Tag Archives: west

Operation Amotekun: Gani Adams propose Ammo use for Group


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.”


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Actions Have Been Taken For Legality – Ogun Speaker


The Ogun State House of Assembly has considered and taken necessary legal processes on the South-West Security Network codenamed ‘Amotekun’.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Olakunle Oluomo, disclosed this to Channels Television at his office in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.


Oluomo explained that the actions taken by the lawmakers were expected to make Amotekun a legally acceptable security outfit and deliver on its core mandate.

Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Mr Olakunle Oluomo, during an interview with Channels Television in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

He also gave an update on the journey so far in the legislative procedure for the actualisation of the security outfit.

The speaker, however, sought the support and understanding of residents of the state to ensure the success of the outfit in securing their lives and properties.


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Ekiti passed bill into law. Val’20


Ekiti State House of Assembly, on Friday, passed the bill for the establishment of Ekiti State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps into law.

The Speaker, Funminiyi Afuye, said, “Having passed through the third reading, the bill has become a law.”

Afuye, who lauded the lawmakers for their “leadership and commitment to the bill,” said the Assembly did not short-circuit any process that was required in law-making, NobleRepoters report


The Speaker said the bill would be transmitted to the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, for his assent.

The law passed through the first and second readings in the Assembly on Thursday and committed to the House Committee on Security for proper legislative scrutiny before the House adjourned sitting till Friday.


The lawmakers, who debated the bill exhaustively in the chambers on Thursday, spoke on the appropriateness of the proposed law in view of the security challenges facing the state, region and Ekiti State.

A public hearing was also conducted on the Bill later on Thursday.

At the resumed sitting on Friday, the House Committee of Security presented the committee’s report.

The report was adopted by the Committee of the House, then the Bill went into the third reading, which it passed through.


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Ondo signs bill


Ondo State Government on Wednesday approved a draft bill of the Ondo State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps, codenamed operation Amotekun, for passage into law.

According to a statement issued by Mr Donald Ojogo, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, the bill would be transmitted to the State House of Assembly for legislative scrutiny after which it would be passed into law.

He explained that the details contained in the bill was presented by the Commissioner for Justice in an exhaustive session of deliberations by the state executive members.


“The draft bill has six parts and 44 sections. It is also gratifying to disclose that every apprehension or fears expressed in various quarters have been adequately looked into.

“This is even as traditional rulers will now have roles to play in the operations of the security outfit pursuant to its passage into law by the state assembly.

“Government finds it pertinent to reiterate that this laudable initiative is aimed at complimenting the efforts of the nation’s security agencies.

“It is also necessary to encourage the good people of Ondo State to take maximum advantage of this opportunity,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Southwest AGs make conclusion on bills


The Attorneys-General and Justice Commissioners in the six states of the South West geo-political zone of Nigeria have concluded work on the draft bills for the region’s security outfit codenamed Amotekun.

Following the conclusion of the exercise, concerned states are expected to present the draft bill to their respective executive council for approval and then forward same to the house of assembly to be passed into law and subsequently signed by the six governors.


This disclosure was made after a meeting of the six Attorneys-General hosted by Prof Oyelowo Oyewo, a former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), at Davies Hotel, Old Bodija, Ibadan, which lasted for about three hours on Friday.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Oyewo, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said: “The meeting of the Attorneys-General of the six south west states just concluded and we deliberated on the plan to evolve a collaborative security network or agency in the South West.

“We have been able to come up with a legal framework to back up such establishment of security network in each of the states. So, each of the states will have its own legislation and its own security network corps that will bear the name Amotekun.

“There will be standard operational procedure that will also be in common and there will be an avenue for collaboration between the states to work together. It must be stated that the security network will be working in collaboration and as a complementary network with the police and the security agencies and armed forces.


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Don’t delay bill – S/West urge govs


The Houses of Assembly of states in the South-West, comprising Oyo, Osun, Lagos, Ekiti, Ondo and Ogun states, have said they will give accelerated hearing to the bill on the Western Nigeria Security Network, popularly known as Operation Amotekun, as soon as it is presented to them by the Executive.


They therefore urged the governors not to delay in sending the bill to them for consideration and passage into law.

The governors of the six states in the South-West had, in a response to the spate of killings and kidnapping in the region, launched Operation Amotekun on January 9, 2020 in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to provide security for their people.


They had at a summit convened by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria in June 2019 agreed to set up the initiative, before it was eventually launched in January 2020.

Meanwhile, few days after the launch, which received commendations from many eminent persons in the region and beyond, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, described the initiative as illegal, adding that his office was not consulted before the governors went ahead to launch the initiative.


He had said, “The setting up of the paramilitary organisation called “Amotekun” is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law. The law will take its natural course in relation to excesses associated with organisation, administration and participation in “Amotekun” or continuous association with it as an association.

“It is important to put on record that the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice was not consulted on the matter. If it had, proper information and guidance would have been offered to ensure that Nigeria’s defence and corporate entity are preserved at all times.”


The AGF’s position had been greeted with severe criticisms, with many eminent lawyers faulting the AGF for describing it as illegal. They, however, advised the governors to send a bill on the initiative to their respective state’s Houses of Assembly to give it legal backing.

The governors had also threatened to approach the court if the Federal Government continued to oppose the initiative. But following a meeting the governors had with the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; the AGF and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, they resolved to come up with a framework that would provide backing to the regional security outfit.


Sequel to this, Attorneys General and Commissioners for Justice of the six states on Friday confirmed they had concluded work on the draft bill for the smooth running of the regional security network.

Each of the Attorneys General is expected to present the draft bill to their respective state executive councils for approval, after which the documents would be sent to each of the six Houses of Assembly in the region for it to be passed and subsequently signed into law by each of the governors.


Speaking to one of our correspondents on Saturday, the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, said the Assembly would not mind cutting short their recess to attend to Amotekun bill to ensure its speedy passage.

Owoeye, who spoke through his Press Secretary, Kunle Alabi said that the bill would receive speedy attention once they receive it from the executive.


He said, “The Speaker has promised that the bill will be given speedy attention whenever it is ready for the lawmakers. Like other important matters of state, the lawmakers will be ready to attend to it.

“Recall that during the crises in some local government areas early in the year, the lawmakers cut short their recess to attend to the matter. The Amotekun bill will enjoy the same attention once it comes. The lawmakers will not mind cutting short their recess.”


