Timeline: The curious case of Audu Maikori, Nasir El-Rufai and #SouthernKaduna

by Dolapo Adelana

Chocolate City boss, Audu Maikori is not new to the nation’s political landscape.

But he was silent most of last year for reasons best known to him.

Maikori found his voice when the killings in Southern Kaduna began.

Late 2016, Maikori, a Southern Kaduna native in his bid to stop the killings penned a piece entitled, “Not a very Merry Christmas for the people of Southern Kaduna”. His mistake? He used some pictures from the Rwanda genocide to depict the situation in Southern Kaduna. The use of the pictures sparked outrage as many hounded him, accusing him of misleading the public.

The Kaduna government under the leadership of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, appeared unhappy with the post. El-Rufai expressed his disaffection while speaking at the Social Media Week in Lagos early March.

This disaffection led to Maikori’s arrest early this year.

Here is a timeline of what has transpired from the day the record label boss posted the article till date:

December 23, 2016: Ahead of the Christmas celebration, Maikori posted a piece on his Facebook page condemning the killings of Christians on Southern Kaduna. He called on both the state and federal government to but an end to the violence as he proffered possible solutions to end the crisis.

December 30, 2016: In an exclusive interview with YNaija, Maikori said people of Southern Kaduna will not watch while a generation is wiped out by Fulani herdsmen.

When asked if governor El-Rufai is doing enough to nip the crisis in the bud, Maikori replied, “Yes the governor is taking action but the action is not enough!”

January 26, 2017: Maikori was accused of spreading falsehood on Twitter following a report he posted that five students of the College of Education, Gidan Waya were killed by Fulani herdsmen. A report denied by the institution.

January 26, 2017: Speaking up against the accusations, Maikori in defending himself said he will not allow his name to be maligned and rubbished. He queried his accusers, asking if no one from Southern Kaduna had been killed all the while.

January 26, 2017: The Twitter war continued as some indigenes of Southern Kaduna came to Maikori’s defence. They wondered how much his accusers had been paid to dance on the corpses of fellow Nigerians.

January 26, 2017: The discussion on Twitter did not abate as it became coloured with ethnicity with Maikori at the centre of the crossfire.

January 27, 2017: As the drama continued, YNaija in its analysis of the situation pointed out that the government was the actual problem not Maikori.

February 04, 2017: As the heat intensified, Maikori penned an unreserved apology for his false statement on the killing of some students of the College of Education, Gidan Waya.

February 04, 2017: Not moved by his apology, many called for his head on Twitter over the false information on the killings on Southern Kaduna.

February 17, 2017: Maikori was arrested by the police in Lagos and transferred to Abuja on the orders of a Kaduna magistrate. The news of his came as a shock to many who tried to wrap their heads around the reason behind the decision. A #FreeAudu hashtag was created and started trending within hours of the news.

Such a news could not come without people on Twitter diving in to give their opinions. Some said his arrest was justified, while others, yet again, insisted that he was not the problem.

February 18, 2017: Lending her voice to Audu’s arrest, Obiageli Ezekwesili, co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Group in a series of tweets said, Governor El-Rufai had agreed to free Maikori, just as PDP youths demanded for his release.

His arrest turned out as an avenue for people on Twitter to battle and settle old scores.

February 18, 2017: True to El-Rufai’s words, Maikori was released 24 hours after his arrest.

February 19, 2017: The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said Maikori was being investigated over his inflammatory tweets, adding that he would be arraigned in court soon.

February 24, 2017: The Police said it was dropping the charges against Maikori.

March 02, 2017: Governor El-Rufai while speaking at the Social Media Week in Lagos said Maikori’s tweets had the possibility of inciting reprisal attacks on Fulanis in the state.

March 10, 2017: Maikori was rearrested by the Police in Lagos, just three weeks after his first arrest.

March 12, 2017: Maikori is set to appear in court on Monday.

However, the police has denied re-arresting the record label owner. Spokesperson of the Kaduna Police command, Aliyu Usman said, “We’re not aware of his arrest.”

 

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