- Support for outfit sign of public rumblings, says Odigie-Oyegun
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja and James Sowole in Akure
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said that Amotekun, a security outfit by the governors of the South-west states, is a logical end product of President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision on community policing.
Also, the immediate past chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has described the creation of outfit, as an expression of rumblings against the federal government for not doing enough for the people.
Odigie-Oyegun and Fayemi spoke yesterday in Abuja at the 17th edition of Daily Trust Dialogue with the theme: 20th Years of Democracy in Nigeria: Strengths, Weaknesses and Opportunities.
“Amotekun is one of the rumblings from the people, which shows their feelings that enough is not being done for them in the system,” Odigie-Oyegun stated.
He lamented that Nigerians had been dissatisfied and dejected with successive administrations in the last 20 years, wondering that something must be fundamentally wrong if governments at all levels had been unable to meet people’s expectations since the return to the Fourth Republic.
” Why are our people unhappy in the last 20 years? What is basically wrong? Why are our people losing faith in our government? What do the people need from us that we have been unable to provide? ” Odigie- Oyegun queried.
Fayemi, who was one of the keynote speakers, defended the creation of Amotekun within the Nigerian context.
He said the moves to set up the outfit started in June 2019 following a spate of kidnappings in the south-west.
He added that the south-west governors believed Amotekun would rhyme with Buhari’s philosophy of providing internal security for Nigerians in addition to acting as a form of community policing.
“If you need the official position on Amotekun, I think you will need to talk to Governor Akeredolu, but Amotekun is designed to complement national security outfits. It is not a competitor to national security outfits,” Fayemi said.
He said the initiators duly informed the national security agencies, which collaborated with South-west governors during the establishment of the community security outfit.
While making his contributions with regards to the setting up of community security outfit , a former Governor of Katsina State, Mr. Ibrahim Shema, called on all the states and local government areas to work together on security, noting that it should not be a matter of setting the north against the south.
” Rather, Amotekun should bring us together. The states and local government leaders should work together to address the issues that are bedevilling our nation, including banditry, Boko Haram, kidnapping and One Chance,” Shema said.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, yesterday told governors of the South-west geopolitical zone not to back out of the regional security outfit.
He criticised the federal government for declaring the security outfit illegal.
He told journalists in Akure that Amotekun had come to stay in the region to fight the insecurity facing the Yorubaland in the recent time.
Fasoranti commended the governors for the initiative and urged them not to bow to any pressure against the wish of the people of the region.
He said: “Operation Amotekun is a welcome development, but they were being asked not to do it. The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, insisted that they would do it.
“I want them to go ahead and do it in the interest of our people; we cannot leave ourselves here and be helpless in the face of incessant onslaught,” he said.
Reacting to the pronouncement by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, declaring Amotekun illegal, Fasoranti said the minister spoke the minds of the presidency, adding that the silence of the presidency on the matter meant they were behind the minister.
“I think he is talking for somebody. Silence means consent; he is talking the mind of the presidency that is what they want. It confirms the suspicion that they are trying to protect some interests here in the South-west. I agree with that too, so that they can go on and do what they like with impunity. It is unfortunate,” Fasoranti said.