…Says Govt failure has given birth to initiative
…We’ve Operation Rainbow, will strengthen it – Plateau
…Amotekun is same as Vigilante, we’re on it and ahead – Kogi
…We had Taraba Marshal but FG disbanded it – Taraba
By Peter Duru, Makurdi
As divergent views and outrage continue to trail the federal government’s decision to declare the recently launched ‘Operation Amotekun’ an illegality, notable leaders in the Middle Belt geopolitical zone, an area that yearly bore the brunt of marauding herdsmen, have declared their support for a replication of the outfit in the zone to curb the excesses of the marauders.
Speaking passionately on the issue, the President of the Middle Belt Forum, MBF, Dr. Bitrus Pogu was emphatic that Governors of the zone would soon replicate Amotekun in the zone.
Dr. Pogu said, “I believe Middle Belt Governors will take a cue from the Amotekun initiative.
“We believe that the fundamental provision of the constitution which is the providing security and ensuring welfare to the people cannot and should not be compromised.
“So if the constitution makes that provision, which is for government, and the government is not doing it and there are killings and kidnappings on a daily basis to the extent that Boko Haram and some of these marauding herdsmen are occupying our land something has to be done.
“Given that kind of scenario the citizens have no option but to find a better way to secure their lives. Government should have ensured that our roads are secured. But the government has failed in that responsibility too.
“Therefore we need to assist in providing security for the people. That is why the Yorubas and leaders in the South West geopolitical zone thought it wise to establish Amotekun to complement and not to take over the responsibilities of the police and the military in providing security. They are supposed to be applauded and praised for doing it and not vilified and condemned.
“The other part of the hypocrisy is that there are so many security outfits in the northern states. All the northern state governors used to meet and take decisions on security. They have vigilantes.”
Continuing he said, “In some states where the Sharia is introduced they have the Hizba and Islamic security outfit. So why are they against Amotekun? It means there is hypocrisy, there is differential treatment. That means we have some first class and second class citizens in this country and we cannot accept that.
“This country belongs to all of us and everybody is equal before the law and the constitution. So it is wrong as far as I am concerned to have two yardsticks for the same issue.
“In the north so many states have vigilantes and they help in complementing the police and the military in providing security. Why should the South West be denied just because the Governors came together.
“If Arewa or northern governors meet and take such a decision will the government deny them? Why are they vilifying the South West? It simply means that if it is the South West no, if it is the South East no, but if it is the far north yes. No, Nigeria cannot be run like that.
“So the Middle Belt states will also explore ways and means of protecting their people. They are not going to stay there idling, no.
“That is the position of the Middle Belt, we are going to encourage our governors to do same and get things that are Middle Belt specific. We are certainly doing it.
“I don’t believe the South West Governors will just sit down without challenging the pronouncement of the Federal Government. They also have the rights if others have it,” he added.