Also, the Oyo State House of Assembly said the bill could be passed into law within two or three weeks if it’s presented to the House on Tuesday.

The Assembly’s Chairman of Media and Information Committee, Kazeem Olayanju, said, “When the bill on Amotekun will be passed into law in Oyo State depends on how soon the executive arm of government brings the bill to the House of Assembly. The House normally sits on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


“If they bring it on time, it will be passed on time. Normally, a bill passes through four stages. The bill is expected to pass through the first three stages in the Assembly before being sent to the governor for his assent, and that is the fourth and final stage. If they bring it on Tuesday, for instance, it may scale through first reading on Thursday. It may be in the Assembly for two weeks before being sent to the governor.”

Olayanju added, “This will give the state the opportunity to enjoy the full value of the security outfit.”


On his part, the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye, also said the bill would not be delayed by any of the legislative bodies in the region.

Afuye said, “When we receive it, definitely it’s going to be given expeditious treatment. This is a coordinated western states’ matter, we, the speakers are meeting and we are sensitising everybody, every legislator in the South-West to the need to make it a priority.


“If it gets to us, I can assure you that it will be treated.”

He explained that even through the bill would still pass through the normal legislative process, it will be given accelerated hearing.


He added, “We have to study it and it has to pass through first and second readings, then the passage of the bill. It has to go through the legislative process. I can assure you that it is not going to be delayed.”

Similarly, the Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, said the Assembly would also give speedy hearing to the bill once it is transmitted to them.


Oluomo said the speedy hearing would be aided by the fact that there had been a law related to the bill.

He added, “The state Assembly needs to amend a law that created ‘So safe Corps’ as a state security outfit for Amotekun.”


Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, could not give timeline for the passage of the bill.

Obasa, who is also the Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures, said the bill would go through the public for their input before it could be passed into law.


He added, “So far, we have not seen anything. We are waiting for when the bill will be brought to the parliament so that we know what to do.”

Osun gov meets lawmakers, promises early presentation of bill


In a related development, the Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, has met with the members of the State House of Assembly where he promised to present a bill on Amotekun ‘‘soon.’’

At the meeting, which was held on January 29, Oyetola was said to have sought the cooperation of the lawmakers, vowing that the commissioner in charge of the ministry of justice was working with his colleagues in other five states in the region to draft the bill.


A member of the State House of Assembly, who spoke with one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, said the states were working with Development Agenda for Western Nigeria to draft the bill.

He said, “The bill is going to be uniform. Our governor met with us (the lawmakers) on January 29. Though we have had series of meetings on it at committee levels and groups, the governor had told us that the bill was being drafted.

‘‘The bill is being worked on by the Attorneys General and DAWN commission. Thank God the Federal Government is no longer against it. We will soon get it and I can assure you that we will get it passed as soon as it is ready.”

Asked how the operation would be funded, the source added that the governors would likely submit supplementary budget on it.


#Newsworthy…

Oluwo: Amotekun must fight ritual killings as well ..


The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I, has charged the southwest governors to ensure that the Southwest Security Network, otherwise known as Amotekun, is also made to fight ritual killings and “traditional corruptions.”

Describing traditional corruption, especially ritual killings, as rampant in the Southwest, Oba Akanbi expressed concern about the daily reported cases of killing of humans for rituals.

The first class traditional ruler advised that fighting ritual killings should be in the scope of operations of the security outfit.


In a statement by his press secretary, Ali Ibrahim, the paramount ruler said ritual killing is deadlier and more recurrent than herdsmen’s heinous activities. The Oluwo, who drew the attention of the Yoruba stakeholders to the menace of ritual killings, insisted that the politicians should be held responsible for trading their game with kidnapping.

He expressed disappointment that no one is talking about how to curtail ritual killings in the ongoing support for Amotekun.


“I am not condemning Amotekun but I am talking about better direction of job specification and scope of roles for the regional security outfit. Amotekun’s oversight functions should be streamlined to solve fundamental challenges facing us. It is disheartening that we misplace our priority.”

Oluwo added: “Just imagine, an innocent university final year student was killed in Ikoyi-Ile few weeks ago, out of ignorance that a spirit will bring money. It is poverty of the mind that could make someone be so gullible. Now, the child is gone. What a wicked act. What we are doing as a people to curtail such acts must be important to us. So, we need an institution that will allay fears against such an act.

The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I

“Additionally, to fight traditional corruption, we need agents of unquestionable characters and not accomplice of ritual killers. We need a transparent institution that will lead us out of daily killing of our children for money, promotion, popularity and so on.”

The Oluwo implored Nigerians, especially herbalists, pastors and alfas, to imbibe new approaches to offering sacrifices such as beautifying public places and economic empowerment programmes for the vulnerable in the society, among others, noting that “these are rewarding, promotional and more naturally acceptable than killing fellow humans for ritual.”


#Newsworthy..

Operation Amotekun: Christian’s plot to dominate s’west – Sharia court ..


The Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria has reacted to the establishment of Amotekun, a security outfit it claimed was a subtle plot by Christians to dominate the South-West region of the country.

Speaking to newsmen in Osogbo, Osun State’s capital, the Muslim group’s Vice President Sheikh Abdurrasheed Hadiyatullah alleged that the affairs of the Christian-dominated State Police Force was designed and determined from the Church at the expense of the Muslim majority in the region.


He added that the Amotekun program is viewed as a subtle method of further Christianization of the Southwest by its promoters.

Hadiyatullah said; “The Amotekun program is viewed as a subtle method of further Christianization of the Southwest by its promoters in their usual manner of having political and power dominance over the Muslims in the region.


“It is another elusive way of establishing a ‘Christian-dominated State Police Force whose affairs would be designed and determined from the Church at the expense of the Muslims majority in the region.

“Provision of effective safety for lives and property of the people at any point in time is a collective responsibility one that is devoid of any iota of elements of religious, ethnic and primitive bigotry; a type of garment that Amotekun presently but unfortunately wears.

“Issues of security of the peoples ought not to be premised on the altar of politics and personal interests as doing such would amount to building an empire on mere propaganda and the figment of the imagination of the gullible. It stands to collapse shortly after its creation.

“Any form of the Christian agenda camouflaged as a Security Outfit, such as the Amotekun, where the Muslims population from the Southwest and in the country at large is viewed as a target is an act of injustice, unfairness, inequality, barbarism, savagery and wickedness taken too far and therefore outright unacceptable and thereby condemned in its entirety”.


