SOKIPEP condemns attacks, reprisals that claimed 7 lives in S/Kaduna
*Commends OPSH, DHQ Special Force on swift response
*Praises FG, Governor El- Rufai for supporting security agencies
* Urges stakeholders not to be discouraged but sustain peace efforts in area
A peace advocacy group, Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners Network,SOKIPEP, has condemned the isolated killing of two herders in Jema’a Local Government Area of kaduna State about three weeks ago by some suspected native criminals.
SOKIPEP also flayed the malicious poisoning of water and grasses on cattle routes in five villages of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of the state about seven days ago, and the consequent reprisals attacks in Gora Gan Community in Zango Kataf Local Government.
The attack in Gora Gan community of Zango Kataf,it said,led to death of
seven natives and burning down of 13 houses and a shop,respectively.
According to a statement, Friday,by the group, through its National Coordinator, Rev. Dauda Fadia,the dastardly acts were likely to be the results of alleged killing of two herders and poisoning of streams and grasses on cattle routes,leading to death of about 23 cattle.
Regretting that some persons were killed while houses and shops were also burnt down during the reprisal attack, it noted that the actions were retrogressive considering the efforts put so far by the federal, and Kaduna State Government, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) as well as other critical stakeholders to ensure peace in the area.
While urging restraint by both parties,it accused some persons benefiting from the crisis in the area for being responsible for the acts.
The group, however, commended Operation Safe Haven and the Defence Headquarters Special Forces for their prompt response as well as averting escalation which it noted,would have had devastating consequences on both parties.
“We wish to condemn in the strongest terms the inhuman and barbaric killings of two herders in Jema’a Local Government Area of kaduna State and the subsequent poisoning of streams and grasses on cattle routes which led to the death of about 23 cattle in Mataei;Ugwan Wakili;Ugwan Tobo; Magamiya and Asha Awuce, all villages in Atyap Chiefdom in Zango Kafaf local Government Area of Kaduna state by some criminals suspected to be from Atyap Community as well as the reprisal attack on Gora Gan by suspected Fulani militia.
“These condemnable acts that took place all within the last three weeks, culminated in the brutal reprisal attack on Gora Gan Community in Atyap Chiefdom of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State by some suspected Fulani criminals, yesterday, December 17, 2020
Seven persons were killed while 13 houses and a shop were also burnt down during the reprisal attack.
“We wish to say that these retrogressive and callous acts by both parties are highly condemnable and must not be allowed to thrive,” it said in the statement.
The group said,” While not trying to hold brief for any group or create a defence for the reprisal attack, the reprisal attack was provoked by the criminal activities of some unguided natives.
” As peace practitioners, we must speak the truth because only truth, justice, and equality can guarantee peace and stability, this we must do no matter who is involved or hurt.”
” Our elders and cultural organizations must carry out community advocacy and enlightenment targeted at our youths in Southern Kaduna, so that they can stop the youths from always taking laws into their hands thereby endangering the lives of other innocent and peace loving people of Southern Kaduna,”it charged.
It queried:”What is the point of poisoning grasses and streams on cattle routes without any provocation? Is this not share wickedness and criminality aimed at instigating crisis?”
“We believe strongly that the misguided youths who carried out this wicked act of poisoning grasses and streams were sponsored by some blood-tasty fifth columnists who were benefiting from the age- long crises that is being resolved due to the concerted efforts of the federal government, Governor Nasir el-Rufai, Operation Safe Haven and other critical stakeholders,” it said.
The peace advocacy group added:”We believe this progress made in the peace efforts in the area has put these supposed sponsors out of business since their business thrive only in crisis times hence their desperate efforts to revive it.”
“We advise that the entire good people of Southern Kaduna must come together to reject these evil and crisis merchants once and for all, we must not be discouraged by these acts but continue to do all within our powers to pursue peace. it said.
It commended Operation Safe Haven, the Defence Headquarters Special Forces, and other stakeholders for the painstaking efforts at ensuring peace reign in the area.
“Our findings from the community attacked confirmed once again that the quick intervention of troops of Operation Safe Haven and the Defence Headquarter special forces averted what would have led to more casualties and carnage yesterday.
“They repelled the attack and chased the attackers out from the community. This is the kind of response expected of security agencies.
“We therefore, want to appeal to the security agencies to fish out these criminals from both sides and their sponsors as they did in the past.
“We call on our elders to go all out to preach and work for peace instead of grand standing on media for political relevance while wishing for peace,” the statement added further.
According to the group,”Given that this is our place, we will be at the receiving end if we sit down with our hands folded without taking reasonable actions to restore peace.”