YCE urges Akeredolu to be more resolute
Ola Ajayi – Ibadan
About 5,000 Yoruba indigenes have rejected the inclusion of federal government officials as members of the governing council of the security initiative, Amotekun launched in the southwest zone in January this year.
The outfit was launched by the six governors of Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Ekiti, Lagos and Oyo States on January 9, 2020.
The inclusion of FG officials on the governing council was disclosed by Amb Kunle Adesokan, a spokesman for the Yoruba World Congress who doubles as the leader of The Federation of Yoruba Consciousness and Culture.
They also insisted that self-determination groups who know the terrain must be included on the board.
This came just as the Senior Elders Forum of the Yoruba Council of Elders through Col Dansaaki S. Ade Agbede(rtd), warned the Chairman of the Western Governors’ Forum and the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, to shun diplomacy in his handling of the issue and be resolute in its execution.”
Describing the proposed inclusion of the FG as unacceptable, Adesokan argued that Yorubas are uncomfortable with the arrangement which could be counterproductive.
Besides, he hinted that the FG had allegedly changed the status of the security network from a regional security outfit to a state-owned security outfit.
He said, “The powers that be have successfully reduced the corps from a regional outfit to a state base outfit”.
“As if that was not bad enough, they want to have non-yoruba people on the board of Amotekun, via the Federal government’s representations, who in most cases are Hausa/Fulani or Igbo and other non-Yoruba Nigerians, a case of having a spy in the house. We are not comfortable with this”.
Adesokan, who said their reservations about the composition of the governing council of Amotekun had been forwarded to the Oyo State House of Assembly, urged the legislative arm to carefully scrutinize the bill.
He said, ” the feat achieved would pale into insignificance if the initiative is seen by the people as a mere political gimmick”.
“We are here to chip in our views and concern regarding the proposed bill for the creation of Amotekun”.
“Going through the bill as proposed, we have serious concern over the composition of the governing body.”
“We are also worried about the absence of or the participation of the self-determination groups in the composition of the corps”.
“The self-determination groups are the pivots of the Amotekun and have been the custodians of our security network in the southwest geopolitical zone because they understand the terrain and there has never been the language barrier.
We, therefore, wish to warn that credible self-determination groups should not be left out of the planning and execution of this laudable initiative”.
“We know the real Amotekun and they, in turn, know us. So, to have an effective security shield for the southwest, the self-determination groups should, as a matter of fact, be integrated into the planning, execution, and monitoring of the proposed corps, for effectiveness and to make this initiative work”.
“We implore you, please, resist the pressure, from wherever it may be coming from, don’t enact into existence, a clawless, and toothless Amotekun, that, would be against the expectations of the Yoruba man, at this point in time”.
FYCC recommended that
“Self-determination members with traceable records who reside within the Ward should be given a priority.”
“Oba/ Baales within the Ward must ensure that each volunteer is duly identified and recommended.
Training must be handled by retired military officers of Yoruba descents and must include arms handling and martial arts. A training manual that is uniform across the board is also recommended here”.
“All corps members should be considered as volunteers and not civil servants with adequate remuneration and life insurance.”
YCE warns Akeredolu
According to YCE, Governor Akeredolu should be cautious in the way he handles the outfit.
While allaying the fear of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, YCE noted that Amotekun would not be confrontational.
“The security outfit would be law-abiding and protect all residents in Yorubaland engaging in legitimate and lawful business”.
Agbede, who maintained that the fear of the security officer, just as the position was taken by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami were not a reflection of the seriousness of the issue at stake said the initiative must be embraced by all lovers of peace.
The elder statesman enjoined the IG and others in his shoes to show concern about the sanctity of lives of the people, both natives and non-natives, residing in Yorubaland which the governors of Western Nigeria are very much worried about.
According to him, ‘’rather than the continued vilification of the progressive move by the agents of the Federal Government, the Yoruba people must be applauded for coming together to protect their lives and property as well as those of other residents in our land who engage in legitimate business and remain law-abiding.
‘’The kind of unity the security outfit has brought about among our people is unprecedented in recent times as people of different political parties’ persuasion dropped their political garbs to embrace the initiative, a demonstration of the imperativeness of the idea.
‘’Those in Abuja must appreciate the fact that while the people of the North-East are facing insurgency, we in the Yorubaland are facing invasion and it would be foolhardy for us to stay aloof while being invaded which was why every son and daughter of the Yoruba race rose and qued behind our governors on the project’’, he added.
Asking the governors of the Yoruba speaking states to remain resolute and unwavering in the struggle for the liberation of their people which had successfully begun because ‘’we are behind you and believe in the struggle to free our people from the shackles of insecurity’’.
‘’This is a project for which its time has come and there must be a concerted effort to see it through.
I, therefore, urge our son, Governor Akeredolu, SAN not to waiver or be intimidated by whatever anybody may be saying or doing outside our race. We are solidly behind you and your brother governors on this particular project which is about our present and our future’’, he stated.