The above subject refers:
To God’s glory, this year, I was elected (without prior campaigns) to be the Chairman of *SOKAPU* Lagos Chapter on the 16/6/19. It was announced on that day that our inauguration will take place in September 2019.
Before the election, I had earlier in the month of June 2019 registered with the CAC Abuja, my NGO – *SAFEGATE RURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION* (hereinafter referred to simply as *The SAFEGATE*).
Upon receipt of the certificate of incorporation of *The SAFEGATE*, I immediately put in motion, the processes of setting up necessary structures to enable commencement of full operations of *The SAFEGATE* from the headquarters to the LG, Ward and village levels.
But as a result of my election as the Chairman Lagos Chapter of *SOKAPU*, I put on hold, everything concerning *The SAFEGATE* and instead, concentrated on moving Lagos *SOKAPU* forward when God enabled us to take over in the month of September.
Since the inauguration of the new Executive Committee of *SOKAPU* Lagos Chapter was to take place in September, we decided to commence pre-inaugural meetings to afford us the opportunity of planning our activities before taking over the reins of leadership fully.
At one of such pre-inaugural meetings, it was suggested that we write a letter to the Governor of Kaduna State upon take over to explore the possibility of brokering peace between *SOKAPU* and the Governor. Those who attended that meeting agreed that we would write a letter to the Governor after our inauguration but I was mandated to seek the consent or approval of the then *SOKAPU* President.
We wanted to reach out to the Governor because we were aware of the caustic relationship between the people of Southern Kaduna and the Governor. We resolved that things would not be allowed to remain on status quo.
I did seek for his consent but it was not granted, and, so, the idea of reaching out to the Governor was assumed Dead On Arrival or Still Born.
Earlier in September, I received information that the inauguration would take place on Sunday, the 22/9/19.
Thank God for His faithfulness. On Saturday September the 21st, I received a phone call from Engr Zakka Bala telling me that the immediate past Deputy Governor of Kaduna state Mr. Barnabas Bala (AKA Bantex) would be attending our inauguration and would like to be given the opportunity to address the people. I told him that I had no problem with that.
In the morning of September the 22nd, the inauguration day, Engr Zakka Bala called me again to say that the former Deputy Governor would no longer attend our inauguration, but will rather like to meet with stakeholders from Southern Kaduna. He also requested that he will know if there is any decent restaurant or hotel around the domestic airport area where the meeting could hold. I told him to liaise with both Mr. Kaduna Dums (outgoing SOKAPU Lagos Secretary) and Elder Ahman Tanko so that they could help him in locating the kind of place he was thinking of.
Later, that same Sunday morning just I was preparing for the Sunday service, Elder Ahman called me and suggested that I should call the Manager of the hotel where his wife is working and request for a room that could contain a maximum of twenty people. According to Elder Ahman, the hotel manager would be kindly disposed to giving a good price if I am the one that made the request.
So, I put a phone call to the Hotel Manager and made my request. After my discussion with the Hotel Manager, I proceeded to forward his phone number to Engr Zakka Bala who took over the negotiations with the Hotel Manager.
Later in the day, we converged at the venue of the inauguration which was very brief.
After the inauguration, Mr. Kaduna Dums read out the names of about twenty people and directed that they all proceed to a certain Hotel in Ikeja GRA for a meeting.
At the Ikeja GRA Hotel, the former Deputy Governor, Mr. Bantex met with the selected stakeholders.
Mr. Bantex sought to exonerate himself from the allegations of betrayal levied against him by majority of thr Southern Kaduna People and he explained himself.
After his defence, people were given the opportunity to express their views and feelings.
Many people spoke and at the end, I’m very sure Mr Bantex did not really like what he heard but he was told the blunt truth.
My contribution was that many people upon attaining a certain level in the society would surround themselves with several Special Assistants who will form a kind of wall around them so that members of the public can not have access to them.
At the end of the meeting, it was noted with great dismay, that the relationship between the current Governor of Kaduna state and *SOKAPU* was frosty and unhealthy.
The question then, was asked: *_”what is to be done in order to restore the frosty relationship with the governor?”
It was unanimously agreed that a dialogue should be initiated which would lead to a reconciliation with the Governor. But who would initiate the process of dialoguing with the Governor? It was decided that *Rev’d (Dr) Andrew Duya* should be the one to kickstart the dialogue process because _”that is his calling”_.
On the above note, the meeting ended.
On Monday 23/9/19, Mr. Bantex called me on the phone and repeated the same things he said at the meeting the previous day.
Let me hasten to state here that since this phone call of the 23/9/19, there had been no other communication with Mr. Bantex. We had not spoken on phone, no interactions on social media and there had not been any physical meeting with him since then and up on till date.