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: If S’west is safe, Nigeria is safe – Adams ..


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.


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Yoruba leaders blast Tinubu for not speaking up


Pa Ayo Adebanjo says Tinubu will never become the president of Nigeria, adding that Buhari is only deceiving him.

Yoruba elders have come for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for keeping mum over Operation Amotekun, a security outfit established by his region’s governors.

On Saturday, January 18, 2020, Afenifere chieftains Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Senator Femi Okurounmu, lambasted Tinubu, who is seen as a political leader in the South-West for refusing to comment on the security initiative.


The South-West Security Network code-named Operation Amotekun was launched by the region’s governors on Thursday, January 9,2020, and almost immediately after the launch, the Federal Government through the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami declared it illegal.

Leaders of interest groups in the north have also condemned the establishment of Operation Amotekun as regional security outfit for the South-western part of the country.


While the Federal Government has expressed its opposition for the initiative, Yoruba elders have voiced their support for Amotekun, but Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state is yet to say anything on the issue.

Reacting to Tinubu’s silence on the security outfit, 91-year-old Adebanjo in an interview with Punch tackled the politician for forming an alliance with the North.


“It was the likes of Tinubu that told us that the South-West would enjoy many privileges but what has the South-West benefitted from the alliance? He shouldn’t have forged an alliance with them in the first place, he said.

Adebanjo further said, Tinubu will never become the president of the country. He added that the APC leader has been keeping mum over Amotekun because he is being deceived with a presidential ticket.


“He asked the Yoruba people to vote for him (Buhari) and that things would be better. Now that they are being slaughtered and they don’t want us to have our security, you are keeping quiet all because you are being deceived that you will become the President which you will never be.

“I have continued to tell him that they are just deceiving him and he is deceiving himself. Which promise has Buhari made and fulfilled? In 2015, he said he would be a born again democrat but does he even obey court orders?”

The Afenifere Chieftain also said that the Federal Government had not right to discount Operation Amotekun when it had failed to provide adequate security for the region.


He recalled that since Pa Fasoranti’s daughter, Mrs Olufunke Olakunrin was murdered on Friday, May 12, 2019, there has been no single arrest.

“I have always told you that the Yoruba people know who their real leaders are. The problems that the Yoruba people are facing today were caused by men like Tinubu. If they had not gone to forge an alliance with Buhari, we wouldn’t be in this problem.

“I told them then that Buhari was only after power. If not, how is it that they neither want to protect us nor allow us to protect ourselves? Why is the North allowed to have security agencies while we are not allowed to protect ourselves against armed persons?

“The police refuse to do anything because of the President’s body language. How could they have killed the daughter of our leader (Pa Reuben Fasoranti) and there has been no single arrest?

Also reacting to Tinubu’s silence on Amotekun, former senator, Femi Okurounmu said the politician has been exposed for who he is.

He said, “Tinubu doesn’t need to be prompted before speaking. We have all been speaking on the matter. Their silence is ominous. This thing was launched by the governors, not Afenifere. And such initiatives should be supported by all Yoruba people.


“Yoruba people are not idiots, we are not fools. If he doesn’t talk now, then we will know how to describe him. Nobody needs to tell us what he is. Nobody needs to call him anything. Even the illiterate man knows what he is.

“If the ordinary man on the street is in support of Amotekun, if all Yoruba people say this is what they want and he is refusing to talk, then his silence has exposed him for what he is. His silence speaks loudly.”

Also, in an interview with Punch, the Secretary-General of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide said Tinubu being a leader in the ruling party is expected to speak up on an issue affecting his people and region.

Olajide said, “The Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation, is challenging the legality of our entrenched constitutional right to protect our lives and property. I expect our political leader (Tinubu) to be in the forefront of rebuking whoever authored the statement. We see him as a leader and we expect him to say something.”

Meanwhile, Tinubu’s Media Adviser, Tunde Rahman has said that the APC Chieftain would speak at the appropriate time.

He said, “You know he is a deeply reflective person and a deep thinker. I know that at the appropriate time he would speak on the matter. What time is appropriate is his prerogative in my view. And I think we must all grant him that indulgence.”


#Newsworthy…

Kim Kardashian flaunt in new gold leotard outfit

…to promote her new makeup line


Reallity star, Kim Kardashian has shared new images to promote her new makeup line.

In the new photos posted to her KKW Beauty Instagram page, the mother of four was pictured posing in a stunning gold leotard and thigh high sandals.

See full photos below.

Reality star Kim Kardashian flaunts her curvy body in a stunning gold leotard (Photos)

Reality star Kim Kardashian flaunts her curvy body in a stunning gold leotard (Photos)
Reality star Kim Kardashian flaunts her curvy body in a stunning gold leotard (Photos)


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Rally set to hold tomorrow

…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.”


#Newsworthy…

2023: There will be war if north will not surrender – Elders

…Only entrepreneurial Igbo spirit can save Nigeria


The South-South Elders Forum has said it was the turn of the zone to occupy the plum office in 2023, warning that any attempt by the North to hold onto power would breach the principle of rotation of power and threaten the peace, unity and stability of Nigeria.

National coordinator of the forum, Anabs Sara-Igbe, who stated this yesterday, said the North should not take the South-South and South-East for granted.

Sara-Igbe, who is also the national publicity secretary of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), noted that the North had ruled for about 40 years, South-West, 12 years, South-South, four years, and the South-East only six months.


“For the north to insist on getting the Presidency again, they do not mean well. And that is why the Arewa group came out boldly to condemn the North advocating for another tenure and they put their weight behind the South-South, because if you want stability, we must be fair to all, and don’t underrate anybody.

“If the North wants to hold on to power, then they don’t want peace in Nigeria. I think the North will not do that. If they want chaos, then they can insist on the presidency. But I can tell you that the South-South is a stabilising force in Nigeria. We will stabilise the country and we will not allow Nigeria to get to that level where there will be conflict,” he said.


According to Sara-Igbe, the North must realise that there is no insignificant region in the country, hence the need to respect the aspirations of every section to the highest office in the country.

“Yar’Adua wanted to use military might against the Niger Delta, and within months the economy was crippled. He begged for amnesty and gave us the things that we required. Buhari came and thought he could use military might, the economy was crippled and we went into economic recession. PANDEF came and salvaged the country. So, you cannot say that anybody cannot do anything. Even the Igbo that are not happy today can do something. The Middle Belt can do something. Every part of Nigeria has the potential to do something, because we are a union.


