Southern Kaduna: Group chides Lekwot over comments against military

Southern Kaduna indigenes under the aegis of Coalition of Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioner (SOKIPEP), has chided a retired Army General, Zamani over his recent statement on the killings in the area.

Lekwot was quoted as condemning the recent position of the Commander of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Major General Chukwuemeka Okonkwo that both sides in the Southern Kaduna crisis were involved in the cycle of attacks and isolated killings.

The one time military administrator of Rivers State, had accused the OPSH Commander of partisanship in the crisis, adding that, “as professionals, security personnel are supposed to be neutral in everything, to inculcate confidence in the people”.

But the group in a statement, Monday, noted that, the statement of the elder statesman, who is also their illustrious son, was not only unpatriotic to the country but also unfair to the Nigerian Military.

 

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It noted that the military has been relentless in its efforts at ending the crisis in particular and stop recurrence of the ugly development in general and should not be disparaged but encouraged.

In the statement signed by its National Coordinator, Rev. (Dr) Dauda Fadia, the group insisted that General Lekwot’s statement was “misleading and a blatant disregard for fairness and justice in the crisis that has seen many lives and property worth several millions of naira lost.

“The statement credited to one of our illustrious sons, General Zamani Lekwot, accusing Operation Safe Haven of taking side in the ongoing crisis in Southern Kaduna is unfortunate.

“The said statement by our revered statesman is not only misleading but also a blatant disregard to the efforts of the military which is sacrificing a lot to end the ugly trend.

“While not holding brief for the military, as genuine peace lovers, we feel that we have a place in history to speak out even if it doesn’t favour our interest,” it said.

According to the group, “we have strong respect for the elder statesman but we strongly condemn his statement as we see it as unpatriotic and unfair to the military who are doing everything possible to restore peace in our area.

“As a home grown group that is apolitical and non-sentimental, we wish to state clearly that General Lekwot knows the truth about this crisis. He knows that there are criminals at both sides of the conflict and until we face this reality and deal with everyone involved as a criminal and not as tribal or religious bigots, peace will be far from our area.”

The statement added further that “we are the once going round the entire length and breadth of Southern Kaduna preaching genuine peace and reconciliation so we can confirm that we have criminal elements that don’t want peace and sometimes instigate these crises.

“How can the elder statesman who should take the lead in preaching peace and encourage civil/ military relations for effective solutions, now be playing tribal and religious card just to satisfy some interests.

“This is not the best way to resolve the crisis. What exactly does neutrality mean to General Zamani? Is it until the Commander lies that only the Fulanis are involved in killings that he would be satisfied?

“The Commander’s statement is the true reflection of the situation in Southern Kaduna. We must take the military out of our problems and face the real issues by coming together to the drawing board with a view to solving the age-long conflict in our area.

“Our people are being killed, this is unacceptable. We condemned this barbaric act and urge everyone to do same but we must also quickly expose some of these criminals who sometimes instigate these senseless attacks.

“We are therefore calling on the general public to ignore the statement coming from the elder statesman. This, we see as another desperate move to drag the military into a problem some of us caused and which can be solved with the right approach.”



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Southern Kaduna: Group chides Lekwot over comments against military Southern Kaduna: Group chides Lekwot over comments against military Reviewed by Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah on August 18, 2020 Rating: 5

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