​Retraction: My Take on the  Southern Kaduna Killings and Attacks Against me – Audu Maikori

​Retraction: My Take on the  Southern Kaduna Killings and Attacks Against me – Audu Maikori

Following the statement by the College of Education, Gidan-Waya Kaduna and the State government refuting the story that 5 students of the school were killed by Fulani herdsmen enroute to school on the 27th of January 2017,  I decided to further investigate the story to ensure that all the facts of the case and evidence were presented to the authorities.
My driver Simon Joseph had travelled to the Village to attend his younger brother’s burial and on his return on Monday ,30th of January 2017 ,I asked him for pictures from the burial, the ID card of his brother and also pictures of the casket so I could submit to the authorities and he told me that he had phone issues so he could not store pictures on his phone.
He told me however ,that his sister had the pictures on her phone and I proceeded to give him money to go to Ikeja to get the pictures from his sister, so I could present these to clear my name. He didn’t return till evening, and when he did, it was without the said pictures.
At this point I began to strongly suspect foul play. I again questioned him about the veracity of his story to which he swore on the Bible that his brother was dead and even began to shed tears.
The long and short of this is that on the 2nd of February,  I went in company of his relative and took him to the Lekki Police Station for questioning in the absence of his providing any concrete evidence of the death of his brother and fellow students.
When we got to the station he maintained his story about the deaths being real and how he was being blackmailed until the police officers at the station explained to him that he could be arrested- then he confessed and said he was just trying to collect money from me; that he knew that I was involved in the advocacy on the Southern Kaduna crisis and he wanted to ride on that to obtain money from me under the pretext of burial.
Following this, I decided that the right thing to do was to issue a statement retracting the tweet which reported the killings of students of the College of Education as relayed to me by my driver and I naively assumed that no one in his right mind would lie about the death of a human being especially if that person was/is his younger brother. Consequently, I hereby tender an unreserved and sincere apology to the Management of the College of Education, Gidan Waya, His Excellency the Governor of Kaduna State and the Kaduna State Government, and also to the people of Southern Kaduna and the Fulani community for the false statement by my driver which I also publicized believing same to be true. 
I make this statement with all sense of responsibility realizing that by openly admitting what transpired, people may begin to doubt my credibility and that of my statements in future… this is a risk I am willing to take but I would rather tell the truth about the situation that suppress it.
This fact is made even more imperative because, I understand that as a leader in my community my statements are taken seriously and can shape the minds of the younger ones that look up to us for direction. We must show the direction honestly and with integrity.
I must also seize this opportunity to plead with my brothers in Kaduna  regardless of ethnic or religious persuasion that the time to unite and fight for peace is now.
This unfortunate situation is now actively being used by politicians, religious leaders and opportunists to forge their personal agendas to the detriment of the peace and stability of the state.
Please note that in issuing my apology I am referring specifically to the College of Education matter only.
Yesterday the 2nd of February my heart was gladdened when I read the report that 17 suspects with arms and ammunition were arrested in connection with the Southern Kaduna killings by the Security agents and will be prosecuted. This is what we have been agitating for and I commend that government on these arrests as well as many more in the future.
As I speak ,my former driver Simon is in police custody and has made a statement attesting to the above. He is available to help the authorities for  any further investigations.
Audu Maikori