SOKAPU, SOKIPEP differ on attacks in Southern Kaduna
An indigenous peace advocacy group, the Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners (SOKIPEP), has reiterated its commitment to enduring peace and unity in the area.
While maintaining that its existence and agenda for peaceful co-existence are well known to the people and stakeholders, SOKIPEP urged the public to disregard claims that Southern Kaduna was witnessing ‘continuous attacks’ by suspected militiamen of Fulani descent.
The group declared that its latest positions followed a press release by the Public Relations Officer for the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Mr. Luka Binniya, who questioned the organisation’s authenticity, and the existence of its coordinator, Rev. Dauda Fadia.
In the said release, Binniya had cast aspersion on SOKIPEP, even as it challenged the promoters to identify themselves to the public.
The statement by Binniya read in part: “It has come to the notice of SOKAPU, a supposed person, called Rev. Dauda Fadia, who claims to be the National Coordinator of a group called Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners (SOKAPEP).
“This Fadia is on various media platforms yesterday and today disparaging a Press Statement signed by myself on behalf of 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, locations, and so forth.
We also gave out, like we have done many times, the names of 100 communities of Southern Kaduna captured and occupied by Fulani militia to 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.”
“But, SOKIPEP 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 said the claim of not knowing the organisation’s existence 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. Binniya that at the appropriate time, we shall be exposing pictures and video of the event we attended together with SOKAPU leaders, including Luka Binniya. We are also challenging him to a TV or radio debate at any venue of his choice and time…
“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 the public to continue to support peace-building efforts by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the military, and other stakeholders, SOKIPEP vowed to continue to expose those it described as merchants of conflicts.