The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, has called for the possession of firearms for Amotekun security outfit.
Adams made the call on Monday during the public hearing of the state security network agency bill 2020 in Oyo State.
Represented by Gboyega Adejumo, Adams said that the use of guns will be ineffective for their operations, adding that hoodlums and criminal-minded persons may attack operatives once it was observed that they had no arms.
Also, Oyelowo Oyewo, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, who spoke during the event, said one of the objectives of Amotekun was to share intelligence about crime, suspicious activities and other criminal activities.
He said, “It is also meant to protect lives and property within the state and ensure that people travelling on highways, major roads, remote areas, hinterland, forest and inland waterways carry out their normal socio-economic activities without fear or hindrance.”
Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams, has said any one of a group who antagonizes the Western Nigeria Security Network, code-named ‘Amotekun’ is an agent of criminals.
The Federal Government and governors of the South-West region of Nigeria recently reached an agreement after the Justice Minister and Attorney-general of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, declared the security outfit illegal.
However, several people have continued to criticize the move of the south-west governors, saying that the creation of Amotekun is an action unknown to Nigerian Law.
In his reaction, Chief Adams said those antagonizing the operation may have some hidden agenda to destroy the southwest zone.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State during a courtesy visit to Kayode Fayemi, the executive governor of the state, Adams said, “It is necessary for our governors to (let us) have our own security network, Amotekun. Life is precious. You don’t politicise the issue of security.”
“If the South-West is safe, the entire Nigeria is safe.”
“We don’t need to continue throwing missiles at ourselves in the media. Anybody who stands as an antagonist to Amotekun, I will perceive that person in two forms. One, he has some agenda to destroy our zone; or two, he is an agent of criminals,” he added.
The leader of Oodua People’s Congress, OPC also commended the Federal Government for finally reaching an agreement with the South-West governors on the issue.
“Definitely, the agreement between the Federal Government and the South-West governors is a welcome development. It is for the progress of the country,” he said.
Former governor of Old Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, has slammed Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, over the comment he made on his statement about the Western Nigeria Security Network code-named, Operation Amotekun.
He also took on the O’odua Peoples Congress (OPC) leader and Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams and described Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as belonging to a government that is showing lack of aptitude to govern Nigeria.
Operation Amotekun was Introduced by the six South West governors to curb kidnapping, banditry and ritual killings that has thrown the region into panic.
Musa had said in an interview with one of The Sun newspaper titles that Operation Amotekun was a ploy by the Yoruba preparatory to the declaration of Oduduwa Republic.
But Soyinka, Adams and Tinubu took exception to the statement. While Tinubu said Amotekun was not a threat to national unity and that “those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion,” Soyinka noted that “raising the spectre of secessionist is a facile approach to the dangerous, self-evident lapses in governance which Balarabe himself acknowledges in his response to the Amotekun principle made flesh.
Adams, on his part, queried the former governor when he became the spokesman of the North, adding that it was on record that Musa is the only former governor in Nigeria who operated a one-man show, has no aide, and has no followers-hip just as he remarked that the Northern oligarchy as represented by Musa were afraid that the existence of Amotekun might jeopardise their conquest agenda.
However, Musa in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun yesterday rose in stout response to the attack on his person?
He said: “The statement of Soyinka and that of Tinubu do not amount to criticism. In fact, we agreed in some areas and we differed in others. The statement of Tinubu, for instance, is just calling attention to the insecurity as seen by Amotekun because Tinubu listed a number of steps that Amotekun should have taken and have not taken. Tinubu has not said anything different from what we have said in a different way.”
When reminded of Tinubu’s statement that Amotekun is not a threat to national unity contrary to his averment, Musa said: “But what do you expect Tinubu to do because Tinubu is part and parcel of this government which is responsible for this incompetence that makes Amotekun look necessary to others. So, what do you expect him to do. How can he say Amotekun is not a threat to national unity when he is part and parcel of the government and part and parcel of the South West elite that are responsible. So you can’t expect the same attitude with mine because he is directly involved.
“I am not surprised about his response but I am saying that people like him and us should work together because we think principally about national unity and I have no doubt about Tinubu’s commitment about national unity even though I have doubt about the commitment of people like Soyinka. I can even identify specific attempts that Tinubu took to bring about national unity since his intervention in real politics at NADECO.
