It will be used against innocent herders
It’s Nnamdi Kanu’s wing in S’West
To hell with their presidency —Afenifere
They should go to blazes—Ayo Adebanjo
By Emma Amaize, Dapo Akinrefon, Dayo Johnson, Henry Umoru, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Rotimi Ojomoyela & Shina Abubakar
LAGOS —ANGRY reactions trailed the Miyetti Allah Kaute Hore’s comment that the South West should terminate its security outfit codenamed Operation Amotekun, warning that failure to do so may affect the region’s chance of producing the next president in 2023.
Miyetti Allah Kaute Hore, which spoke to Vanguard, yesterday, warned the South-West governors to give up Amotekun, describing the security outfit as political.
This has, however, drawn the irk of notable South West leaders, who said that Miyetti Allah Kaute Hore should go to hell with its presidency.
This came as Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, yesterday, said the Community Police already in the state would soon grow into a state police.
Also backing Amotekun, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, said the outfit has come to stay, warning that nothing untoward should happen to the outfit.
Keep Amotekun and lose 2023 — Miyetti Allah Kaute Hore
National Secretary of the group, Alhassan Saleh said: “The entire North is suspicious of the outfit because of the OPC experience under Obasanjo. The motive of the security outfit is not clear to us .
“Our concern is that the outfit will be deployed against innocent herders. A section of the South West political class is in alliance with the Biafrans that are calling for the balkanization of the country.
“We actually see the outfit as an Nnamdi Kanu wing in the South West.
Miyetti Allah is totally against the creation of ethnic paramilitary security outfits like this because of our sad experiences in Benue, Plateau and Zamfara.
“The South West will definitely lose political support from the north if the continue along this sectional trajectory.
“The alliance that produced Buhari/Osinbajo is actually good for stability of democracy and our concern is that this new approach by South West governors and opinion leaders will destroy the alliance.
“It’s better we express our concerns now instead of resorting to self help.”
To hell with their presidency —Afenifere
Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, while reacting to the comment by Miyetti Allah Kaute Hore, berated the group, saying the North can go to hell with its presidency.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, lampooned the herders’ association, describing its remarks as insolence.
Odumakin said: “Miyetti Allah now owns the Presidency which they can give as gift to who they want and deny who they choose? What insolence? Cow herders threatening a people that produced the first lawyer in 1879 because a lawyer who doesn’t know the law is overreaching himself? Can they go and tell Yoruba in the Benin Republic such idiocy?
“It is now a crime that we inhabit the same country with them? If Yoruba would be colonised, is it by those we should employ on our ranches? To hell with their presidency if the condition for it is that we must allow them to continue to waste the lives of our people. Who told these people Yoruba cannot opt for self-determination and have our own president? If they see the protection of our lives as politics, we are definitely in a wrong and impossible country.”
They should go to blazes—Ayo Adebanjo
Also blasting the Miyetti Allah group, Afenifere chieftain, Pa Ayo Adebanjo said the herders should go to blazes with the presidency.
Adebanjo: “Let Miyetti Allah go to blazes with the presidency. What we are interested in is in the restructuring of the country, we are not keen on the presidency. Who are they deceiving? Let us restructure Nigeria first before talking about 2023. We are not interested in the 2023 presidency until Nigeria is restructured. For all I care, they can go to blazes with their presidency.”
In his reaction, leader of the Yoruba World Congress, emeritus Prof Banji Akintoye, said the South West will not allow its citizens to be killed because of the presidency.
Akintoye said: “What is the presidency? Is that a commodity that they are holding in their hand? Because we want the presidency, should we allow ourselves to be killed without defending ourselves? Is that they are saying? So, they want us to lie down and allow marauding herdsmen to kill us and then have the presidency. Our answer to that is we cannot fold our hands and allow you kill us again.
“Amotekun is not a political scheme, it is a self defense scheme and the constitution expressly allows you to defend yourself, it allows us to form organisations and agencies to defend ourselves.”
We plan to transform Community Police to State Police —Nasarawa Gov
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, yesterday, said the Community Police already in the state would soon grow to state police.
Governor Sule disclosed this to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor said the meeting was centered on the security situations in the state as well as the approval by President Buhari for locating a Police Mobile Training School at the “Many Have Gone Hills” which has become a flashpoint for criminal activities.
He said: “Security situation in our state has improved very significantly, we are very grateful to God Almighty that most of the skirmishes, most of the issues of kidnappings, banditry, and armed robbery along the ways have reduced significantly.
“The training school is going to bring a lot of development to the area and it is going to stop most of the kidnappings around that particular spot.
“So, that is something not only good for Nasarawa State but the entire country because that is the main route that people from Benue, Taraba, Cross River, Enugu and the rest follow to Abuja.”
Asked what was his position on regional police like the case of the South West, he said that there was no plan for regional police in his zone rather community police which he said was already in place.
He said: “We strongly believe in Nasarawa that we should start with Community Police, which is what we already have. We are trying to empower community policing which we are hoping that down the line, it may grow into State Police.
“But for now, we are looking at it at the community level, then it will grow to the local government level, village level and the rest of that.”