“For us, the race for the presidency has started and it is a clear fact that there is an unconventional agreement that the presidency should rotate between the North and South.

“Presently, the presidency is in the North, and they have completed their two tenures. It implies that it would come to the South. The South-West had their complete tenure through Olusegun Obasanjo; the South South had one tenure through Goodluck Jonathan, the South-East has not got it in the new dispensation. So, it is the right of the South South to complete their two tenures, thereafter, the South-East will have a shot at it.


“Besides, the South-East is insisting on Biafra, they are not insisting on the presidency. In the South-South, we believe in restructuring and are also interested in the presidency. We want to complete our second tenure. Considering our role in Nigeria, we believe we are the hub carrying Nigeria. The nation should be fair to us by allowing us complete our second tenure. When we complete our second tenure, we will now believe that Nigeria is with us.

“We are not interested in dividing Nigeria, but we are interested in repositioning Nigeria. We can assure Nigeria that the present feelings of the Igbo, when the South-South man comes, he would douse it, because the South-East and the South South are brothers. They are of the same mother and the father. If a South-South man comes, it will help Nigeria, our oil production will increase, our gas production will increase,” he said.


Meanwhile, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ebonyi State chapter, Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi, has said Nigeria can only overcome its developmental challenges by harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of the Igbo.

Nwebonyi, who stated this in Abakaliki, yesterday, tasked Nigerians to look beyond ethnic and religious considerations and elect an Igbo as president in 2023.


He said the Igbo had an innate developmental drive, which propels them to make judicious utilisation of resources to achieve greater accomplishments.

He lamented that the nation was too blessed in human and natural resources to continue to wallow in poverty and infrastructural decay, emphasizing that Nigerians need to turn things around in 2023 with an Igbo President.

National coordinator of the forum, Anabs Sara-Igbe

Nwebonyi reminded Nigerians that Ndigbo within a short period after the civil war were able to rediscover themselves by investing and contributing towards the development of major cities in the country despite the humongous setbacks occasioned by the war.

Using Ebonyi as an example, the party cxairman, noted how Governor David Umahi within four and half years was able to utilise the meagre allocations to the state to transform its infrastructure and economy.


#Newsworthy…

Can Operation Amotekun cost Southwest 2023 Presidential election


In my article of January 6 – a riposte to Isa Funtua’s prejudiced utterance on the Igbo — I wrote: ‘’Funtua’s statement reeks of corpulent arrogance, bigotry and acute sense of entitlement. It reinforces the stereotype that his section of the country bullies any region that does not kiss the ring of the caliphate.’’

I was not surprised that Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) reacted hysterically to the piece because the beneficiaries of the disequilibrium status quo will always seek to maintain it.

It is common knowledge that swathes of territories in the north have been overrun by bandits. At the peak of the menace — in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 — these grim reapers killed citizens in hundreds in Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Kano. But what did the governors of the region and the federal government do in the face of this challenge? They took a pacifist perspective to it. Instead of facing the problem headlong, they invited murderers to a parley.


Mohammed Adamu, the inspector-general of police (IGP), was in one of such meetings with these bandits. In fact, he said this in one of the ‘’peace meetings’’: “We will take measures to dialogue with the bandits to become better citizens….’’

Also, it was even reported that the bandits were bribed to keep the peace. But this approach did not stop the killings. That fact is, the atrophic security threat assailing the country cannot be tackled by pandering to the whims of the antagonists. When there is no retribution for crime it festers.


And while the government was still ‘’dialoguing’’ with the bandits, they were spreading their tentacles into other parts of the country. Not long afterwards, the South-west became a flashpoint of banditry and kidnapping. The highways in the region became the quickest routes to hell. In July, 2019, Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Pa Reuben Fasoranti, Afenifere leader, was killed savagely by bandits on Ondo-Ore road. Many other citizens had been killed in a similar pattern in the region. And the killings continued unabated.

So, it is natural that the governors of the South-west, who are the chief security officers of the region, will rally to check the scourge. However, instead of appeasing the bandits like the governors of the north-west did, they dispatched ‘Amotekun’ to secure their area. I think, Amotekun, an ingenious security initiative, is the South-west’s response to the government’s propitiation of bandits.


Regarding the legality of the security outfit, I know the right to life is the crux of all human rights. You cannot fail to defend me, yet asks that I should not defend myself against certain death. If the government was alive to its responsibility of securing citizens, there would be no ‘Amotekun’. Though I admit there may be constitutional limitations to the purview of the outfit, there is no evidence that the recently launched operation has overreached itself in any way.

Also, the South-west governors have made it clear that the security outfit will not perform police functions. So, why the hue and cry?


As a matter of fact, the protest of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to governors of the South-West region over Amotekun reinforces the stereotype that the north bullies any section of the country which does not bend to its thrall. It also accents an acute sense of entitlement.

Really, it is upsetting that Miyetti Allah is asking the region to decommission Amotekun or risk losing the presidency in 2023.


To share in my despondence please read the statement of Alhassan Saleh, national secretary of Miyetti Allah.

“This Amotekun scheme is political and is not the solution to the problem of insecurity. What the South-West governors should have done is to continue to push for state police. Where did they expect to get the funding from at a time some of them are struggling to pay salaries?


“It is best they give up on this idea because it may affect the chances of the South-West to produce the President in 2023. The thinking is that if the South-West, a major stakeholder in this government, can be toying with this idea now, they may do worse when they get to power.”

“We are in agreement with the AGF that Amotekun is illegal. In fact, we are unhappy that it took the AGF this long to react.”

But can Amotekun cost the south-west 2023 presidency? To me, it is not for a group or even a section of the country to decide. It is the decision of all Nigerians. In 2011, a president emerged from the south-south, even from an ethnic nationality that is considered a minority in the country, against all odds. President Muhammadu Buhari himself had run for office thrice but failed. If it was possible for him to be president solely by the votes and ‘’machination’’ of his section of the country at those times he vied for office, it would have happened.

The point is no one region holds the ace to power in Nigeria. The perception that there is a ‘’kingmaker region’’ is only but a myth. All Nigerians are equal stakeholders in this entity.


#Newsworthy…

My stand with Operation Amotekun – Apostle Suleman


Apostle Johnson Suleman, founder, Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide has thrown his weight behind Southwest’s security outfit, Operation Amotekun.