“For Soyinka, all his announcements since he came into the scene particularly during his encounter with the late Bala Usman who was doubting whether he earned his professorship and he was reacting. When regional issues arise, Soyinka has never taken his bias towards, for instance, Yorubaland, Yoruba states and everything Yoruba and not Nigeria. I mean that has been clear.
“The best thing is that let all of us who differ on this Amotekun come together and do what appears to have been done by others. For instance, Tinubu is suggesting something that will make Amotekun a national aspiration. Now, the North Central governments are also thinking of doing the same thing.”
Asked if he was aware that the Arewa youths were in support of Amotekun, he retorted: ”I mean the thing is this: you can say the same thing about the governors of the North Central states but they are not saying they have accepted Amotekun per se. They are saying the regional security formation is essential but in conjunction with the relevant bodies. For instance, they talked about it in consultation with the Attorney General and coming together. They never talked about any tribe or whatever unlike Amotekun that is talking about Yoruba all the time.
When reminded of Adams conquest agenda allegation, Musa quipped: “Forget about Adams. We know his position right from the beginning. As far as he is concerned, it is Yoruba and Yoruba all the time. I don’t even want to comment about what Adams. He is talking about the North fixing a national problem. Why should he be talking about the North?
“He is talking about conquest agenda by the North. You see this nonsense. This is something that lacks intelligence and it shows the attitude of people with intellectual and social indiscipline and articulation. What does Adams know? When did he arrive into the scene to know all these? He arrived when the rot has already started and he started using the rot.”
The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land and National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Iba Gani Adams, has declared that whoever is against the South-West security outfit codenamed Operation Amotekun (Leopard), which will be launched today, is enemy of the region.
He said that not everything people should be playing politics with. According to him, issue of security should be of concern to everybody no matter their differences, groups or political parties, as security of life and property ought to be their priority.
Adams stated this while speaking with journalists in his residence in Lagos.
Operation Amotekun is a joint taskforce involving OPC, hunters, other vigilante groups, the police, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the army.
Adams described Operation Amotekun as a joint security force that would address the rising incidents of kidnapping, robbery and killings in the South West.
He said there was no better time to kick off the joint taskforce than now with South West residents having difficulties to access their farmlands or travel on highways due to kidnappings and other rising insecurity issues.
He said: “Operation Amotekun is a welcome development in our region and at the same time, it is an idea that is already belated because we have been expecting it longtime ago before it eventually came to reality. I was for one of the people who agitated for it. Without telling you the whole story, I can tell you authoritatively that Yoruba people are very happy with the operation. Anybody you see or hear criticizing this operation, it is either that person is a sadist or that person did not value life or even property.
“Amotekun is not the real state police we agitating for but it is temporary solution to some of the challenges facing our region.
“We are due for state police; we don’t need any security report to tell us that our region has been infiltrated by external criminals from the neighboring countries around us. Some external criminals have collaborators within. The president even made matter worse by giving foreigners free entry to our country. Operation Amotekun will address many issues beyond issue of Fulani herdsmen.
“There are many spots across the region that were den of ritualists; the issue of security challenges in South – West goes beyond issue of Fulani Herdmen but I believe the current move will address it.”
…New party to form ahead 2023
…Laments 2019 is year of crises, hardship, bloodletting
There Aare Gani Adams is the 15th Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land. He is a social activist and former leader of a faction of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), which supports an autonomous state for the Yoruba people. Talking with Sunday Sun, he spoke about his views of 2019 and the New Year, 2020, among other issues.
What is your assessment of the outgoing year 2019?