While I was wondering how to go about running *SOKAPU* Lagos, betweenTuesday and Wednesday the 24th – 25/9/19, I received a Whatsapp message and a phone call from two different and unknown people based in Kaduna and Jos asking me to contest for the *National Presidency of SOKAPU.* These two men also advised me to consult with other people to hear their opinions.
After this, I decided to consult with other Southern Kaduna indigenes and I received tremendous support.
There was a meeting of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of *SOKAPU* on 5/10/19 at Zonkwa which I attended.
It was at this meeting that the sales of nomination forms to people vying for various positions in *SOKAPU* was announced to have commenced on the 7/10/19 and to expire on the 26/10/19.
I was the first and ONLY person who bought, filled and submitted the *SOKAPU* Presidential form
In fact, up to the afternoon of the 26/10/19 ( the expiry date for the purchase of the nomination form), I was the only candidate vying to be the next *SOKAPU President.*
Funnily though, towards the closing hours of 26/10/19, it was announced on social media that the dateline for purchase of the nomination forms had been extended by one week.
Initially, I did not see any reason for the extension of the dateline.
But as momentum towards the election began to build up, the rumour mill went to work. Every staff and equipment at rumour factory was, refurbished, mobilized, oiled and properly greased. This rumour manufacturing factory, produced a rumour that was profoundly disturbing to every discerning mind.
The product? “Rev’d (Dr) Andrew Duya is being sponsored by the Governor of Kaduna state” to contest for the *SOKAPU Presidency.!*
Many people from Kaduna, Jos, Abuja etc called me to say that they heard I was Governor El-rufai’s candidate for the *SOKAPU Presidency.*
What were the evidences? I was told that,
1. We wanted to write a letter to the Governor when we take over *SOKAPU* Lagos.
2. Mr. Bantex “attended” (emphasis mine) our inauguration.
3. At the Ikeja GRA hotel meeting, I ‘hailed, praised and spoke glowingly’ about Mr. Bantex.
As people continued calling me or reacted to this unfounded rumour, I was told that the dateline was extended to enable the powers that be to “shop” for another candidate. So, while the extension lasted, they went a shopping!
Their shopping bag was full with two other candidates:
Hon. Jonathan Asake, and Pastor Dr. Reuben Turbin. The *SOKAPU Presidency* race had (as at then) three candidates including myself.
It was then I also learned of the existence of a cabal with the *SOKAPU* system because people kept talking about “the cabal” etc.
During my consultations to find out people’s opinions about my candidacy and the process since the Election Committee (Elcom) did not give much information as to the complete guidelines, list of delegates etc. I was told that *SOKAPU* has 33 Community Development Associations (CDAs), 3 Wings and 31 other affiliates. These are the Organizations that made up or constituted *SOKAPU*. These same organizations were to send 5 delegates each to the election convention. For any organization to qualify to send delegates, that organization must have been up to date with her annual dues.
I was told that many of these organizations do not always pay annual dues. So, when election comes, candidates would pay the annual dues of as many organizations as possible, pay for their transport from their various destinations, pay for their hotel accommodation and finally, give some financial stipends.
When I heard all these fairy tales, I said “whaooo!! This is seriously serious”. I told myself and those around me that if this were the process, then, *SOKAPU* is prone to bribery and corruption. So, my conclusion was that *SOKAPU* is corrupt and in need of urgent but necessary surgery to purge her of these corrupt tendecies.
Sincerely speaking, if this is process of producing the *SOKAPU* leadership, do we have any reason to blame El-rufai for outright rigging of elections?
I then knew and understood why we could only bark but couldn’t bite. We had become a toothless bulldog. Haba!!!
We have leaders that can not provide leadership.
LEADERS WITHOUT LEADERSHIP!!!
About a week or so to the elections, Mr. Dio Awemi Maisamari, the Chairman of the Adara Development Association (he later emerged the Vice President  of *SOKAPU*), called me to say that there would be a meeting of Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders Association (SKCLA) at Kafanchan on 21/11/19 and that he would want us to meet there to discuss the possibility of having a consensus candidate to avoid litigations as was the case in previous *SOKAPU* elections. I promised him that I would be there and told him to get other candidates to attend.
At the end of the SKCLA meeting at Kafanchan, the following eminent and highly esteemed individuals stayed behind to discuss the issue of a consensus candidate:
1. Bishop of the Anglican Diocese Kafanchan.
2. Mr. Timothy Gandu.
3. Mr. Dio Awemi Maisamari.
4. The Chairman of Ham Community Development Association (I never asked to know his name). 5. Pastor Reuben Turbin and my humble self.
Mr. Maisamari who seemed to be the convener of this meeting told us that Hon. Jonathan Asake was invited to attend the meeting but declined, saying that the purpose of the meeting was to mount pressure on him to step down for the two Pastors, (Pastor Reuben and myself) to contest and for that reason he (Hon. Asake) would not be at the meeting.
