SOKAPU calls for immediate release of Luka Binniyat arrested by Kaduna govt

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The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has called on the administration of governor Elrufai to stop what it called persecution of their Public Relations Officer (PRO) Luka Binniyat.

Binniyat has been in custody for over five weeks without bail for reporting the massacre of Southern Kaduna indigenes in which the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, alleged it defamed his person.

While addressing a press conference on Saturday in Abuja, the President of SOKAPU, Jonathan Asake, said Luka Binniyat has been arrested again without granting him bail, an action he said violated his fundamental human rights.

He said, “We are hereby calling on the government authorities in Kaduna that are responsible for his continuous detention without trial to allow the courts to do their work and stop the persecution.

“We also call the attention of all media practitioners, the civil society and the international Community to be on notice that free speech and the press are under siege in Kaduna state. We have one and only one call on the government of Kaduna state, FREE LUKA BINNIYAT NOW,” Asake said.

“As most of you are already aware that for over six years running, communities in Southern Kaduna have incessantly come under severe attacks by Fulani killer Herdsmen. These attackers usually invade our vulnerable and defenseless Communities at odd hours unprovoked, where they mercilessly massacre the hapless villagers (mostly women and children being the greatest casualty), they maim, rape our women, destroy our properties, food stores and crops, abduct many more people into the bushes and often time occupy our lands with the government of the day doing nothing about it with no effort to bring perpetrators to justice.

“These atrocious and barbaric attacks on our peaceful Communities which oftentimes are of genocidal scale have become the norm where presently we have over 108 identified Communities have been displaced and living in dehumanizing conditions as internally displaced persons without food or any social amenities like schools for the children and health care facilities.

“It is these kind of atrocities regularly meted out on our people that comrade Luka Binniyat, a journalist and true son of Southern Kaduna has refused to be silent about but committed himself to relentlessly expose them against the apparent complicit posture of the government authorities in Kaduna state which has continued to clamp down on press freedom and free speech as opposed to provisions of our National Constitution.

“In December 2016, several Communities in Jama’a local government, a part of Southern Kaduna came under severe attacks by the same killer Herdsmen where over 800 people were massacred. When Luka reported some of the atrocities that trailer this genocide, he was arrested and detained for over a hundred days before bail was granted to him while the blood thirsty murderers where allowed to walk free with no record of any of them being prosecuted.

“As it has become the norm like I said earlier, on the 30th of September 2021, the entire Madamai and surrounding Communities in Kaura Local government area were thrown into mourning when we gathered on that fateful day to bury 38 members of Madamai Community who were massacred in one night by Fulani Herdsmen terrorists.

“At that mass burial, the journalist Mr Luka Binniyat was there and he reported exactly the genocide that had take place and other similar massacres being perpetrated against the Southern Kaduna people and how there was a deliberate downplaying of the gravity of the true situation,” Asake added.

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