November 7, 2020

SOKIPEP to SOKAPU: We’re a known peace advocacy group

*Insists no continuous attacks’ going on in Southern Kaduna
*Challenges SOKAPU spokesman to radio, TV debate on Southern Kaduna issues

By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA- 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 as well as stakeholders, SOKIPEP urged the public to disregard the claim that Southern Kaduna was witnessing ‘continuous attacks’ by suspected militiamen of Fulani descent.

According to the group, its latest positions followed a press release by the public relations officer for the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), who had questioned the authenticity of the organisation, and the existence of its coordinator, Rev. Dauda Fadia.

In the said release, he had cast aspersion on SOKIPEP, even as it challenged the promoters to identify themselves to the public.

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 insisted 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.

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SOKIPEP’s positions were contained in a statement by its coordinator, Rev. Dauda Fadia.

The statement read in part, “…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 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 other stakeholders, SOKIPEP vowed to continue to expose those it described as merchant of conflicts.