By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado Ekiti — Immediate past Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State, Chief Jide Awe, has said the southwest region is destined for the next presidency, going by the silent principle of rotation.
He said Southwest region will produce the party’s candidate that will succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Awe, who was apparently replying to Miyetti Allah’s statement that the zone might lose presidency in 2023 if it insists on going ahead with its special security outfit codenamed “operation Amotekun”.
A herders’ group, Miyetti Allah Kaote Hore, had last week threatened that the southwest may not be considered for presidency in 2023 taking cognisance of its insistence on the continuation of the joint security outfit called Amotekun despite the FG’s pronouncement.
This argument came to the fore sequel to the outlawing of the Operation Amotekun formed by the southwest governors to fight kidnapping and other incidences of banditry by the federal government.
Speaking during an interview section in Ado Ekiti on Saturday Awe averred that the southwest governors should have been commended by the federal government on the initiative, rather than proscription they got through the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
“For Abubakar Malami to have complete work, let him tell Nigerians that hiring of private guard is illegal. Let him tell us that fencing a building or purchase of generating sets are also illegal as well. Let him know that as big men exist and protected by army, police and others, we at the lowest rung of the ladder must be allowed to live our lives, we too must be protected and Amotekun is for this purpose because FG has failed us”.
Awe posited that the inability to secure the lives of the people by conventional security outfits signposted that Nigeria is now a completely failed state.
“Anything that has to do with security does not carry the toga of politics, so it will be a great disservice to our people to politicise the issues surrounding the formation and proscription of Amotekun.
“I salute our governors for breaking the barrier of hardlining politics to form this joint security. I am still at loss with the claim by the federal government that Amotekun was illegal. People were being kidnapped, robbed, killed and traumatised on a daily basis and the FG did nothing. Do they want our governors to watch as their people were being killed?
“They said they won’t give us presidency in 2023 if the governors insist on protecting their people. Well, the position is not being allocated by the group saying that. Again, let them know that the Yorubas are destined for presidency in 2023 because we have paid our dues as far as the APC is concerned.
“I had been a victim of kidnapping because my brother was abducted by strange people here in Ekiti. We had to look for the money we didn’t have to pay ransom before he was released. Should we fold our arms and allow this to continue? They want to be kidnapping us so that we can be paying ransom to them, this will not happen.
“I am a farmer and I knew what it takes to keep your farm. Several millions of farms had been destroyed in Orin Ekiti, Oke Ako and other towns in Ekiti axis, also in Ijare in Ondo and Ibarapa area in Oyo. All these wicked acts must stop and that was what the Amotekun issue was about.
“The leaders of the region and those who were not politicians like Prof Wole Soyinka, Chief Afe Babalola(SAN), Femi Falana, Prof Babji Akintoye and even our traditional rulers had spoken clearly that Amotekun has come to stay.
“The federal government should even appreciate the fact that the southwest governors openly formed the security body. What if it was a secret body? That would be more dangerous and the federal government should not push the zone to that level”, Awe warned.
On the silence maintained by some notable APC leaders in the zone, especially the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on the proscription saga, Awe said the fact that he has not condemned the FG openly doesn’t suggest that he was opposed to the highly novel Amotekun initiative.
“He might have his own reason for not speaking out, but I know he will surely support it. Several other people are not talking, but they are tacitly in support of the initiative”, he stated.