An indigenous Southern Kaduna group under the aegis of Coalition of Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioner (SOKIPEP), has taken a swipe at the statement credited to an elder statesman, General Zamani Lekwot, RTD, over the crisis in the area.
Commenting on remarks by Commander of the Operation Safe Haven that the killings in Southern Kaduna were carried out by criminal elements from both sides of the divide, Lekwot, said, as professionals, military officers(commanders) were supposed to be neutral at all settings.
“That was a very unfortunate statement from a military commander.
“As professionals, security people are supposed to be neutral in every setting so as to inculcate the confidence of everybody. In other words, when that happens, the corporation of all sides will emerge” he said.
SOKIPEP in a statement on Monday signed by its National Coordinator, Rev Dr. Dauda Fadia, said the statement of the elder statesman, who is also their illustrious son, was not only unpatriotic to the country but unfair to the Nigerian Military.
“We have great respect for the elder statesman, but we strongly condemn his statement.
” While not holding brief for the military, as genuine peace lovers, we feel that we have a place in history to speak out.
“The military has been relentless in its efforts at ending the crisis. 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.
“We need to go around the entire length and breadth of Southern Kaduna to preach genuine peace and reconciliation. We cannot afford to preach in a language that would convey the impression that we are playing tribal and religious sentiments just to satisfy some interests.
“What Nigeria needed at this moment was genuine tolerance regardless of ethnic or religious affinities and not hatred” he said.