…Go to court if you’re dissatisfied
…It’s not regional army or ethnic agenda
A Yoruba ethnic pressure group, Yoruba World Congress (YWC) will, tomorrow, staged a peaceful protest in all the six states of the South West in support of Amotekun.
The group, in a statement, by its Director of Contacts and Mobilisation, Victor Taiwo, urged all the Yoruba people to join the protest march in the state capitals of the six states.
According to him, those in Lagos are to converge on Gani Faweyinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, those in Oyo State will converge on Agodi Cenotaph, Ibadan, while those in Ogun State will meet at Pansheke Junction, Abeokuta and those in Osun State will take off at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo.
Also, the protest in Ondo State will hold at Alagbaka roundabout, Akure while those in Ekiti are to converge on Fajuyi roundabout, Ado-Ekiti for the protest.
Meanwhile, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Afe Babalola, has told the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to take the six South West governors to court over the launch of the joint security network, Operation Amotekun.
Babalola argued that declaring Amotekun illegal by Malami is itself an unlawful pronouncement as the AGF had gone overboard dishing out judgment on issues of such nature as if he were a law court. He added that it would also constitute gross abuse of court process for the Federal Government to expect the South West governors to file an action against it.
Babalola, while speaking to newsmen in Ado Ekiti yesterday on the controversial issue, said the Federal Government should be the one to approach the court to seek redress, since it waited until after the formation of Amotekun before making its position known.
“In my opinion, the act has been done, Amotekun had been launched, let them go on. Anybody that feels what they have done is wrong can go to court. They will meet the governors there. All the governors would have to do is to show them the law, the constitution, sections 24, 40, 45. That is it.
“What the state governors have done is legal, so why should they bother? Let the Federal Governor try to go to court. It is a case that must fail if they go to court. They have not set up a parallel police outfit. The constitution says it is your duty to protect the interest of yourself and others and join together in doing so. So simple. The case will be so easy to win.
“The Amotekun outfit is a protective and supportive outfit established by the governors of the South West. It has its roots in the 1999 Constitution and the previous constitutions before it – 1960 and 1963.
“Section 24 of the constitution provides ‘it shall be the duty of every citizen to make positive and useful contribution to the advancement, progress and well-being of the community where he resides’. Well-being means security of life and property. How many Nigerians realise they have a duty to assist and to protect the interest of the community and themselves?
“Section 40 goes further that ‘every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular, he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests’.
“When you put these two together, it shows all of us have the duty to associate whether as Yoruba people or as state people to ensure lives and property are safe. The Amotekun outfit has its roots in the constitution. It is constitutional, it is legal, it is proper,” he said.
In a related development, Ondo Governor and Chairman, South West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, has reaffirmed that Amotekun is neither a regional army nor an ethnic agenda to obliterate and undermine national cohesion.
He warned against divisive statements and utterances that are capable of compromising the genuine intention of the South West governors regarding the setting up of the security outfit.
Akeredolu, in a statement, by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, reiterated his earlier position that Amotekun was initiated to compliment efforts of the conventional internal security agencies that appear to have been hampered by the absence of local intelligence gathering architecture.
“Amotekun, when fully operational, would serve the purposes of local information and intelligence gathering for processing and usage by the conventional security agencies. Amotekun, is therefore, merely supportive and not a replacement for the nation’s security agencies.
“Concerns expressed by individuals, agencies of government and several stakeholders are noted without bias. Where possible, the inexorable efforts of the South West governors will be deepened through relentless interface.” he said.
On his part, Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland and National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Gani Adams, said the former civilian governor of old Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, is protecting his selfish interest.
Apparently, Adams was replying Musa over his attack on the six governors of the South West for establishing a security outfit, Amotekun.
Musa had, at the weekend, launched a virulent attack on the South West governors for establishing the security outfit.
However, Adams in his reaction yesterday, said the fear of the North is that, the existence of Amotekun would jeopardise their conquest agenda, stressing that the northern leaders were not for good governance, but conquest agenda.
“Let me say this clearly, the emergence of Amotekun is the beginning of wisdom, and the fear of the northern oligarchy is that, the existence of Amotekun may jeopardise their conquest agenda. They are not for good governance, but interested in their plan towards conquest agenda.
“As a former governor, when has he become spokesman for the North, that he is now addicted to condemning any good initiative from the South West. It is on record that, he is the only former governor who operates a one man show.”