Okwe Obi, Abuja
Peace advocates under the aegis of
Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners (SOKIPEP), have vowed to expose those making life hellish for residents of southern part of Kaduna State.
The however, claimed that for now, residents are enjoying peace contrary to a report by the spokesperson of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Luka Binniya, who had raised the alarm over attacks.
SOKIPEP National Coordinator, Rev. Dauda Fadia, in a statement Saturday, cautioned the leadership of SOKAPU to desist from raising dust where there is none in order not jeopardise the effort of security personnel in restoring lasting peace.
Faia said: “The attention of the Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners (SOKIPEP), has been drawn to a press release issued in the name and signature of one Mr. Luka Binniya, who is the Public Relations Officer of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), wherein our identity and credibility were called to question.
“The said press release dated Friday, November 6, 2020, had referred to our response disproving SOKAPU’s earlier misleading and inciting claim of ‘continuous attacks’ on Southern Kaduna communities.
“As an indigenous peace advocacy organisation, we had undertaken an independent investigation of claims of disturbing attacks on locals, by suspected Fulani militiamen.
“Considering the seriousness of the allegation, the source from where it emanated, and its implication on the security of Southern Kaduna, we decided to deploy sufficient time, energy and resources into the project, in a bid to unravel the truth.
“Upon thorough and painstaking investigation, which included one-on-one interaction with villagers supposedly affected by the said invasion, it was discovered that no such incidents occurred, as claimed by Binniya, in his release.
“As critical stakeholders in the ongoing efforts to return peace and stability to Southern Kaduna and its environs, SOKIPEP deemed it appropriate and expedient to convey its findings to the general public, to put a lie to the ugly narrative of continuous attacks’ in Southern Kaduna.
“Rattled and ruffled by our courage to tell the truth, and expose the wicked lies of ongoing attacks, SOKAPU’s spokesperson went on a demolition campaign of defamation, which included, but not limited, to doubting our existence and that of our coordinator, Rev. Dauda Fadia.
“Ordinarily, we would not have dignified Binniya with a response, but for the audacity with which he impugned our integrity, and that of our coordinator.
“SOKIPEP is not surprised at this resort to bare-faced attack on our hard-earned reputation, especially as our findings had exposed the writer for who he truly is – an enemy of peace, bent on stoking ethnic tension.
“We hasten to state – for the umpteenth time – that Binniya and his co-travellers are merchant of crisis, who profit from a state of insecurity and disharmony.
“May we further restate our vow to continually and continuously expose persons and groups – no matter how highly-placed in society – whose interest is anything but peace and harmonious co-existence”.
It added: “Lastly, we wish to restate the fact of our existence as an indigenous peace building and advocacy group, committed to supporting the military, security agencies, and other key stakeholders working for the stabilisation of Southern Kaduna.
“The public is hereby enjoined to disregard anything to the contrary, as SOKIPEP is well known to Binniya and SOKAPU, even as Rev. Fadia is known to members of Fadia Community, as well as CAN.”