Shehu Sani, the senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, has demanded that Kaduna State governor, Mr. Nasir El-Rufai, be made to go through psychiatric examination to ascertain his mental state.
Mr. Sani made the demand in a letter addressed to the Chief Medical Director, Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital, Kaduna. Dated 7 May, the letter stated that Mr. El-Rufai’s recent expletive-ridden speech in which he called on the people of the state to visit violence on the three senators representing them entitles him to the attention of a psychiatrist.
Last Friday while addressing a meeting of All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders in Kaduna, the governor asked the people of the state to “shave the heads and beards of Messrs. Sani, Suleiiman Hunkuyi and Danjuma Laah when they come to Kaduna.
The governor, who spoke in Hausa,was angry that the three senators opposed his administration’s bid to obtain a $350millioon loan. The Senate rejected the governor’s request on the ground that his state is the second most indebted in the country.
Mr. El-Rufai, in a fit of uncontrollable rage, also called the senators useless, saying God will curse them. Audio clip of the address subsequently went viral. In his letter, Mr. Sani said given the brittle security situation in the country and Kaduna State particularly, a call for violence on he and his two colleagues could only have been made by a diseased mind.
“This open call to violence, disorder and inflammatory predisposition of the speech of a man, who occupies an exalted office, is in my humble opinion, symptomatic of a paranoid personality disorder. It is in the safe interest of the state and the nation that the mental state of the governor be clinically and professionally verified,” said Mr. Sani.
While noting that the constitution does bars people of unsound mind from occupying public office, Mr. Sani said many violence conflicts around the world were caused by utterances such as the one made by Mr. El-Rufai, whom he said called on one group to attack another.
Mr. Sani stated that the Tribunal of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has criminalised the type of utterance made by Mr. El-Riufai and considers such as verging on genocide and other crimes against humanity.
“The cases of Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya among others readily come to mind here. It is against this backdrop that I request that, as a matter of urgency, conduct clinical mental examination and analysis of the extract from this recent speech of Governor El-Rufai here attached,” said the senator.
Mr. Sani added that there is a need to criminalise conduct, which seeks to use violence as a means of gaining personal and political advantage, as the next general elections approach.
While awaiting the response of the Chief Medical Director, Mr. Sani said he wil immediately initiate, in the Senate, the process for inclusion in the Electoral Act of provisions compelling elective holders to undergo psychiatric evaluation. Such office holders and their appointees Mr. Sani added, must also be made to undergo tests for substance abuse before being elected or appointed.