The Federal Government has declared Amotekun illegal and unconstitutional. FG’s declaration has incited outrage in the country.

According to Suleman, the people of Southwest have a right to float their security outfit, saying that the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami is not a law court.

Apostle Johnson Suleman, founder, Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide

He said anything that would ensure the safety of lives and properties would be supported by him.

“The people of the South-west in Nigeria have a right to float their security outfit..the AGF is not a law court..Am in support of Amotekun..anything to ensure safety of lives/properties is appropriate..only praying the govs don’t turn it to a political tool just like BH started,” he tweeted.


#Newsworthy…

2023: Southwest may lose presidential election because of Amotekun – Miyetti Allah


Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, the umbrella association of Fulani herdsmen, has warned that Southwest may lose the 2023 presidency for their support for the region’s security outfit, Operation Amotekun.

Alhassan Saleh, Miyetti Allah’s National Secretary, said the herders were disappointed with the way Southwest governors were supporting Amotekun.

“This Amotekun scheme is political and is not the solution to the problem of insecurity. What the South-West governors should have done is to continue to push for state police. Where did they expect to get the funding from at a time some of them are struggling to pay salaries?

Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, the umbrella association of Fulani herdsmen

“It is best they give up on this idea because it may affect the chances of the South-West to produce the President in 2023. The thinking is that if the South-West, a major stakeholder in this government, can be toying with this idea now, they may do worse when they get to power,” Saleh said in an interview.

Saleh backed the decision of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, declaring the outfit illegal.


#Newsworthy.. .

NYCN plea FG to end pronounciation of Amotekun, Illegal


The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has appealed to the Federal Government to rescind its declaration that Amotekun is illegal in the overall benefit of the country.

Operation Amotekun is a new security outfit inaugurated by six states in the South-west on Jan.9.


Mr Bestman Okereafor, the National Public Relations Officer of NYCN, made the appeal in a statement made available in Enugu on Thursday.

He said the security outfit’s structure, which is from the village hunters to other known vigilance group working together in line with the Nigerian Police, presented the best form of community policing.


According to him, this grassroots-oriented and bottom-up structured as well as all-involving security framework, which Amotekun presents, is the ideal policing framework for modern policing to checkmate emerging criminality in rural and remote communities.

“The attention of the NYCN has once again been drawn to the position of the Federal Government as regards Amotekun which is a regional security outfit jointly established by the six South-west governors.


“Information at our disposal reveals that Federal Government’s position was disclosed by the Minister for Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, through his special adviser on media, Dr Umar Gwandu, via a statement issued Jan.14 declaring “AMOTEKUN” as illegal.

“Nigerian youths consider this position as unfair and not in line with the principle of egalitarianism being preached by the present APC-led administration.

“As progressive minded Nigerian youth leadership, we expect the Federal Government to compliment the effort of the South-west governors rather than an outright rejection and condemnation of the security outfit,’’ he said.

Okereafor, however, called on all South-west residents and Nigerian youths at large to remain calm and be peaceful as ever “even as we await the position of the South-west governors and their consultations with the Federal Government on the matter,’’


#Newsworthy….

Amotekun, IPOB are illegal, Hisbah, Ok – FFK reacts


Femi Fani-Kayode has reacted to the decision by the Federal government to declare Amotekun, the security outfit set up by southwest governors, an illegal organization.

In an earlier released statement, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said that Amotekun is not backed by any law in the country. He insisted that the Federal Government is solely responsible for security of citizens of Nigeria.


Reacting to this decision, FFK in a post shared on his Facebook page this morning, wondered why the Hisbah Police in the North West and Civilian Joint Task Force in the North East can be seen as legal but Amotekun which is to protect indigenes of the South West is illegal.

He wrote; ”Hisbah Police in North West is ok. Civilian Joint Task Force in North West is ok. Civilian Joint Task Force in North East is ok. Meanwhile, IPOB in South East are terrorists and Amotekun in South West is illegal! One day Nigerians will get tired of this bullshit, get sense and free themselves from this insufferable bondage.

Femi Fani-Kayode

“The bitter truth is that what the Federal Government has done by claiming that Amotekun is illegal is to strengthen the hand and harden the resolve of the more radical and forceful elements and the more extreme nationalist forces in the South West who have always challenged the erroneous notion, flawed logic and questionable assumption that the unity of Nigeria is not only settled but also sacrosanct.

If you say that we cannot defend ourselves and our people from tribal and religious bigots, ethnic cleansers, genocidal maniacs, barbarous savages, bloodthirsty jihadists, blood-lusting terrorists, racial supremacists, and cold-blooded mass murderers simply because we are southerners then to hell with your Nigerian unity”.


#Newsworthy…

Operation Amotekun: Ekiti NBA support South West Leopard


Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ado Ekiti chapter, has said the South West governors have not breached any section of the 1999 Constitution for establishing a security network, codenamed: Operation Amotekun.

This was in reaction to barrage of criticisms that have greeted the development.

NBA said the governors only exercised their rights under the law, since the kernel of the existence of any government is to guarantee security of lives and property.


There had been barrage of criticisms against the formation of the security outfit since its inauguration in Ibadan, Oyo State capital last Thursday, with the most scathing condemnation coming from the Northern Youth Council of Nigeria, which described the body as not only illegal, but a threat to national security and cohesion.

In a telephone conversation, yesterday, NBA Ado Ekiti chapter Chairman, Samuel Falade, said though Sections 214 and 215 of the 1999 Constitution mandated the police as the agency responsible for the protection of lives and property to provide security, insisting that this doesn’t fetter the hands of the governors from taking further measures to reinforce protection for the citizens.


“However, Chapter 2, section 14 (2b) gives mandate and rights to president and governors to provide security across the country and in their respective states.

“Also, Section 20 of Administration of Criminal Justice allows a private citizen to arrest any criminal and handover to the police for investigation and prosecution. Under this context, operatives of Operation Amotekun can arrest and handover to the police for proper action.


“I see no reason people should criticise the body or entertain fears because the governors had spoken about the modus operandi of Amotekun, which was that they would work with the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and army.

“We had had several cases of kidnapping, killings and ritual cases among other crimes in the region in the last few years and there must be proactive innovation actions to complement conventional security architecture to rise to these sordid situations.


“The essence of Amotekun is to rise to the present insecurity in the South West and governors, as chief security officers, can design ways to protect their citizens as long as such step is in line with the law, which was the case with Amotekun,” he said.

