‘S/West Will Not Accept Amotekun under Nigeria Police’

Kunle Olajide

Kemi Olaitan holds a conversation with Dr. Kunle Olajide, the Secretary General of Yoruba Council of Elders, on South-west regional security outfit, Operation Amotekun and the performance of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari

South-west governors and the Federal Government seem to have reached an agreement on the Western Nigeria Security Network, Operation Amotekun. Do you think this is the best way to go?

There is nothing wrong in having an agreement. For now, the terms of the agreement have not been made known. Beyond what we all read in the media, we have not seen the details of the agreement. But whatever the agreement is, the Yoruba people would not accept that the security outfit be subsumed under the community policing system but that the two work together.

It must not be part of community policing because community policing is part of the Nigeria Police system that takes order from Abuja. Amotekun should be such that orders must only come from Ibadan, the other state capitals in the South-west region and Gbongan, which may be the headquarters of the security outfit. In other words, Operation Amotekun must be such that it must be peopled by indigenes of the South-west states. To put it under the Nigeria Police through the community policing would not be acceptable to us.

A top official of Miyyeti Allah has called on the South-west to forget Amotekun if it wants to clinch the Presidency in 2023, what is your view on this?

It is quite unfortunate that we are dignifying those that are calling themselves Miyyeti Allah. The space accorded them in the media is unnecessary. It is nothing but an association of herdsmen. Because they have access to the media, they are misusing the opportunity.

On the statement credited to the Miyyeti Allah official, the Presidency of a country like Nigeria certainly cannot be determined by an association whose members cannot be more than 500,000. The association only came to limelight through the criminal activities of its members such as destroying farmlands, kidnapping and raping of women.

To us in the South-west region, there must be a new constitution before the next election so as to reform our leadership process. This is because the system is ladden with corruption, for anybody to become the President such a person would spend nothing less than N100 billion, traversing the country in private jets, buying vehicles and as well as having coordinators. And whoever spends such a huge amount through his or her own money and those donated, such a person must be corrupt as he or she will be accountable to those who assisted along the way.

In the past, it was not like this. Indeed, during the First Republic, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, contested and won election in his district in the present Bauchi State to become the first Prime Minister of Nigeria. Also, the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, contested and won election in his Remo division area and became the Premier of Western region. However, the present system is too expensive and the remuneration too juicy with most politicians becoming businessmen overnight instead of focusing on service delivery. The remuneration must be reviewed such that it should not be different from that of the civil service. The time has come for the country to move back to true federalism, Nigeria is nothing but a federation of different people coming together under certain rules.

Life is sacred and self-preservation is an inalienable right of everybody, we need a constitution such that the local governments and states would have the right to come together and protect their people. It must be the duty of the legislators in our state Houses of Assembly to give us legislation on Operation Amotekun, such as, when there is misbehaviour on the part of the personnel and most especially funding. It must has nothing to do with Abuja.

The Transparency International has rated the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari low on the fight against corruption. Are you not worried given the much touted claim by the government that it is winning the war?

I am not surprised by the rating given the country by Transparency International. The reason for this is simple. There is no leadership that evolved through the present faulty system that can successfully fight corruption. Indeed every form of injustice is corruption. Take the case of a Senator that spends close to N200 million to get into position, how do you expect him not to be corrupt?

Thus all the anti-corruption agencies from the ICPC to EFCC are just merely blowing the fire with hand fan leaving the flame. The flame is nothing but effective constitution. Except we address this, the country would just be moving in circles in the fight against corruption. But unfortunately, time is running out for the country, no thanks to the massive youth unemployment, infrastructure collapsing every day and a nation with population close to 200 million people grappling with less than 5,000 megawatts of electricity.

And my fear is that the country may explode very soon. Those at the helm of affairs must be very careful because you can only fool some people sometime, not all the people all the time.

A Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman in a local government area in Adamawa State was recently beheaded by members of the Boko Haram. Do you share the view of the national leadership of CAN that Christians are being persecuted in the country?

It is clearly obvious that Christians are under siege in the country. Take for instance the South-west, from available records, the herders have not less than 1,000 cells in the region, unleashing havoc on helpless people. The most unfortunate thing about it is that nobody is being prosecuted for the crimes. The daughter of the Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, was killed and till today, nothing has been heard about the case.

Everything points to the fact that there is a programme of Islamisation going on in the country and the earlier the administration of President Buhari puts a stop to it, the better for the country as a whole.