of his role in that blood bath.

It is interesting that Egwu did not back down from his indictment of Shekarau in the ugly bloodbath. In fact, in a reply to Shekarau's letter Daily Sun, 28th June 2004, Egwu bravely noted;

“I do not deny the fact that I made it known that Your Excellency's handling of the riot left so much to be desired, based on the available facts. In the second place, the intensity of the bloodletting, which was visited on non-Muslims and non-indigenes of Kano in general, is too severe to be treated as just another subject for ethno-religious politics. With due respect to Your Excellency, I am constrained to reaffirm that you are to be held responsible for the tragic fate of non-Muslims during the Kano mayhem. My position is informed not only by the fact that you are the Chief Security Officer of Kano State but also by the specific roles, which you and other officials of your administration played during the period. Your Excellency may recall that the Council of Ulama and other Muslim Youths marched to your office to have audience with your good self and that they were led in the protest not only by the chairman of Kano State Sharia Implementation Commission, Sheik Ibrahim Umar Kabo, but also by other prominent state officials including the Kano State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, Alhaji Abdulahi Sani Rogo. You may also recall that in the course of your interaction with the protesters, you not only decried what you described as the “organized massacre of Muslims globally”, but also stated that such acts will be an impetus to Muslims rather than cow them, adding that the protesters had your full backing. Your Excellency, in view of the volatile nature of Kano and its antecedents as a religious hot bed, your posture and utterances in such period of tension have all the trappings of an organized incitement. Given your new posture as an opponent of violence and intolerance, one would be surprised to note that no disciplinary action has been taken against any of the government functionaries who led and facilitated the demonstrations. This looks to me as a clear case of double-speak. It is regrettable that your Excellency quoted a letter of appreciation written to you by members of the Igbo Community Association, Kano as proof of their gratitude in respect of your assistance to the relatives of those who died in a motor accident along the Abuja/Lokoja road last year in which some Igbos were involved. Your Excellency also failed to note that the said letter was sent to you on 19 April, 2004 – about one month before the bloody riot in issue. One is therefore deeply at a loss as to the relationship between the letter and the critical issue of the loss of lives and valuable property by Igbo and other Nigerians in Kano.

I am rather surprised that Your Excellency failed to appreciate the depth of suspicion and distrust by Igbos and other riot victims to you and your administration as demonstrated by their collective rejections of the relief materials your government sent them during the riot even at the pain of starvation.”

In a Guardian Newspaper headline of May 20, 2004 with the title “Emirs, religious leaders query Shekarau's role in Kano riots by Saxone Akhaine, the paper stated that “EMIRS and religious leaders in the North rose from a meeting yesterday blaming Governor Ibrahim Shekarau for the crisis that claimed many lives and property in Kano State…”

The Guardian reported that “at the meeting held behind closed-doors at the Arewa House, Kaduna for several hours, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, narrated the genesis of the crisis and how traditional council members in Kano had warned Governor Shekarau against addressing a rally of aggrieved indigenes of the state.”

The Guardian stated that “According to a source close to the Emirs and Islamic leaders, “the meeting was a revealing one as to the cause of escalation of the Kano riot. The Emirs, after studying the verbal report of His Royal Highness, Ado Bayero, have decided to come out with a strongly worded letter against the action of Governor Shekarau, to the Federal Government, in order to forestall future occurrences of such violence.”

The Guardian continued “The source added that apart from the Emir of Kano who presented a situation report on how the crisis in Kano erupted, other traditional rulers who lent their voices condemning the recent crises include the Emir of Zauzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Mustapha Jokolo and the Secretary-General of Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Justice Abdulkadri Orire(rtd).

They all agreed that efforts must be made to ensure that there is lasting peace in the North.”

The Emir of Kano was said to have made it clear to Shekarau that “himself (Alhaji Ado Bayero) and other traditional rulers in the state were against the procession by those who converged to be addressed by the governor, because they knew that any street protest would be hijacked by hoodlums. But the governor was in favour of the procession.”

The sources stressed that the “Emir told Shekarau that he would be held responsible for the outcome of the procession. The people asked him for permission to protest the killings in Plateau State on the streets of Kano.”

Bunmi Awoyemi, Ph.D, is a public affairs analyst, international lawyer, author and entrepreneur.

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