A local coalition group under the aegis of Southern Kaduna Indigenous Peace Practitioners (SOKIPEP), has said rather than blaming the Military Task Force deployed to the general area to restore peace, locals should provide information that will lead to the arrest of hoodlums perpetrating the mayhem.
Describing the efforts of the taskforce as “on point” in arresting some of the terrorists involved in the brutal murder of some members of the communities in recent times, the group task the Force to as a matter of urgency parade them before the public.
Appealing to the Military to parade those arrested in connection to the recent attacks to the public and ensure justice is served, SOKIPEP said only then will the Force regain its trust from the public.
However in a statement sent to our correspondent in Jos, the leader of the group, Rev. Dr. Dauda Fadia, said the military can bring the pockets of attacks in the area to an end if credible information is promptly provided, insisted of hold protests to throw blame games.
Fadia said the difficult terrain in the general area most often than not hamper troops response to crisis area hence the reason for casualties, adding that assisting the taskforce with timely information becomes imperative.
According to him: “the inability of the troops to respond on time to some of the attacks witnessed in recent past in the area were attributable to the many false and non-credible information to the military which had made troops to dissipate their efforts in different directions as well as delayed the response to some actual attacks.
“We observed with dismay that sometimes, the military promptly respond to information given them by our people only to realize the information was fake. This is counterproductive and not healthy for a people that want the security agencies to nib the crisis in their domain in the bud,” it said.
“We as SOKIPEP, note with sadness the remarks made by some women protesters recently where they reportedly linked military personnel working in the area to the crisis.
“While we are not holding brief for the military, we wish to strongly state that contrary to the position of these few, Southern Kaduna is today enjoying some relative peace because of the relentless and ceaseless efforts of the military in securing our lives. The troops are usually seen in our villages at night on patrols working with the vigilante groups.
“These unfortunate remarks by the women to say the least, is premature and capable of weakening the morale of the military but also derailing their efforts to restore peace in Southern Kaduna”.
We in SOKIPEP appreciate their rights to protest and also to express grief and emotions but we wish to state clearly that the military should not be drawn into the Southern Kaduna issue, “the statement said.
The group explained that its members who are mostly Southern Kaduna vigilante members are working closely with the security outfits on patrol and intelligence gathering in the area.
It said: “Our members constitute most of the vigilante members and cut across the entire Southern Kaduna. We have been working closely with the military on patrol and sharing intelligence which have greatly reduced the number of attacks and even casualties. We are also aware that they have prevented some attacks”.
Fadia explained that military men are really cooperating with them and hoped that more support should be given to them to succeed instead of demoralizing them through negative statements and false allegations.
“We have the right to demand for improved security and right to life but we must do that with the fear of God.
“While not holding brief for the military, what we gathered from our members among the local vigilantes on ground across the area is that the militia don’t use the roads but use motorbikes through bush paths to the villages during odd hours to perpetuate their evils.
“They normally avoid where security men are stationed and since the military men cannot be everywhere, the marauders target villages and locations where the military or other security personnel cannot respond on time due largely to bad roads and terrain”, he said.