The NBA boss described the noise about Amotekun as unwarranted, saying it has a precedent in the history of the country.


“Let me emphasise that Amotekun has precedent. We have the Civilian Joint Task Force in the North East to combat Boko Haram, so Amotekun has both constitutional and judicial backing for the protection of lives and property.

“As usual, once anyone is arrested, he will be immediately handover to the police, with this, it is a welcome development and it is a righ step in the right direction.


“Any citizen or governor in the South West, who refuses to support this laudable and great idea is several years behind time,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, yesterday, cleared the air on why he did not personally attend the launch of Operatiom Amotekun, last week in Ibadan.


According to Abiodun, he had planned to attend the event, but the shift in the date earlier agreed on for the launch was responsible for his inability to attend, adding that the new date had already been slated for other official engagements by him.

He explained that he could not have pulled out of ‘Operation Amotekun’, saying the idea was conceived to be a joint patrol initiative of the six South West states and supported by the governors.

Abiodun, who described the media reports that he shunned the official launch of the security outfit as ‘false and incorrect’, gave the clarification at the sidelines of the 15th annual new year thanksgiving and memorial service in honour of Rev. Abraham Adebola Daniel, father of the former governor Gbenga Daniel, at Abraham’s Tabernacle, Sagamu, Ogun State.

He, however, said his deputy attended the event on his behalf and participated in the symbolic driving of one of the patrol vans, which according to him, 20 were donated by Ogun State.


#Newsworthy…

Any one against “Leopard” is against South West – Gani Adams


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.

Aare Ona Kan Kan Fo, Iba Gani Adams

“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.”


#Newsworthy….

Agitation of Biafra is for the good of all ethnic groups – IPOB

…for the restoration of the nation

The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), said that its agitation for the Biafra nation was not for the liberation of Biafrans alone but for the good of every living soul unlucky enough to be trapped in a corrupt, backward country like Nigeria.

“IPOB agitation is not just for the liberation and well-being of Biafrans alone but for the betterment of every living soul unfortunate enough to be trapped in the cesspit of corruption, backwardness, hardship and totalitarianism that Nigeria has become,” the Media and Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Comrade Emma Powerful wrote in a statement issued yesterday.

The statement read: “We the global family of the IPOB, wish to felicitate and commend Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom over their resoluteness, determination and support in the ongoing righteous agitation for the restoration of the nation of Biafra, especially in this season of goodwill.

“We are equally wishing a happy holiday season to all media houses, both print and electronic, online platforms as well as e-warriors and bloggers for their courage and often unbiased reportage in the face of unrelenting dictatorial onslaught and shrinking of civic space in Nigeria.

“They are the true heroes in this divine effort to enthrone freedom, justice and fairness for all ethnic groups in Nigeria. IPOB agitation is not just for the liberation and well-being of Biafrans alone but for the betterment of every living soul unfortunate enough to be trapped in the cesspit of corruption, backwardness, hardship and totalitarianism that Nigeria has become.

“We IPOB are warning all corrupt Lagos/Abuja politicians and groups who were involved in the conspiracy with Fulani cabals to bring RUGA and Fulani military into our land as a way of silencing IPOB, reducing our population and intimidating us into accepting the Fulanisation of our way of life, to retrace their steps. We caution them to stay away from anything that may cast them in bad light given that our people are highly upset and would not hesitate to vent their anger on any person or group of persons found to be a Fulani collaborator.

“It is in the interest of these traitors to stay away from Biafraland because they would bear the consequences of any move by the Fulani to force our land to become volatile to justify their murderous military occupation.

“We are well aware of the antics of core Arewa north and their current effort to intensify their divide and rule strategy in Biafraland by constantly seeking to pigeon-hole us into a meaningless South South and South East when they have one monolithic political North dominated by the wandering Fulani tribe. IPOB by successfully uniting all the people of the Eastern region and Mid-West, has brought this terrible era of Fulani divide and rule internal colonisation in the Middle Belt and South to an end.

“In this season of goodwill we call on our people who wish to come home from abroad to do so because there will be no hiding place for any criminal in uniform or their informants that may seek to bring harm to our people. Biafraland is peaceful and will continue to remain so until Biafra independence is duly and finally restored.

“Nigeria government and her security operatives will be compelled in due course to dismantle all their extortionate Police, Army, Road Safety, Customs and Civil Defense Corps checkpoints along major roads into Biafraland. Nigeria Army and Police should take their security checkpoints to the north where there is raging Fulani induced insurgency and soldiers are being slaughtered like animals.

“Also the dictatorial and lawless Nigerian government must stop their usual killing, abduction, intimidation and humiliation of commuters during this festive period as every death, disappearance or abduction of any Biafran will attract a commensurate response from the public.”

#Newsworthy…

Sheikh Ahmed – We’ve learnt our lessons from Buhari regime.

..come 2023, it won’t be for the northerners, Southerners or easterners

..old politicians, give way for fresh bloods

..why Boko Haram haven’t been defeated

Fearless and one of the few outspoken Islamic scholars in the country, who is from the North, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, is not happy on the situation Nigerians have found themselves lately.

Therefore, in this interview with Sunday Sun, he said that the 2023 election should produce a crop of smart and intelligent Nigerians who can inject fresh blood in the electoral system, as well as for INEC to be allowed to deploy technology in full. Excerpts:

How do you think Nigeria has fared since return to democratic in 1999?

Unfortunately, since 1999, I have not actually settled in Nigeria. I came back in 2011. So, to rate the government within that period will not be proper for me. However, I can speak on what I have seen from 2011 to 2019. Generally in the world, there is development. I’m just paying my electricity bill through my computer. So, things are moving generally in the world. So, we expect governance to be more efficient and show more competence, but unfortunately, when it comes to governance there is retrogression. Things are supposed to improve because science and technology have brought development close to the people. Government is retrogressing simply because we don’t have the right people in the right place and at right time. Nigeria’s situation now is worse. People are poorer, sick and every week we bury somebody. What is the problem, typhoid, malaria. Somebody’s daughter, a six-year-old died. She was sick vomiting and we took her to the hospital. But she was discharged from the hospital because there was no bed. This is the kind of death we are having. People cannot pay school fees for their children. Feeding is difficult. So, all the indices of good governance are terrible.

Prior to the 2015 election, one of the agitations of Nigerians was issue of security. How far now, are we making progress as we should?

