Southern Kaduna: SOKIPEP condemns fresh attacks

…Tells kinsmen not to allow themselves used to breach peace efforts

…Commends OPSH for swift response to attacks, preventing escalation…urges military to treat perpetrators as criminals

Southern Kaduna holds 51.2% population of Kaduna state — SOKAPU

By Joseph Erunke

Indigenous peace-building organisation in Southern Kaduna operating under the aegis of Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners, SOKIPEP, has condemned last Tuesday and Wednesday’s isolated attacks in Southern Kaduna.

The attacks it said, resulted in the death of one person, another injured while three others were declared missing.

The attacks, according to the group, occurred at Gora Zagwaza Village in Zango Kataf Local Government of Kaduna State on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. 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 Wednesday, September 9, 2020,” SOKIPEP said.

The group said the incidents were unfortunate considering that they happened at a time peace had returned to Southern Kaduna following efforts of Operation Safe Haven, OPSH, and other critical stakeholders. The group asked security agencies to treat persons caught in connection with the dastard acts as criminals, no matter their status, tribe and religion.

It regretted that some people were bent in truncating the peace for selfish and monetary gain it noted.

“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 outfit, Nigeria Christian pilgrims commission, community, civil society and faith-based organizations as well as well-meaning individuals,” it said.

Describing the attack as unprovoked, SOKIPEP, in a statement, in Abuja, Thursday, by its National Coordinator, Rev Dauda Fadia, warned youths in the area against allowing themselves from being “used to breach peace by people whose children are in Abuja, Kaduna and Jos.”

The organization, in the statement, said,”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.”

The statement read in full: “The Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners (SOKIPEP) is issuing this statement with a heavy heart following an unprovoked attack on four Fulani herdsmen in Gora Zagwaza Village in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State State on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

“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 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-meaning individuals.

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“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 ongoing 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 by 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 based in Abuja, Kaduna and Jos.

“No matter the level of provocation, they should report to the security agencies for action.”

VANGUARD

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