By Emma Amaize – Asaba
Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI, a rights group based in Delta State has accused the Federal Government of making a blind argument over “Amotekun”, a security outfit established by South-West Governors to protect the people of the region, describing its action as shameful.
National President of the group, Mr Austin Ozobo, in a press statement, said: “The issue of security being a business of the Federal Government has nothing to do with people providing internal defence for themselves.”
“Federal Government is making blind argument on Amotekun, Power is in the exclusive list, yet the Federal Government allows states to spend much money on power.
“Water is in the exclusive list, yet it is happy when states make frantic efforts to provide water to their states. Security is in exclusive list, yet it allows state governments to spend more on maintaining security in their states.
“You are coming to make blind argument because we say we want to provide an internal mechanism for our safety because the police and other security networks in the country have failed us.
“The action of the federal government towards Operation Amotekun is shameful. As far as Ijaws are concerned, you cannot quantify individual efforts to sustainable peace in the country. We as citizens, we do more of the security of our environment than what police and other security apparatus are doing.
“There is no sense in federal government argument on Amotekun, especially now when Nigeria security has failed. We are at risk, hence we must devise means to protect and defend ourselves. “Nigeria police has abandoned their official duty for extortion of members of the public. They have abandoned their national assignment for feasting on Yahoo boys. They now parade with POS like businessmen and women for additional daily pay.
“We cannot risk our lives for people whose trade mark is extortion, we can no longer depend on people who do not have time for protection of lives and properties. We will all be killed by herders, cults and Boko Haram sect if we must depend on these commercial traders called Police in this country.
“They have legalized bribe collection, extortion and killing of citizens at slightest provocation. We are not safe if we must depend on Nigerian police as it has turned the greatest threat to survival.
“It is pertinent that every state must devise means to protect her people and property. Looking at the volatile nature of the country, it may interest you to know that 60 per cent of Nigerian police are now bodyguards and gatemen to politicians and other influential citizens and the remaining 40 per cent is only interested on commercial trade of extortion and parading with POS for additional daily pay.
“Neither police nor the government is interested for the protection of the lives of the common people. Operation Amotekun should be emulated by others in South-South, Southeast and middle belt states.
“The law is not against private security guard, Amotekun is a private security guard in the South-West and the Federal Government lacks the constitutional power to call it illegal. It lacks power to disband it whether they decide to give them gun or not. If Fulani herdsmen could carry AK 47 rifle free in this country, we are equally free to give Amotekun gun if truly we are operating under same Nigeria Constitution.
“As Ijaw people, we give backing to the South West for the launch of Operation Amotekun. Here in Niger Delta, we are at alert. Our gods and ancestors are at alert even if we have not come up with such internal security arrangements, soonest, we will follow suit because having internal security is the only way out,” he declared.
According to him, “Amotekun is a welcome development. We must defend ourselves against Boko Haram terrorists spread in the country. We must defend ourselves against the spread of killer herdsmen since the government has failed to protect lives and properties in the country.”
“Nigeria security is being controlled by the Hausa/Fulani. It is what they told the police that they are doing in the country. Herdsmen are still killing people because the police and other security forces have compromised, being the fact that herdsmen are their brothers. Boko Haram is increasing and becoming dangerous because Nigeria security system has been compromised. We can no longer risk our lives for a security that is loyal to a tribe in the country.
“The formation of Amotekun is timely and a round peg in a round hole. Amotekun formation has not breached any known law in the country. We have the Hisbah in the North. We have Sharia police in the North. We have civilian JTF in North East. All are being empowered to carry fire arm. The government has not said they are illegal,” he added.