by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) has been vindicated over its contentious statement on the alleged killing of one of its members, known as Mr. Kaduna Garba.
Confirming the incident to our correspondent on telephone interview on Saturday, a Kataf man, Mr Victor Bobai, said Mr. Kaduna Garba was actually killed by bandits.
Victor Bobai, who was a Special Assistant to the former governor of Kaduna state and Vice President of Nigeria, Arc Namadi Sambo, told our reporter other persons escaped when Mr Garba was killed.
He however conceded that he was not sure, if Mr. Kaduna Garba was killed by Fulani militia.
“Yes, one of them was killed but not by attacks, but by bandits. It’s just like somebody got himself killed on his way traveling to Abuja or while in Abuja. It was not a communal attack as portrayed.
If it’s for purpose of keeping records of those killed, it’s a different thing; but they should not generalize 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.
We’ve agreed that police should confirm anybody killed before sending statement to the media. We don’t have the kinds of sophisticated weapons some have to fight with them,” he said.
The Kaduna Police Command’s spokesman, Muhammad Jalige, could neither pick his call nor reply text messages when 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 that their member, Mr. Garba, was killed in fresh continuous attacks in Southern Kaduna communities. However, an indigenous Peace Advocacy Group, the ‘Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners’ (SOKAPEP), had criticized SOKAPU’s statement and described it as falseful and crises merchants.
SOKAPEP maintained that its existence and agenda for peaceful co-existence is well known and asked stakeholders and the 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 reads in part: “It has come to the notice of SOKAPU of a supposed person called Rev. Dauda Fadia, who claimed 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.
“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.
“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.”