Amotekun: IG, South-West govs to meet, Reps plan law


The  Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, is to meet with South-West governors over Operation Amotekun.

The six South-West governors set up the security outfit  to complement the efforts of the police in tackling insecurity in the geopolitical zone.

The initiative drew mixed reactions from individuals and groups across the country.  And the outfit appeared  doomed to die in infancy after the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami,  reportedly  described it as “illegal”. However, Malami has since said he was misquoted.

Amotekun got back on track after  Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo,  Adamu and Malami met with the governors in Abuja last week over the matter.

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, who  met with the IG  at  Force Headquarters in  Abuja over  Amotekun and the raging local government crisis in his state, confirmed the meeting between the  South-West governors and  the IG to  review  issues associated with the security outfit. But  he did not reveal  when the meeting will take place.

Makinde  said  South-West governors were working to get everyone to  support Amotekun.

He said, “Everybody is aware of the issue with Amotekun, so we deliberated, we had an agreement in principle to have the governors of the South-West to meet with him (IG) to review the situation.

“We are trying to build a new country where the rule of law is supreme, so everybody should be law-abiding, ensure that they don’t do anything that would create lawlessness.”

When asked about the status of Amotekun,  the governor   said, “It is work in progress, we are trying to operationalise it and in doing that, all the relevant stakeholders would have to align.”

On the local government crisis in his state,  he  said he  had  secured  Adamu’s commitment to  ensuring peace in the state, adding that his administration did not want lawlessness.

Makinde said the  state government would obey court judgments on the LG crisis, adding that Adamu assured  him that they would similarly comply with the court order restraining the ousted LG chairmen from returning to office.

The governor said, “There was a court order yesterday (Tuesday) restraining the IG, CP and  AIG from giving a  unilateral order regarding the issue of local government administration in Oyo State. I came to brief the IG that this is the situation.

“We do not want chaos in Oyo State. I’m   law-abiding. If there is a court judgment, we will obey it and he (IG) has  assured me  that once he gets a copy of the court order, he would do the needful.”

Meanwhile, the Speaker of  the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila,  has sought backing for any moves aimed at addressing the security challenges facing the country,  as he tacitly lauded  the  Amotekun initiative.

In his welcome address at the plenary on Wednesday, after their  return  from a five-week recess for  the  festive season, Gbajabiamila expressed concern over  rising insecurity  in the country.

He   directed  the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa,  and the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, to formulate and present constitutional amendment bills to encourage outfits  like Amotekun.

He said, “Recently, the governors of Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Oyo and Ondo states took action to implement a regional security network to support the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force in preventing crime and protecting the lives and property of those of  our citizens who live, work and travel through these states.

“The establishment of  Amotekun has met with commentaries  from across the country, both for and against. Too often, it has seemed to me that lost in these interactions is the hard, brutal and unavoidable fact that Amotekun and other such state or zonal interventions that already quietly exist in other parts of the country are a desperate response to the vile manifestations of insecurity that trouble the lives of citizens, depriving them of the peace and security that gives life meaning.

“I do not know that Amotekun or whatever iterations of it may follow represents the ultimate or perfect solution to the problem of insecurity in our country. Nobody does that. What I do know with absolute clarity and certainty is that the localised manifestations of insecurity across the different parts of our country call for unique and localised approaches that take those peculiarities into account.

“I therefore call on the Leader of the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader to take active steps to bring to the floor the  appropriate amendments to the constitution that will ensure that these and other righteous interventions to protect the life and property of our citizens are firmly in compliance with the laws of the land.”

Gbajabiamila said  insecurity in the country had manifested through the activities of “bandits destroying communities, kidnappers operating for profit and insurgents seeking to remake our world in the image of a discredited theocracy.”

The Speaker  lamented the killing of  the  Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the  Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Lawan Adimi, and a student of the University of Maiduguri, Ropvil  Daciy, by Boko Haram.

He said,  “Our cup of endurance has run over and we are no longer willing to labour under these dark clouds of random violence inflicted upon our people by faceless cowards whose ends we do not understand, and whose means we do not know.

“Overcoming our overwhelming national security challenges now requires of us  to accept new approaches and consider novel ideas. Neither the security institutions nor political leaders can afford to hold on too tightly to a status quo whose frustrating limitations are painfully evident, whilst reflexively rejecting innovations that may improve our fortunes if properly implemented.”

Insecurity has worsened, says  CAN 

Meanwhile, the  Kaduna State Chairman of CAN, Rev. Joseph Hayab,  says the country is facing a  deteriorating security situation.

Hayab said in Kaduna on Wednesday  the  security situation was worse than when the association cried out over a  spate of kidnappings,  robberies and other violent crimes  in the state last year.

The  state chapter of the Council of Ulama  in August 2019  accused CAN  in the state of  “politicising” security matters.

The Muslim body had  queried the claims  by the association that  no fewer than 500 Christians were kidnapped in the last two years with N300m paid as ransom.

But Hayab  said  on Wednesday CAN had been vindicated  due to the deteriorating security situation in the state.

The cleric said, “When we were crying that there were kidnappings and  killings, they said ‘no, we are creating problems’. We are not talking now, is it not happening? We are not talking,  the number of people being kidnapped and being killed now  is  more than when we talked.

“If we  cried out  that time and they (government)  had  listened  to us; if they had started  doing something, I can assure you that by today we would have gone far out of  the  problems.” Punch


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