Tag Archives: wole

Operation Amotekun: Musa shade Tinubu, others


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.”


#Newsworthy…

Breaking – CSOs Give FG 14-Day Ultimatum To Release Sowore.

…Wole Soyinka Centre suspends award to Osinbajo

…It’ll be insensitive, inappropriate to attend

A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to order the release of Omoyele Sowore within 14 days or face mass action.

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, yesterday, Yemi Ademolekun, convener of Enough is Enough (EIE), said shrinking of the media and civic space call for concern. She said there was a need to rise up against any action of the government that will stifle free speech.

While listing five demands, she asked the president to obey all pending court orders and direct the release of all those illegally arrested.

The five demands include: “President Muhammadu Buhari should show accountability as commander-in-chief and address the nation on his commitment to the rule of law and human rights,” the EIE convener said.

“The release of all illegally detained persons by Department of State Service (DSS).
“That the government obey all pending court orders. An investigation of the officer who violated protocols and circumstances leading circumstances leading to the second arrest of Omoyele Sowore.”

She said if the demands were not met within the time given, they would occupy all offices of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) nationwide.

“If these five demands are not honoured within 14 days, we call on patriots across Nigerians to join us as we occupy National Human Rights Commission offices across the country as it is legally mandated to protect Nigerians and also report to presidency,” Ademolekun said.

In a related development, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) said it has suspended the integrity award slated for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to protest Sowore’s rearrest in court.

The centre said in a statement that honouring Osinbajo with the award in the light of recent protests against Sowore’s travails and the “repression“ of free speech will be inappropriate.

The WSCIJ had announced it would present an “Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019” to the vice president at its annual award ceremony in Lagos.

It said the recognition is for Osinbajo’s “invaluable work of overhauling the Lagos State Judiciary, facilitating far-reaching reforms in the administration of justice in the state, his work of promoting integrity in the civil society and business in Nigeria and his consistency as a strong voice for promoting integrity in the country.”

“But the vice president has been called out over the current administration’s clamp down on free speech and Sowore’s trial.”
In the statement signed by Motunrayo Alaka, its executive director, WSCIJ said the award ceremony will go on as scheduled, but was silent on whether the award will be presented to the vice-president on a new date.

However, Osinbajo has said he was “extremely grateful for the recognition and award.

A statement by Laolu Akande quoted Osinbajo as saying: “The award, I note, is for our Justice reform efforts in Lagos State. I had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team we had.

“However, two reasons explain my absence. First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker.

“Second, in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.

“Please accept my heartfelt apologies and extend the same to the other members of the organising team. God bless you.”
Sowore was rearrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) last Friday — less than 24 hours after he was released on bail. He spent 125 days in custody before he was briefly released last Thursday.

The pro-democracy activist is accused of insulting the president, treasonable felony and money laundering.

#Newsworthy…

Here is why I did not appear in Wole soyinka’s award ceremony – Osinbajo said.

…because he was busy with other assignments

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has revealed why he did not attend the Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019.

In a letter released by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Osinbajo gave two reasons why he didn’t attend the event which was held in Abuja on Monday.

According to the Vice President, he was absent first because he was a keynote speaker at an international meeting in Abu Dhabi, where he was invited by the government of the United Arab Emirates.

“First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker,” he said.

He further stated that the second reason for his absence is owing to the drama which played out on Friday when operatives of the DSS attempted to arrest Mr. Omoyele Sowore in a High Court in Abuja.

“Second, in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.”

The Vice President appealed to members of the organizing team to accept his heartfelt apologies for not making it to the event.

Professor Osinbajo said he was extremely grateful for the recognition and award of the ‘Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019’ to him.

The Vice President noted that he had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team.

#Newsworthy…

Wole Soyinka – Sowore isn’t Miyetti Allah

…fg’s treating the judicials with disdain

Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka has condemned the continous detention of #RevolutioNow convener Omoyele Sowore, even after perfecting his bail conditions.

Soyinka who wondered if Sowore is Miyetti Allah in his open letter, also lashed out at Nigerian agencies that actually think to inhibit social revolution by fastening on the alarmist association of the word ‘revolution’.

In the open letter titled ‘Between thuggery and state disobedience’, the nobel laureate accused the Buhari-led administration of treating the judiciary with disdain. He also alleged that the degree of cynicism in the conduct of State Security agencies in the present administration has attained a level of consistency that is surpassed by only one other previous government.

Read the open letter below;

Between THUGGERY and STATE DISOBEDIENCE

I have no hesitation in admitting that I have a personal, formative interest in the health of the Nigerian judiciary, deeper perhaps than the average Nigerian. At a critical junction in the life of this writer, a judge resolved to give primacy to the call of conscience, affirm his professional integrity and defend the supremacy of law in defiance of state interference.