Yes, there is improvement in Boko Haram fight, but not defeat. The poor governance is making Boko Haram liable to come back in full force and that will be terrible. This is because Boko Haram is not alone. There are forces behind them. They have the determination. The Boko Haram soldiers believe in their Commander because he sees himself as Commander at that end. But Nigerian soldiers are not happy. Their Generals are flying jets all over. The soldiers on ground should feel that they are fighting for their country that things are going to be better; he has his equipment, he has his allowances paid, his children are fine then, he will fight. But, he’s demoralised. On the other side, the commander that is pushing the fight is not struggling with his soldiers. Their morale is higher. Their motivation is higher coupled with religious flavour added to it. So, if we want to fight them, we should also add religious flavour by getting Muslims and Kanuri that speak the same language.

Issue of kidnapping is no longer news. Here in the Northwest, Kaduna to be specific, people are being picked up in their homes for ransom…

(Cuts in) We have heard about it. They are picking people at home. They knock at your door and pick you. We have been paying ransom because people come because they are poor, they start begging. I’m just surprised somebody who controls nothing can help whereas you cannot access the man who is sitting on the budget. This is what I’ve been telling people that look, we don’t need old politicians in Nigeria. We need new faces; new page. Then Nigerians can contribute. But when you bring old wine into a new bottle, it is the same thing. They come with problems and psychological trauma because all politicians are traumatised somehow. They come with anger. They come with revenge. They come with hatred. They come with all these kind of things and spew it. Old politicians should help us by stepping down so we can have new people across board. Let me give you example with Zamfara. By accident, a new governor came. Who has not been in the stream because people don’t know him. So, the nomadic Fulani (not all Fulani) and the settlers that were killing one another over a long time even before the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Now, Zamfara has a neutral figure who can call for a truce. We need that neutral figure. Since 2011 when we have election characterised by blood shed I said, Buhari and Jonathan should have moral obligation not to contest because people died. Let us put fresh faces so that we can all contribute. People don’t listen because they are blind. So, it is very unfortunate this is the situation we are in.

Talking about new faces, 2019 election has come and gone. We are now looking forward to 2023 with all political zones through their heavyweight already agitating for interest ahead of 2023, what is your position in all of these?

I don’t think regional politics is more important now than stability because the bride is seriously sick. The bride is in comatose in the hospital and you are talking about the wedding. Let the bride survive first. Nigeria is not about who leads from which region. They are all clique. It doesn’t matter who is there whether northerners or southerners. Once they are there, they enjoy themselves. Some people are making money in this poverty and hardship. So, it is not about North, South or East. It is about people who can galvanise and put people together. The North has learnt its lessons. Now, North is worse hit with Buhari. Jonathan was building 150 Almajiri schools, nine universities in the North. He was doing things. This Kaduna-Abuja rail, although the late President Umar Yar’Adua stated it. So, let’s have somebody who can do it.

So, what are some of the qualities of that person?

That person must be alert, intelligent and with a large heart. He should not take revenge. He should be able to forgive. He should be able to rehabilitate and not killing or imprisoning. His mind should not be about catching people, but forgiveness and correctness. Above all, he must be intelligent.

Religion is playing a role in our politics, how best can it help to shape our politics so we can have a better Nigeria?

Religion has always played a role. In fact, religion is politics and politics is religion. These are two concepts. You manipulate religion to get political power. You can manipulate political power to entrench religion. But, most politicians who manipulate religion are neither Christians nor Muslims. That is their secondary concern. They want to get power. Get foreign medical treatment for themselves and their families. A good politician is the one that uses religion as stabilising factor because religion calls for brotherhood, neighbourhood, mercy, integrity, etc. These are what religion calls for. Some use politics to put religious morality in people. During the First Republic, there was such in the North; Sardauna was doing that. INEC has never been in worse position than now as I know. Now, you can make bank transaction through transfer in millions. I can tell you that, 90 per cent of Nigerians, their N10,000 is valuable than the vote they carry. I meant to say that, money is very valuable. Now, technology has reached a stage where you can transfer millions with your phone and that is safeguarded. So, why can’t I vote with my phone? In essence, the government deliberately neglected INEC to be in a bad shape without giving it the legal framework for development. They are not doing anything to see that election is free, fair and unfortunately, even this way we conduct elections, people are being killed. So, if you are in government and people died during election, you are responsible. How can people be dying while voting? Imagine an officer who is in service in Kano came to me with deep injury. I asked him what happened and he said he was sent to monitor a polling booth. Quoting him he said, “Some soldiers came. I identified myself with my identity card because I was not in uniform, but they told me they don’t care, they hit me and I lost consciousness.” This happened during the last election in Kano. What I’m saying is that, for four years, what have they been able to do to make INEC more modern? If we can trust electronic media for our monies in millions, we should be able to trust it with our vote. India has about 800 million voters and nobody will raise a finger that there is corruption when they vote. This is because the system is organised. But here, they deliberately allow it to have loophole for manipulation. We have the money, we have the know-how, we have all we need to correct it. In 2015, I brought somebody from America. We held a conference at Gamji Hall where we brought political parties together. We told INEC that, here is a Nigerian who had developed a software that can guarantee 100 per cent free and fair election. But, they didn’t allow that. There is too much politics in Nigeria and that is why we need new faces. One thing they don’t know is that, if you don’t develop people, if you don’t educate people, but only your children, these people you have neglected will jump into your house no matter how tall your fences are, maim, kill or kidnap you and that is what is happening today. Somebody drew my attention to the idea of killing anybody on the stead of hate speech. Who defines hate speech? That should be left for the judges to determine. But, look at the judges. Look at what Supreme Court is. So, you want to squeeze Nigerians to keep quiet. A task force following people to close borders. But no task force following kidnappers to catch them. There is mismanagement. There is misplacement of priority. In this kind of situation, people will start joining Boko Haram because they have seen the real face of the government. This is what happened in Afghanistan that pushed people to call on Taliban to protect them from government. They didn’t fight. They were called to protect them against the government. People are demonstrating and you are opening fire on them. So, how can Boko Haram be stopped? People should feel comfortable and safe with the government. But when insurgents have human face than the government, then there is problem. This is what happened in Iraq until when the super power came to destroy the ISIS. Otherwise, the people living within them are safe from kidnapping. They are safe from this and that; do you understand it? We want our government to be sane and do what is right. They should consider the people. They should lower educational costs. Food should be cheap and sufficiently cheap, and quality medicines to treat the people because the people are dying. Collectively, we are suffering. We are suffering more than Iranians and all that. People are dying, but because it is everyone to his predicament, people don’t know that they are dying.