2019 is a year of hardship in terms of the economy. It is a year where our economy is not moving in the right direction. It is a year that the government shut the border for the past four months now and it’s a year of bloodshed. It is a year of crises and lots of social vices. It is a year of bloodletting in different states in Nigeria and it’s a year of political decision.We held our presidential election and Nigeria elected President Muhammadu Buhari . It’s a year that gradually, Nigerians are losing hope on the government. It’s a year that the government has already made up their mind with some politicians that whether you like us or not, we’ll buy you to exercise franchise for us against your will. It’s a year that we are fast losing our institution and it is a year that rule of law is dying gradually,. It’s a year that we foresee a situation that the government is prepared to intimidate the citizens by all means. The freedom of expression is eshrined in our constitution, but tactically the Federal Government wants to erase it by bringing in a bill of hate speech which the majority of Nigerians have kicked against. It is a year that the budget sent to the National Assembly doesn’t see hope coming in 2020. It’s a year we realized that our president is not in control anymore; the people in the corridor of power have already taken over the government from him. The Sowore saga is another thing which the Federal Government did not manage very well, especially the SSS. If anybody poses a security threat, the government has a right to arrest that person, to detain him within 24 hours and charge him to the court of law. Until when the court proves him guilty before people would know that he has committed that offence. In democracy, there must always be a room for opposition. It is better to be in military uniform than to be a dictatorship in civilian democracy. You can’t survive dictatorship in democrat government. There is a serious setback on the process of our democracy.
What would you say about the arms of government?
I realized that our two arms of government have been caged by the executive. The Senate president openly told Nigerians that anything the executive brings to their table they would grant it. That’s an impeachable statement from any number three person who holds the most powerful parliament. It’s so sad that people like us that fought for this democracy are here, but those who worked with the military in those days are the ones in charge now. If the government did not pay me back for what I have done, the Yoruba has paid me a certain level of what I have done by giving me this position of Aare Ona Kakanfo. This is my own country. I can’t change my green passport. I can’t have citizen of any other country like others who believe that if Nigeria does not work, they would fall on their green card. It’s very difficult for me to have such plans because they would use it against me. I have been offered green card, residential permit by many organizations. If not for the love I have for this country I would have had their residential permit and needing no visas to go to those countries, at least European union, 28 countries. Because of the love and because of the sacrifice we have for this country I decided to go with my green passport.
What are your perceptions about the closure of our land borders?
The damage closure of borders has caused to us is more than the advantage that the closing has caused us. I’m not a smuggler, it’s not my route, it’s not my own business interest, but when you study the feelings of the people, you are baffled at the suffering. Before I became the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land I listened to the wishes of the people, I realised that the Seme border, the Shaki border, Idiroko border and other borders within the Southwest and the economy of the grassroots are seriously affected. When you say they are bringing terrorists from these borders to Nigeria, what is the job of our Immigration? If you say they are bringing illegal goods to Nigeria what is the job of our Customs? When you are talking of security in the border, there are Immigration, SSS, Nigeria Police. Are you now telling us that these security institutions saddled with the responsibility to secure our borders, are they not competent to secure our borders and the best solution is for you to seal the borders? This is a year I believe Nigerian government took a wrong decision on external relations in that regard.
As we are entering year 2020 are we hoping to see Vision 2020 come to reality?
Is Nigeria even prepared for 2030 talk less of 2020? A lot of things have been done to affect our institution. Every sector of Nigeria is complaining. Even the civil servants are complaining. Both federal, states and even local government. When you are talking about three tiers of government, it is only the federal and states that are working. The local government tier of government is not active as before because their money is not getting to them. At the same time, Vision 2020 can never be realized. If they have a plan for Vision 2020 you could have heard them talking that two years ago. I don’t know the plan the government has maybe for Vision 3030 . Nigeria is the only country I see that the government was sworn in on May 29 and certain crop of politicians just rise up again that they want to become president. It is a serious diversion for the incumbent president; it’s a diversion for the incumbent governor and even the incumbent local government chairman. I will advise the politicians that they should play down their politics in 2020. By middle of 2021 the political atmosphere can be charged because anything now will destroy the entire system. The president will have an excuse that he wants to prepare for his successor because people have been coming out.
How do you see the coming year 2020?
