By Ephraim Oseji
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke has said that the grassroots-oriented and bottom-up structure, which Amotekun presents, is the ideal policing framework to checkmate emerging criminality in rural and remote communities.
Onuesoke, speaking yesterday in Ibadan, Oyo State, during a security workshop, described the Federal Government position as unfair and not in tandem with the principle of egalitarianism being preached by the present All Progressive Congress (APC)-led administration.
According to the PDP chieftain, the use of village hunters and vigilante personnel adopted by the security outfit presents the best form of community policing.
He argued that it is out of place for the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami to say the machinery for setting up Amotekun is unconstitutional when the civil defence, Civilian JTF and Sharia police that are of similar background and outlook were already in existence in the northern part of the country.
He maintained that the right to preserve and protect one’s life can never be in the exclusive list of any government. “Why do people employ maiguards in their houses? Why do Community Development Associations (CDAs) employ nightguards to secure streets and areas? Are these initiatives in the exclusive list of the constitution? No,” he maintained.
He pointed out that the Federal Government is expected to complement the efforts of the South-west governors rather than an outright rejection of the security outfit.
“As far as I am concerned, Amotekun could be illegal but only if the Nigerian police are up to the task of protecting the lives and property of the citizenry. Are they? Far from it, so, it makes sense to come together and secure our lives, homes and property. This shouldn’t give anyone sleepless night, as a matter of fact it should be supported and commended unless it goes against lay down rules.
He explained: “If security is the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government as disclosed by Malami, why do state governors have security vote? Security is daily becoming a big challenge in Nigeria, because of the lack of intelligence gathering and follow-up actions, amongst the relevant security outfits and this is where Operation Amotekun fits in.”
Onuesoke, however, urged South-west residents and Nigerian youths at large to remain calm as they await results of consultations between South-west governors and the Federal Government on the matter.