New Agwam Zikpak: SOKIPEP Applauds el-Rufai Over Staff Of Office Presentation


    *appeals to Kaduna State Governor to do more for Southern Kaduna

    *advises el-Rufai to stay focused, ignore distractions

    *seeks public support for peace, security efforts by government

    By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna

    A peace advocacy group, Southern Kaduna Peace Practitioners Network (SOKIPEP), has commended the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, over the presentation of the staff of office to the new Agwam Zikpak, His Highness, Dr. Kantiyok Josiah Tagwai.

    The group noted that the action of the Governor was a clear demonstration of love for Southern Kaduna and its people, even as it added that no Governor in recent history had shown the level of commitment to peace in the area like el-Rufai.

    According to SOKIPEP, the statement the governor made at the presentation of staff of office to the first class traditional ruler in Southern Kaduna, underscored his desire for the return of peace to the part of the state that has witnessed crisis over the years, with attendant deaths and destruction of property in the trail.

    Recall that Governor el-Rufai had recognised the efforts of some individuals and groups championing the cause of peace in Southern Kaduna.

    He had observed that a strong partnership between the government and traditional institution was urgently needed, to midwife the return of peace and order across board.

    This was as he also emphasised community participation in the search for genuine peace and reconciliation, which he insisted, was one of his government’s cardinal objective.

    The Kaduna State Governor had stated that, “addressing the security challenges and threats to the rural economy that is bedeviling some of our communities requires a strong partnership between the government and traditional institutions”.

    He had added that: “Following recent tragic events in Zangon Kataf, Jema’a and Kaura local government areas, there have been remarkable attempts at community level peace-building.

    ‘’We wish to commend all the personalities and institutions involved in and supporting the efforts to chart a new path of peaceful relations in our communities.

    “With delight that there is also a peace process in this chiefdom, following the courageous and exemplary peace process initiated by His Highness Dominic Gambo Yahaya in neighbouring Zangon Kataf Local Government.’

    In its reaction, SOKIPEP said the disposition of the state’s chief executive, was indicative of a man that loves peace, makes peace, and is ready at all times to build bridges of peace in Kaduna.

    In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Rev. Dauda Fadia, SOKIPEP urged the governor to continue to make the development of Southern Kaduna part of his priority.

    The group said such tendency will endear him more to the ordinary people in the troubled area, who desire a peaceful atmosphere, to be able to go about their normal, everyday socio-economic and social activities.

    The group, however, encouraged the governor to stay focused, claiming that attempts were being made to distract him by arm-chair critics, who continue to paint a grim picture of Southern Kaduna, thereby portraying the governor as an enemy of the people.

    Again, the Network enjoined indigenes of Southern Kaduna to ensure absolute support for the government, insisting that doing so was in their collective interest.

    “We will like to recall the recent event of presentation of staff of office to one of our first class monarchs, the new Agwam Zikpak, His Highness Dr. Kantiyok Josiah Tagwai”, the statement read.

    It read further: “Our commendation is anchored on the positive effect this development will bring to the people of Agwam Zikpak in particular, and Southern Kaduna in general.

    “Again, the presentation of the staff of office was timely as it happened at a time some people and group had accused the governor of disrespect and disregard for traditional institution in Southern Kaduna.

    “We are not saying thar Governor Nasir El-Rufai is infallible, for it is only the Almighty God that is above mistakes in all His dealings.

    “However, we make bold to state that given all that he had done in the past,and is still doing, El-Rufai remains a valued friend of Southern Kaduna, and should so be treated.

    “As an indigenous peace and advocacy group,we undertake to continue to pressure the Kaduna State Government on the need to always integrate Southern Kaduna into decision making processes, as a means to earn the people’s confidence and trust.

    “This is because, in the final analysis, government impact is largely measured by what the locals see, feel and say; not the jaundiced and prejudiced assessment of the elite in society, whose agenda is most often than not self-serving.

    “We, therefore, call on our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, to see the need to support efforts by the government and security agencies at ensuring security of lives and property, as an obligation that must be discharged to its fullest.

    “As it stands, we have no other place we can call our own, and so all hands must be on deck, to enthrone a secure and crime-free Southern Kaduna.

    “Once we recognise the fact that crime is borderless and faceless, we will begin to understand that no society, ethnic group, religion or tribe is free of criminal elements.

    “Let us develop the culture of reporting criminals to security agencies, and avoid the temptation of stereotype and ethnic profiling, whenever attacks happen”.


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