El-Rufai Vs John Danfulani: A Case of ‘All Animals Are not Equal’
Kaduna State Police Commissioner, Umar Kofar-Naisa, recently ordered the Vice Chancellor, Kaduna State University (KASU), Professor Williams Barnabas Qurix, to produce a vocal alleged anti-government lecturer, Dr. John Danfulani, over a Facebook comment allegedly credited to him.
Meanwhile, the state University had already suspended the Political Science lecturer on the 8th of January, 2016, after it had issued him a query earlier on same issue of Facebook comment.
Even though a group known as Nerzit Patriotic Front, in conjunction with Youth Nigerian Christian League and Southern Kaduna Lawyers, among other pressure groups, kicked against the suspension of the lecturer, asking KASU to rescind its decision, but KASU was not moved. Even when the groups threatened state authority that it would go to court, and that KASU would be seen acting to please the state government in “persecuting Dr. John Danfulani because he holds a different political ideology, ethnic and religious learning with the government of the day,” makes no sense.
The suspension letter, dated 21st January, 2015, with reference No.– CR: 3000/KDS/X/D6/Vol.82/150, signed by CP Umar Kofar-Naisa, addressed to the VC of KASU and made available to newsmen in Kaduna, reads: “This Department is investigating the above mentioned case involving one of your lecturers, Dr. John Danfulani. “You are kindly requested to release him to interview the undersigned through O/C General Surveillance State SCIID Kaduna on 25/01/2006 at about 1000hrs to enable us complete our investigation.
It later stressed that, “Accept the assurance of the Command’s continuous regard, please.” Perhaps, unknown to the CP, Danfunali, the Southern Kaduna Christian rights activist, had already been suspended by KASU.
The Registrar of KASU, Mrs Talatu A. Kuri, had on the 8th of January, written Danfulani to inform him of his suspension from the school. The letter reads in parts: “We refer to our letter of query dated 5th January, 2016, requesting you to explain within 48 hours why disciplinary action will not be taken against you for gross misconduct and confirm that you failed to respond. In line with S15 (1) 4 of KASU staff Conditions of Service, the Vice Chancellor has suspended you from duty forthwith, and will report the matter to Council. “You will be placed on half salary as per S15 (1)7 of KASU Staff Conditions of Service, until the Council considers and decides on your case please.”
It could be recalled that on his activism manner, Danfulani had last November addressed a Press Conference in Kaduna, where he condemned the government of El-Rufai as “anti-people.” He has also spoken against what he termed as the “genocide” against Nigeria Shiite last year.
The suspension of the lecturer, which prompted another vocal Kaduna group, the Nertzit Patriotic Front, to kick against the action, does not come as a surprise to some people. The chairman of the group, Mr. George Makeri, addressed a Press Conference in Kaduna at the Catholic Media Center and said: “KASU should resist the temptation of involving itself into matters outside its jurisdiction,” adding that, the “ideological leanings, political preferences, religious beliefs and personal life of its workers should not be their concern.
“What they should focus on is, productivity of employees; the value they are adding to the system vis-à-vis the aim of the institution. On the strength of our observations, we hereby beseech KASU to immediately withdraw its suspension and bury its intentions to victimise Dr. John Danfulani further because of his faith and ethnic background.
“If this suspension stands, we shall go ahead and take all legal measure and pressure to see that this ethnic-centered agenda don’t stand. KASU is for all, not for any particular ethnic or religious group. We will indefatigably resist injustice of any form against the doctor,” reads parts of the statement.