Okwe Obi, Abuja
Indigenous people of Southern part of Kaduna State under the aegies of Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners (SOKIPEP), have appealed to the Federal and State Governments, not to allow those carrying out the killings and kidnapping, to go scot free.
While enjoining government and security personnel to treat them as criminals, they thanked Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) for responding swiftly.
National Coordinator of SOKIPEP, in a statement yesterday, Dauda Fadia, said a fresh attack took place at Gora Zagwaza Village in Zango Kataf Local Government of Kaduna State on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. While a counter attack happened at Kurmin Masara Village in Zango Kafaf, which led to the death of one herder and a local farmer.
He said: “We condemn in the strongest term the unprovoked attacks by yet to be identified criminals which led to serious bodily harm on one of the victims currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Zonkwa, while the other three victims are still missing.
“Another attack and counter attack at Kurmin Masara Village in Zango Kafaf, regrettably led to the death of one herder and a local farmer on the Wednesday, September 9,2020. These are very unfortunate incidents considering that they happened at a time peace had returned to the once troubled Southern Kaduna area due to the concerted efforts of the military, key stakeholders, community, civil society and faith based organizations as well as well meaning individuals.
“We sincerely commend the swift response of men of Operation Safe Haven who got to both scenes in minutes and arrest was made from both parties. The quick response prevented escalation and more casualty. We appeal to the military outfit to sustain the tempo.
” It is so sad that while efforts are on going to restore permanent peace to Southern Kaduna, some of our misguided youths still find it convenient to attack herdsmen who were only grazing their cattle in Zagwaza without any form of provocation, injured one and three still missing and another at Kurmin Masara which claimed two lives one herder and a local.
“This wicked act could have been prevented from our elders and leaders. It should not be condoned in any form because every life matters. We can’t be supporting criminals and expect God to be with us. Every human life is important, no matter the tribe or religion, we are created by one God.
“We in SOKIPEP put this blame completely on the sentimental and unpatriotic activities of some of our cultural organizations and some elites who ought to be preaching peace and speaking the truth but are rather busy playing politics of 2023 with the life of our people. We are certain that God will ask them for every single life lost on their account on the judgement day.
“Instead of leading the way with other well meaning Southern Kaduna peace lovers to go round the communities to sensitize our youths on the need to be peaceful and law abiding, they prefer to be speaking on the pages of newspapers and playing religious and ethnic cards leaving the main focus of peace and reconciliation.
“Even when they attend meetings aimed at restoring peace,they don’t come back home to brief the youths on the outcome and agreements reached, leaving the youths with the seed of hatred they planted in the media.
“For us, the major problem in Southern Kaduna is not religious or ethnic difference, but politics and sentiments being propagated by some so called leaders of our people for their selfish interests.
“We strongly commend the officers and men of Operation Haven, the special forces and other security agencies for their sacrifices and commitment toward full restoration of peace in our area.
“They have the full assurances of the peace loving Southern Kaduna people and they should deal decisively with criminals no matter their status, tribe and religion.
” We therefore, appeal to our youths not to allow themselves to be used to breach peace by people whose children are base in Abuja, Kaduna and Jos.
“No matter the level of provocation, they should report to the security agencies for action.”