Pan–Yoruba organisation, Afenifere, has admonished the six South West governors not to bow to pressure to abolish the security project otherwise known as Amotekun.
Leader of the group, Reuben Fasoranti, in a statement declared that it has come to stay. Fasoranti said the silence of the Presidency on the matter showed that Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice. spoke the mind of the president.
“I think he is talking for somebody. Silence means consent, he is talking the mind of the Presidency, that is what they want. It confirms the suspicion that they are trying to protect some interests here in the South West. I agree with that too, so that they can go on and do what they like with impunity. It is unfortunate” Fasoranti said
However, elder statesman and former national interim chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bisi Akande, said he had already begun discussions with Yoruba elders on the way forward in the wake of the controversies surrounding the initiative.
He declined giving details of the nature of the discussion to the media.
He said the ruling party would not allow the opposition to take advantage of the crisis against it (the APC) in subsequent elections.
In the same vein, 18 Yoruba groups, under the aegis of Egbe Ifokanbale Ile Yoruba, which is a branch of Yoruba World Congress under the leadership of a foremost historian, Banji Akintoye, have also backed the South West governors on the launch of Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), codenamed, Operation Amotekun.
The groups made the stand known during a 20th year posthumous celebration of a chieftain of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Ola Oni, at Western House, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
A social activist, Laoye Sanda, who spoke on behalf of Egbe Ifokanbale Ile Yoruba, said the group is “in support of Amotekun. The fact has been made that Amotekun is not an authentic police as such. But it is to help in security issues and intelligence gathering.
“If Operation Amotekun is illegal, the president would have called the whole hierarchy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to call the South West APC governors to order because APC is controlling five of the six states in the region, while the Peoples Democratic Party is controlling only one.”
Besides, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), under the leadership of Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, also declared support for the security outfit.
In a speech delivered by Abass-Aleshinloye during a get-together and review of 2019 activities of the association at ALGON House Ibadan, yesterday, it said:. “ALGON supports Amotekun as we have been doing to create and support any move to address meaningfully, security of life and property as this is the fundamental objective and duty of governments, at all levels, because without security there cannot be governance or development,” the association said.
Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Special Duties and Strategies, Doyin Adebowale, said: “It is not our own place to engage in any controversy with anybody. Malami is the AGF and Minister of Justice. But his office cannot make law for Nigeria, and his office cannot legislate on what we do.
“He is an appointee of President Buhari. Governor Akeredolu and his colleagues in the South West were elected and they are the chief security officers of their respective states. So, it is laughable that somebody who claims to be a lawyer, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria at that, will be talking as if he enjoys certain powers to pronounce illegality or otherwise of any action. His office is not the court of law. With what he said, he has overstepped his boundaries obviously.
Regardless, former Lagos State commissioner of Police, Abubakar Tsav, said the creation of more security outfit across the country will amount to proliferation of arms and may one day lead to war.
“It is a dangerous thing to do. The establishment of Amotekun is mainly to fight Fulani herdsmen. This is wrong. Some of these herdsmen are Nigerians and also require state protection.
Tsav said it was wrong for anyone to compare Amotekun with Hisbah and JTF explaining that Hisbah is to enforce Sharia law while JTF is to help the military in the fight against insurgency.