By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Southern Kaduna poeple’s Union ( SOKAPU) has been vindicated over it’s statement on the contentious alleged Killing of one of the their members known as Kaduna Garba.
Confirming the information to our correspondent on telephone interview on Saturday, a Kataf man, Mr Victor Bubai, said Mr. Kaduna Garba was actually killed by bandits.
Victor Bubai who was an appointee of the former Governor of Kaduna state and Vice President of Nigeria, Arc Namadi Sambo, told our reporter on phone that one, out of kinsmen was killed.
He conceded that ” Kaduna Garba was killed on his way with some others by bandits.
“Yes, one of them was killed but not by attacks but by bandits. Is just like somebody got himself killed on his way traveling to Abuja. It was an attack and not a communal attacks as portrayed by SOKAPU. If it’s for purpose of keeping record of those killed, its a different thing, but they should not generalise that everybody killed, is a SOKAPU member because doing so is wrong, as long as the person was not attacked and killed in his house, it’s not a reprisal attack”, he said.
The Kaduna Police command spokesman, Muhammad jalige, could neither pick call, nor replied text message when was contacted, to “help us with information on the back and forth over Mr. Kaduna Garba, who was allegedly killed by bandits in kajuru on his way, with his kinsmen, to their village from IDP.?
Earlier, SOKAPU had issued a press release, alleging ‘continuous attacks and killings in Southern Kaduna communities.
However, a group under the guise of indigenous Peace Advocacy Group, the Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners (SOKAPEP), had Criticised SOKAPU statement and described it as falsehood, spreader and machants of crises.
SOKAPEP, which maintained that it’s existence and agenda for peaceful co-existence are well known, asked stakeholders and general public to disregard SOKAPU’s claims that Southern Kaduna was witnessing ‘continuous attacks by suspected militiamen of Fulani descent.
According to the SOKAPEP, its latest positions followed a press release by the SOKAPU public relations officer, Mr. Luka Binniya, who had questioned the authenticity of the SOKAPEP, and the existence of its coordinator, Rev. Dauda Fadia.
According to the SOKAPEP, the said statement by Binniyat read in part: “It has come to the notice of SOKAPU of a supposed person, called Rev. Dauda Fadia who claims to be the National Coordinator of a group called Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners (SOKIPEP).
“This Fadia is on various media platforms yesterday and today disparaging a Press Statement signed by myself on behalf of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) in which we revealed the murder of three of our members in three different locations in Southern Kaduna last week. We identified them by their real names, ages, location and so forth. We also gave out, like we have done many other times, the names of 100 communities of Southern Kaduna captured and occupied by Fulani militia till date. But this Rev. Dauda Fadia came out to say that we lied.
“It is worthy to note here that our various checks with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State Chapter and direct inquiries from Pastors and Reverends in Southern Kaduna show that there is no such human being existing as “Rev. Dauda Fadia”, he stated.
He had further stated that “We again asked various natives of Fadia community at home and outside Fadia about the said ‘Rev. Dauda Fadia’ and they all said such a person does not and has never existed in Fadia. They said he should produce his surname so that his family can be identified. They are angry that a character like that could be created and his nefarious activities linked to their noble home.
“If Rev. Dauda Fadia exists, we challenge him to come out in the open and refute our claims of his being a creation of insidious fiction.
“Again, SOKAPEP under which this pseudonym hides to carry out a desperate launder of his creators, does not exist anywhere in Southern Kaduna, talk less of having branches in the state and at the National level, in which the fake Fadia is claiming to be its National Coordinator. We again challenge ‘him’ to produce the office address of (SOKIPEP ) and the names of other members of his exco”.
But, SOKAPEP has accused the Union’s spokesperson of trying to divert attention from the false narrative of ‘continuous attacks’ he had propagated, which the former’s investigations had contradicted.
It reiterated that the claim of not knowing the existence of the organisation, was a deliberate attempt to save his face, having been exposed for who he is.
“SOKIPEP’s positions were contained in a statement by its coordinator, Rev. Dauda Fadia.
“We wish to inform Mr Binniyat that at the appropriate time, we shall be exposing pictures and video of event we attended together with SOKAPU leadership among Luka Binniyat. We are also challenging him to a TV or radio debate at any venue of his choice and time,” SOKIPEP said.
The statements read in part: “The attention of SOKAPEP, 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 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 inciteful 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.”
While calling on members of the public to continue to support peace-building efforts by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the military and security agencies as well as other stakeholders, SOKIPEP vowed to continue to expose those it described as merchant of conflicts.
It read further: “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 merchants 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 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 SOKAPEP is well known to Binniya and SOKAPU, even as Rev. Fadia is known to members of Fadia Community, as well as CAN”. End