However, the meeting went on but could not achieve it’s purpose since one of the candidates wasn’t available. But it was agreed that another meeting would hold in Kaduna and that efforts should be made to coerce Hon. Asake to attend.
At this Kafanchan meeting, we were informed that *SOKAPU* already had a candidate for this election and that, that candidate is Hon. Jonathan Asake. We were shocked to hear this. At this point, we observed that if there is a preferred or an annointed candidate, then, there would never be a level playing ground for all the candidates.
At the end of the meeting, we still agreed to meet again at Kaduna.
Then, on the 24/11/19, we met again at a facility owned by Mr. Timothy Gandu. In attendance were:
1. Mr. Timothy Gandu (Host).
2. Mr. Luka Binniyat (the Jounarlist).
3. Mr. Dio Awemi Maisamari.
4. Barrister Mark Jacob. 5. Dr. Zuwahu Bonat.
6. Hon. Jonathan Asake. 7. Pastor Dr. Reuben Turbin and
8. Rev’d (Dr) Andrew Duya.
At this meeting, we could not arrive at a consensus candidate.
My point was that I wanted to learn more about the politics of Southern Kaduna. It was this same reason of learning that made me to continue in the race despite being aware of the existence of a preferred or anointed candidate.
From the beginning of the expression of my aspiration for the *SOKAPU* Presidency, I realized that I wasn’t in the good books of some of the then outgoing *SOKAPU* leaders for these statements that I made publicly. I said:
1. *SOKAPU* had been in existence over 30 years and were still in a rented house as Secretariat. This, to me is completely unacceptable.
2. For the over 30 years we have been in existence, we were not registered with the CAC Abuja. This is also totally unacceptable to me.
3. We needed to move from being reactive to become proactive.
4. We needed a resident President and other Excos.
5. We needed a new strategy and approach.
Sincerely, these statements, though profoundly truthful didn’t go down well with some of the outgone *SOKAPU* National Leaders most especially the Principal officers.
So, the only way they could deal with me was to design, develop, cook and produce a terrible and very bad smelling rumour. This rumour was an attempt to give me a bad name in order to hang me.
At the Zonkwa meeting, the immediate past *SOKAPU* President spoke sadly about the issue of _new strategy and approach to issues._
I still maintain my belief that we need a new strategy and approach. For instance, you set up a committee to carry out a specific assignment for you. After one or more years, that Committee has not delivered, don’t you have another option or alternative? Where is your plan “B”, “C” or “D” etc? Have multiple plans so that you will not be stranded. This is my life philosophy.
Let me categorically state here that:
1. I was not sponsored by the Governor of Kaduna State Mallam Ahmed Nasiru El-rufai.
2. I was not wholesomely sponsored by anyone.
3. Since I was born and up to this moment, I have never physically met Governor El-rufai.
4. I have never in my life, up to this time spoken with Governor El-rufai on the phone.
5. I have never in my life time written a letter, email or sent a Facebook or Whatsapp message to the Governor.
6. I have never had any contact with him on social media.
7. There has never been any relationship whatsoever, directly or indirectly or in whatever form or shape till date.
8. The only relationship existing between me and Governor El-rufai is that I am a proud citizen of Kaduna state and he is, by God’s providence, the Governor of the state. The same thing goes with Mr. Bantex.
9. If governor El-rufai had been my sponsor, I could have had money to at least print banners, posters and handbills bearing my pictures.
So anybody who said that I was Governor El-rufai’s candidate is a liar and the son or daughter of the Devil 😈.
Governor El-rufai couldn’t have been my sponsor when I was begging to fuel my car. He couldn’t have been my sponsor when my car stopped three times before the elections due lack of fuel. He couldn’t have been my sponsor when I had to make a public appeal on social media for financial assistance.
I didn’t have anything to offer except my wealth of knowledge and experience which I have gained by working with both local and foreign NGOs from where I have a very wide knowledge of working in the humanitarian and non-profit Organizations.
This is all I offered the people of Southern Kaduna.
Finally, that somebody thought that I was fit to attract Governor El-rufai’s attention is a plus to me.
I want to thank God for the publicity and popularity that I gained during and after the *SOKAPU* elections. At least, many people heard about me for the first time.
Let me assure everyone that my desire to serve the people of Southern Kaduna has just been kindled.
I’m ready to serve our people in or out of *SOKAPU* because from the beginning I told everyone that being the *SOKAPU* President is not a do-or-die affair. It’s not a matter of life or death. I wasn’t desperate at all.
By the grace of God, as far as I’m involved, about service to our people, I will not be stranded.
God willing, I still stand believing that Salvation will yet come to the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union. I am very determined and hopeful.
Rev’d (Dr.) Andrew Duya.