I don’t foresee any magic. There won’t be something different from what happened in 2019. I forsee a situation where the president would be looking forward to clamp down on his opposition. I foresee a situation whereby the president would want to jail most of the governors that have trials. I foresee a situation that the president would want to use anti-corruption to cow down most of the opposition and those who don’t believe in his cause. I foresee a situation where new party may come out within 2020 and 2021. I foresee the two main major party will break and new party will surface. I foresee a situation that more civil society groups will come out stronger. I foresee a situation where many people we thought were powerful, their secrets will be opened and the whole world would know that most of them are enemies of this country. I foresee our judiciary, some of them standing their feet, that if you want to remove me, remove me, I cannot continue this way. Talking of the economy, I foresee international community coming against our government . If care is not taken sanction would come from international community. From what happened in 2019, the international communities were not pleased with the process of our democracy. I foresee a sanction from United States of America; I foresee a sanction from EU. If the Federal Government does not manage our international relations very well, the crisis between the government and the international community will be worse than the military because a statement that came from the spokesperson of the president that we are not answerable to the US, Britain and EU, that statement would generate a lot of annoyance because these are the powerful forces in global scene. They control World Bank, they control IMF, they control United Nations about 99 per cent of the institutions that we use to govern, the whole world they control them. You are not answerable to them, but you get grant from them and they are selling world equipment to you. We would have witnessed another third world war if not for the United Nations. I foresee sanction coming to the government if they do not manage their international relations very well. I foresee international community blocking our citizens from traveling to their countries. There’s an approval of budget of 30 billion dollars. Already Nigerian owes about N25 billion, the calculation of $30billion will almost get to N11 trillion. Definitely, the money the Federal Government is asking for, if the National Assembly grants the request, Nigeria will be oweing almost N36 billion, and a country with that kind of debt is in bad shape. Nobody will be thinking of bringing an investment to that country and nobody will be thinking of even borrowing more money to that country. It would bring more inflation to our society and value added tax has been increased from 5.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent and when cost of living is being hiked and wages are not high there will be serious problem. Definitely, we should expect a serious economic hardship in 2020.
There have been major crisis in Southwest in 2019, what efforts are you putting in place to curb it?
I think the Federal Government has tried its best. To solve our security problems now, the onus lies on the Southwest governors. The police have called that they’re ready to partner with the organization. Some state governments because of politics are trying to dodge it and by so doing they could not move forward. Once they dodge, it would be an exercise in futility. Definitely, the ball is on the court of our state governors.
… Insists debacle doesn’t depict democracy Nigerian fought for
Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has described the re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore, a few hours after his release by the Department of State Services (DSS), as a national tragedy, insisting that the conduct is a clear a departure from the democracy that activists and pro-democracy groups fought for.
The situation that played out at the court, before he was rearrested, according to him, indicated that Nigeria has purportedly lost its drift as a democratic nation.
He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure an unconditional release of Sowore in order to redeem the image of the country on respect for human rights and rule of law.
Adams who spoke at the weekend, maintained that “what happened at the court, it reminded me of the dark era of the military; but ironically, the present government under President Muhammadu Buhari is likened to the military junta era of the late Sanni Abacha, when the military brigand held sway for years.
“I have been watching events as they unfold, but I am saddened that the event that transpired in the court was a testimony that Nigeria has a long way to go. The Department of State Services (DSS) has failed to respect the rule of law and it is a sad reminder of the military era.”
Adams expressed sadness that the prolonged detention of Sowore has affected the image of Nigeria, because the world is watching the government with keen interest.
“This is not the democracy we fought for between 1993 and 1998.
“I remembered vividly as activists and pro-democracy groups, we put our lives on the line to ensure that our dreams for this democracy became a reality. Now, democracy is here, but we have lost touch with the ideals of a democratic setting as it is practised in other climes.”
Adams, however, flayed the stringent bail condition given to Sowore, saying it was a ploy to strangle justice. He admitted that the restrictions of his movement to only Abuja had only justified that this government is using the DSS to frustrate perceived oppositions.
“I remember during the inglorious years of the late Abacha, the names of those that acted on his behalf; all the actors that used his name and the state mercenaries to perpetrate evil are not mentioned now; it is Abacha ‘s name that keeps ringing, and remains in the dustbin of history, while a few others are still alive today to enjoy their loots at the expense of the people.
“Therefore, I am using this opportunity to advise President Buhari, not to allow these set of people at the corridors of power to use his name and the office of the presidency to perpetrate evil that could later discredit his name in the future,” he said.