By Soni Daniel – Abuja
As the debate over the legalisation of the Southwest security outfit tagged “Operation Amotekun”, continues, the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has criticised the need for such outfit in the South West, claiming the Northern parts of the country are the areas in dire need of extra security.
The CNG in a two-paged statement made available to Vanguard on Saturday also condemned the Southwest governors insistence on the outfit’s formation in spite of the Federal Government stand that it is “illegal”, alleging it is an attempt to dismember Nigeria with ethnic militias.
The statement, which was signed by the Spokesman for CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, questioned why the Southwest leaders did not form any militia to fight for the return of democracy in 1999 but chose to do so under a democratic administration in place.
Suleiman stated that any attempt by the Southwest leaders to raise any form of an army at the state or regional level would only provoke the North and other parts of the country to form their own and pursue their own agenda without minding the dire consequences.
In another development, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has however cleared the air on its statement that Amotekun is “Illegal”
He stated, “I was misinterpreted on Operation Amotekun, I did not say it’s illegal.
“I said the Operation Amotekun should be properly backed by law, so if at the end of this government if the operation has been backed by law, any government that eventually succeeded this government would not rubbish the operation.
“I said if they failed to enact a law in support of Amotekun in the South-West Region of Nigeria, another government can come and say it’s illegal and this is because it is not backed up by any law.”
On his part, the Chairman of South West Governors’ Forum and the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has stated that Amotekun is not a South West militia, noting the Southwest governors were ready to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to explain the whole concept of the new security outfit to him with a view to ensuring the seamless takeoff and operation of the agency.
According to the governor, Amotekun was never conceptualized to operate as a stand-alone state or regional army as being speculated by ignorant persons but was designed as a child of necessity to assist other security agencies to improve the security apparatus in the region.
He said: “From the outset, Amotekun was to work with the police and the military. The operatives were to be embedded with the other security agencies just to complement their efforts in combating crimes and insecurity in the Southwest.”