Bayo Akinloye in Lagos
Reno Omokri, a former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has donated half a million naira to victims of Southern Kaduna violence.
The former presidential aide has also produced a song, ‘Life No Balance,’ to raise more funds for the victims.
Omokri told THISDAY that he made the donation public to draw attention to the plight of Southern Kaduna people, claiming that many Nigerians are still not aware of the violent attacks on the people in the area by herdsmen.
He said: “First thing you need to understand is that a lot of people are not aware of what’s happening in Southern Kaduna. I’ve been doing a lot of work in trying to get people to notice what’s happening in Southern Kaduna to the international media.”
He also pointed out that though the majority of the victims of the attacks were Christians, his donations were dictated by his religious conviction.
Omokri said: “I didn’t make the donation to the Christian community. I speak directly to the leadership of the Christians in Southern Kaduna and the leadership of the Muslims in Kaduna. Most of the victims, the vast majority of the victims are Christians. But there are few who are Muslims.”
Speaking about the song produced to raise more funds, he stated, “I co-wrote and produced a song. The song was released on Saturday at about 10:30 am on iTunes, available worldwide on Apple’s Music Stores.
“All the proceeds of the song are going directly to the victims of the Southern Kaduna massacre and the money is going directly to the committee headed by Rev John Hayab, the chairman of CAN in Kaduna and Sheik Halley Maraya, the head of the Muslims.”
He urged Nigerians to download the song assuring that the proceeds will go directly to the committee providing relief to the Southern Kaduna people.
“Not a kobo is coming to me, although it’s my song. I wrote with Official Mr. GiDi. I produced the song. I did this to raise awareness and to raise funds,” he added.
He emphasized that as a prominent critic of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, he did not want to be falsely accused again by the government.
“The money is going directly to them. If the money is coming to me, it’s an opportunity for the government of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to discredit me and accuse me of dishonesty. You know they tried to do that in the #FreeLeahSharibu campaign. But unfortunately for them, Leah’s father came out to say that all the money raised was paid to him directly.”
He also disclosed that the herdsmen attacking Southern Kaduna people were from neighbouring countries, especially Mali and not Nigeria.
“This isn’t something very comfortable for me to talk about,” said Omokri. “The facts that I’ve seen from video and documentary evidence is that the people who are doing the killings are Muslims. But they aren’t Nigerian Muslims. Or, should I say Hausa Muslims.”
He added, “Mostly, they’re Fulani herdsmen from other parts of West Africa, from Mali, especially. Most of them are from Mali. They don’t really have an Islamic agenda. They have a racist agenda. A Fulani agenda.”
Part of Omokri’s humanitarian activities included building an orphanage for IDPs in Borno State.