He refused to bow to external pressure in adjudicating a case whose conclusion, had this accused been found guilty as charged, would have been life imprisonment. That individual, the late Justice Kayode Eso, has narrated the event in his autobiography – The Mystery Gunman with his noted wit and judicial poise.

The Deputy Premier of the then Western region of Nigeria had summoned the judge to his residence, lectured him on his duty to protect the interests of the government against the accused. Justice Kayode listened politely, re-affirmed his commitment to the rule of law, and took his leave.

It would be most surprising if my own brush with the law has not crossed my mind since the predicament of Omoyele Sowole, journalist and former presidential candidate began.

The Nigerian judiciary was not thereby, nor is today a model of perfection.

Nonetheless, exemplars such as Justice Esho have succeeded in creating, in some of us, an exceptional respect for the Bench, instilled a conviction that the law, despite its lapses, demands respect, autonomy, and obedience.

Much of the judiciary across the continent remains constantly under siege – Nigeria is no exception. Needless to say, it often strikes me that the “learned brotherhood” could do more to protect, and assert itself. Apart from the obvious and numerous scandals of moral deficit that require constant internal purgation, there are instances where it does fail to protect itself even from putative and/or illegal power.

Take the assassination of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Bola Ige on his way to a UN appointment. The presiding judge on that case cried out against unseemly interference from “ least expected quarters”.

He kept a diary of coded names and times, two pages of which came into my possession. His cries petered out in the void. Justice Abass, feeling vulnerable and isolated, bowed out of the case. The judiciary lamely acquiesced, certainly with a huge sigh of relief in some sectors. A robust opportunity lost to burnish the image of the law. I was left aghast.

From tragedy to slapstick tragi-comedy – let us pull up an eye-witness account from the Nigerian PM News of Thursday, September 2014:

Temperamental Ekiti state Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, slapped a court judge today for being rude to him and then ordered his thugs to beat him further.

The action of Fayose and his thugs triggered some pandemonium in the court, with judicial workers and others running into safety. The sitting of the Ekiti State Governorship Election petition Tribunal could also not hold.

Immediately, thugs numbering about 20 pounced on Justice Adeyeye, beat him up and tore his clothes, while his co-workers scampered and shouted for help.

Following the development, judicial workers hurriedly shut down the court premises thereby preventing any court proceeding for hours before the police fired tear gas canisters to disperse the hoodlums.

For a week, two weeks, then forever, `I waited to see what would be the response of the judiciary. There came none. Naively, I thought, surely, this institution will rise and defend its very existence through some form of action, even if merely symbolic. Not a squeak. Not even after that governor left office and thereby lost his immunity. What to me appeared to be the collapse, not just of a pillar, but of the edifice of human culture, appeared to be no more than a blip on the judicial template.

There are of course more effective ways of degrading a judiciary than merely brutalizing a judge, and leaving his judicial robes in tatters. One of the most effective, increasingly optimized in Nigeria, is simply by not only ignoring, but treating its orders with disdain, encouraging its agencies to trot out cynical excuses for disobedience while laughing all the way to the citadel of power.

In that regard, there does appear to be an undeclared contest among succeeding governments, intensified since the return of the nation to a civilian government in 1999 for placement in the Guinness Book of Records as the most notorious Scofflaw in the field of democratic pretensions. Or could it be an anticipation of a proposal I made at the Athens Democracy Forum some months ago, calling for an annual award – such as an Order of Demerit – for such an achiever?

Perhaps we have finally attained maximum saturation, and there is no need for any further record keeping. It is extremely difficult to imagine a further lowering of the bar of disdain for the law than we have witnessed under the present regime. The degree of cynicism in the conduct of State Security agencies has attained a level of consistency that is surpassed by only one other previous government – but it is a close call. Not only does the security agency refuse to obey a court order to release a suspect after fulfilling his bail conditions, but that agency also manufactures one childish pretext after another, including a claim that no one has shown up to receive the detainee.

“His sureties have yet to show up to collect him”, declared the DSS, prime candidate for a special featuring in my “Interventions” series, periodically dedicated to the theme of The Republic of Liars. Are we speaking here of a full-grown adult, a journalist and former presidential aspirant, or an overnight bag awaiting the rightful claimant in a LOST AND FOUND department?

The nation continues to undergo the chagrin of having the rug pulled from under her feet while waiting on the long queue for judicial redress against the strong-arm culture of state, as well as unlisted power interests.

For instance, Lagos state, the former capital, and still the acknowledged commercial capital of the nation, once found herself denied statutory allocation for several years, despite repeated court declarations that such withholding by the central government was unconstitutional and should be remedied forthwith.