S-West govs to decide next line of action
Meanwhile, Vanguard gathered that the South West governors would decide on their next line of action following the Federal Government opposition to the outfit.
The governors, Vanguard gathered, have directed all their media handlers and Special Advisers on Security matters, across the states, to maintain silence.
Reliable sources across the states told Vanguard that they have been warned not to engage the Federal Government in media war.
It was learned that the governors are meeting soon to take a uniform decision on the pronouncement that the security outfit is illegal.
The source said: “We have been warned not to comment on the matter again. All comments are now to come from Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, DAWN, Commission only.
“We have been warned by our principals not to speak on the matter for now. The governors would soon meet to take a joint decision on their next line of action.”
When contacted for comment, the Special Adviser to the Ondo State governor on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, declined to comment.
Nnamdi Kanu backs Amotekun
Meanwhile, Leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, yesterday, threw his weight behind Amotekun saying the outfit has come to stay.
In a statement, the IPOB leader warned that nothing untoward should happen to the outfit.
Kanu said: “The final and definitive stance of the Biafran people is that IPOB will support Operation Amotekun with all our might.
“Regardless of the history of politics of what may have existed between the East and the West in the past, we have sworn to work with this generation of Yoruba leadership with the likes of Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Yinka Odumakin, Femi Fani-Kayode and Omoleye Sowore at the helm.
“I will support this generation of Yoruba that set up Amotekun. IPOB will work with them. If they want one million men, I will give them to ensure this expansionism is stopped.
“We will support the Yoruba in all forms and by every means necessary.
He added: “IPOB will back Amotekun Security Outfit. Amotekun is not going anywhere. They are here to stay and IPOB will support them” .
Self defence is best — Akande
But the former Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Bisi Akande, yesterday, described self defence has the best line of defence, describing security as a core responsibility of governors.
Akande, while addressing journalists after his 81st birthday prayer at his country home in Ila-Oragun, Osun State, said the issue of security, especially, if it concerned others, must be done in line with the culture of the law of the land.
He added that having been long since he left government, such law may have changed.
The former Osun governor said Amotekun is a Yoruba issue and has been reaching out to the stakeholders on the best way to resolve the current setback.
“Self defence is the best form of defence, when you are inside your house, you hold it with passion, any intruder should be dealt with, but when it involves other people, it has to be done within the culture of the law of the land. It has been 17 years since I left the government, the law might have changed.
“Amotekun ought to be a Yoruba affair and I don’t discuss such issues publicly. I am already discussing with those who understand the meaning of Amotekun and I believe it would be resolved.”
Amotekun in line with Community Policing —Fayemi
Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who defended the establishment of Amotekun, said, it was in line with community policing, or multi-layered policing, which is very effective in safety and crime prevention.
Dr. Fayemi spoke in Abuja, while delivering a paper at the Daily Trust Dialogue:Twenty Years of Democratisation in Nigeria: Strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
Fayemi, who insisted that the police authorities were involved in the setting up the Amotekun security outfit, said the promoters of the project- South West governors- had made it clear that it was in response to the security challenge in the zone and it was designed to complement efforts of the established security agencies.
His words: “The Amotekun vision is a logical end product of President Buhari’s compelling vision on community policing and bottom-up approach to security sector governance across the length and breadth of the country.
“Far from being a competitor with the existing national security platforms, it aims to complement them in the areas of neighbourhood watch, information and intelligence gathering, detection of early warning signs and engaging in early response in a pro-active manner, apart from acting as a liaison between the conventional security outfits and the local population.
“For those who are familiar with the mechanism of security sector reforms and transformation in democratising politics, they will readily appreciate the need for a multi-faceted, multi-layered and multi-dimensional approach to national policing and maintenance of law and order.
“Indeed, apart from strengthening the operational and administrative capacity of security institutions and the training and retraining of security agents, the other vital component of this paradigm shift in national security calculus is the direct, logical, coherent and sequential involvement of local population and grassroots governance in national security and crime prevention.
“It is in recognition of the above that the Amotekun model emerged.”
FG making blind argument —Ijaw group
However, a rights group based in Delta State, Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI, yesterday, accused the Federal Government of making a blind argument over Amotekun, describing its action as shameful.
In a statement by the National President of the group, Mr. Austin Ozobo, said “the issue of security being a business of the Federal Government has nothing to do with people providing internal defense for themselves.
“Federal Government is making a 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 an exclusive list, yet it allows state governments to spend more on maintaining security in their states.
“You are coming to make a 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.”
Senator Adeola backs State Police
Meanwhile, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola, said, yesterday that with the continued cases of armed banditry, kidnappings and killings in the country must be nipped in the bud, it has become very imperative that State Police must as a matter of urgency, become of the Constitution Amendment process.
In a statement by his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro, Senator Adeola said: “Following the furore generated between the Attorney General of the Federation, state governors and other stakeholders with the launching of Amotekun, Senator Adeola has called on the Federal Government to immediately set in motion machinery for the establishment of state police as a way of allaying fears and concerns in some quarters about a regional security force.