Do you think Mr President is getting the real feelers from the people or working with what people around him tell him?

Buhari as a president has a pre-determined mind on how he wants to run his government: squeeze corrupt officials, close borders. This is what he has in mind and this is what he’s pursuing to the letter. If you want to get close to him, tell him this man is in jail and he will tell you that’s good. You cannot catch all the thieves in Nigeria. You can only catch those ones you don’t like. But, God is God of justice. You either catch all or pardon all and then you draw a line. If you draw a line, whoever commits the same mistake can be tried by law and not your personal decision. He knows what is happening and he likes it. This is his style. This is the style I don’t like myself and that was why I voiced out my opposition. If I have not spoken, people will say look at these people they have kept quiet and now we are suffering. Nobody can point a finger at me and I thank God for that. So, we need to rethink. We need to come back together to save this country because it is a beautiful country.

What do you think about Nigerians?

Nigerians don’t learn lessons. They are very sentimental. They can be naive in their judgment. There is criminality all over the place, including churches and mosques. I’ve just been told about a 70-year-old man that impregnated a small girl in the mosque in this town and in the church, you don’t need to be told. We need to come back, sit down and repent. We can then bring people who are neutral, compassionate, intelligent, hardworking. Let’s put our hands together to salvage this country. The crop of politicians we have now cannot help us. Their heads are hot. We need cool headed people who will look at things holistically and move the country forward. A wounded lion cannot take this country out of the woods.

#Newsworthy…

How issue of insecurity can be a thing of the past – Mbamalu

…says south west needs to curb insecurity

…called federal and state governments to grant security vote for traditional rulers

His Royal Highness, Igwe Gerald Obunadike Mbamalu, has called on the federal and state governments to grant security vote for traditional rulers to enable them secure their domain.

He speaks on various issues in this interview.

In the last interview you granted this paper, you called for security vote for traditional rulers to enable them mobilize the locals to compliment government’s effort in the fight against insecurity; is it similar to the new security arrangement in the South West?

Recently, the South West governors, leaders and traditional rulers met and fashioned out a new security arrangement which involve the locals, vigilant groups and the hunters popularly refered to as the Egbekoyas just to compliment the efforts of security agents on how to end kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery. This could not have happened if the governors and leaders from the zone did not pool their intellect and resources together and also engage the traditional rulers. The new security arrangement on how to protect Yoruba land has also received the support of the Federal Government. So, I want to once again call on the five South-East governors, leaders and technocrats to emulate the South West region in order to protect our people in Igbo land. Security is a collective responsibility of all and should not be left for the three tiers alone. As custodian of the tradition and culture of our people, one of the primary responsibility of traditional rulers is to provide security for their subjects. This was the norm during the pre-colonial era hence, we had well secured communities then, but today we rely completely on modern method of security alone. So, at any occasion that warrants me to put forward the suggestion, I will voice it out. We, the South-East traditional rulers have been mooting this idea to the three tiers of government in the South-East to grant security vote for traditional rulers.

What do you think is the reason the federal and state governments are silent over this noble idea especially, now that the nation is faced with security challenges?

I don’t know why most people in government use the security challenge facing the nation to find favour. They are trying to be holier than the Pope. So, some of them for fear not to offend the government, have refused to say the truth.

Now that South West is doing something about insecurity in the region, what do you think South-East governors, leaders and traditional rulers should do to end killing of innocent people in the region?

I’m against reprisal attack against any one or group suspected to have killed our people in any part of Igbo land because hoodlums could disguise as herdsmen and attack our people in their farms. These miscreants are not happy with those who are engaged in legitimate means of livelihood and trying to revenge; you may end up attacking legitimate people with identity.

Traditional rulers have not done enough to imbibe core values and virtues of the cultural and traditions in the young ones, what is your view?

The traditional institution is up and doing, hence I disagree with the view that we have not done enough to instill in the young generation our core values. I blame politicians for misleading the youth because during campaigns, most of these youths are employed by politicians and immediately the elections are over, whether the politician is successful or not, he will abandon them. They don’t have programme to reintegrate the youth into the society after electioneering. So, after elections, politicians won’t engage these young people they recruited as thugs until next four years when there is another election. What do you think these youths will be doing for the three and half years they were out of job?

In the same vein, some traditional rulers are partisan; you see politicians being endorsed by traditional rulers during campaigns thereby compromising their position as father of all; what do you make of this?

Traditional rulers are human beings like the governors and President, some are incompetent. We have incompetent people in all institutions in this country and that does not mean that all of us are incompetent. Yes, politicians do come to us for royal blessing and we have no option but to give them our blessing. Remember, traditional rulers are not supposed to be involved in politics because we are father to all irrespective of political affiliation.

What is your take on the crowning of people outside Igbo land popularly called Eze Ndigbo in Diaspora?

That is one of the problems of Igbo when they said “Igbo enwe Eze”, meaning Igbo has no king. You cannot go anywhere outside Yoruba land and hear, Oba of Ife, Owerri or Kano. Also, you cannot hear Emir of Hausa Onitsha or Ibadan. You will never hear Oba of Benin in Iyanu Oba or Shomolu. It is only in Igbo land you hear this kind of humiliating behavior and funny names. Nobody in my community, Ojoto will indulge in such act or anywhere the person reside in the world because it is an abomination. You can’t answer such names if you come back home. So, it depends on the community the person hails from in Igbo land. Are you saying that if the so-called Eze Ndigbo in Diaspora comes back, the traditional ruler in his community will give way for him to preside as the monarch? That cannot happen anywhere in Igbo land because every community has one traditional ruler and not two.

What efforts have you and your colleagues made to stop the Eze Ndigbo trend?

We are not bothered because like I said earlier, if they come back to their respective communities, there is a traditional ruler there. It is worthy to note that most of them are not sons of the soil, majority of them are people of questionable character who are looking for undue recognition outside Igbo land. They buy the position with money and they struggle for it unlike the true Igbo traditional stool which is not contested; you are chosen by the gods and the people of the community. You must be transparent, with undoubted pedigree and you must merit it before you will be selected to rule them. So, it is an abomination to crown one king outside Igbo land, it is against Igbo tradition.

#Newsworthy…