That president took sadistic pleasure in simply playing deaf. It took his successor to end the abuse and restore the full entitlements of that state, disobedience that went beyond mere churlishness but affected the development and welfare of the indigenes of that state. And so on, and on, waiting in vain for that day when the Rule of Law becomes commonplace, and its benefice is not doled out by the drop to famished mendicants.

So, finally, what do thuggery and court disobedience have in common?Everything! They are both Scofflaw manifestations. Unilateral declarations of Supra-Law delusions.

One is simply a more structured, more hypocritical version of the other. One knows itself for what it is, while the other tries to camouflage its abnormality under a higher purpose, the more elastic the better . Such is that often specious alibi labeled “national security”.

Is Sowore Myetti Allah? As for those agencies that actually think to inhibit social revolution by fastening on the alarmist association of the word ‘revolution’, half the citizens of this nation should be in permanent detention. From pulpit to the minaret, from clinic to fish market, from student club to motor park, the wish for a drastic transformation of this nation is staple discourse.

Perhaps we should begin with its application to that institution whose decisions affect both society and individuals with such finality, for good or ill – the judiciary.

#Newsworthy…

Withdraw, Hate speech bill will conflict fundamental human rights – SAN, Wole Olanipekun.

Renowned senior lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria Wole Olanipekun has advised the National Assembly (NASS) not to pass a Hate Speech bill currently under consideration, declaring that such a bill is not only counterproductive but conflicts with fundamental human rights principles.

Olanipekun, who noted that it was unfortunate that such a bill had emanated from the NASS, said it was a pity federal lawmakers even dared to give it a thought. The lawyer also warned that the Hate Speech bill will create bad blood and disunity among Nigerians. He expressed the fear that those making such a bill now may fall victims of its penalties later.

Olanipekun spoke at the weekend in his country home in Ikere, at Ikere Local Government of Ekiti State, during his annual scholarship awards for over a hundred indigent but brilliant Nigerian students, through his Wole Olanipekun Foundation.

The former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) enjoined legislators to, rather than initiate problematic pieces of legislation like the Hate Speech bill, concentrate on sponsoring bills that would cushion the effects of “insecurity, poor education, hardship and bad roads” that plague the country.

“Let me first of all say this that I am happy to note that it is not an Executive bill. You know you can have an Executive bill, Members’ Bill or Private bill. This bill is being initiated from or by the NASS. I am happy because the bill didn’t originate from the Presidency. I think we are mixing a lot of things up. People commenting that Buhari wants to gag the press. I do not agree with them because the bill did not come from the Presidency. But it is unfortunate that it is coming from the NASS,” Olanipekun observed.

“We have a lot of problems in Nigeria that we need laws to cushion their effect; we need laws that will cushion the effect of hardship, poverty, education, insecurity, bad roads and all of that.

“As an elder statesman, let me advise the NASS to be more productive, let us stop chasing vanity and things that are counterproductive. To me as a lawyer, as an elder, this bill will be counter productive. The bill will bring disunity even among family members. We should not bring disunity. Wife and husband disagree, and if such happens, will you report your spouse for Hate Speech?

“Others are moving forward, we are stuck here. In other climes, people are thinking of how to transform their countries in 100 years time. I was in Britain a couple of weeks ago, and in a newspaper article it was reported that what [Former Labour Party Prime Minister Tony] Blair had put up some 20 years ago had began to materialise. And what was it? The Labour government under Blair came to the realisation that the enrollment of young people in school had gone below 20% and the government initiated an idea of getting young men in school by making their major priority education, and now 20 years after, the percentage has risen to 57. That is the kind of thing we should celebrate, not some laws that are counterproductive.

“My little knowledge of law will not open my eyes to the definition of Hate Speech. In the law of defamation, we have libel and slander and vulgar abuse. And they would tell you vulgar abuse is not actionable, we are all human beings, we all have emotions, everyman has his own lull moment,” Olanipekun explained.

“Sociology makes us to understand that everyone has a moment of momentary madness, an insane period of man. It might even be a transfered aggression.

“Let us caution ourselves in this country, and my fear is that those who make the law might become victims of such law. It is going to be a vicious cycle. The politicians, what do they do at the soap boxes, they engage in Hate Speech and abuse themselves irrespective of their political alliances. They should rather tell us what would benefit Nigerians in the soap box not spreading Hate Speech. They are the purveyors of Hate Speech.

“We have gotten to a stage where in Nigeria we have to speak to ourselves. Even God says to humanity: ‘come let us reason together’

“We must be cautious. Where do we start, where do we progress? What exactly is Hate Speech? It is something that will have a beginning but will not have an end. First, they were proposing capital punishment, goodness me! Such punishment is outdated, how many governors have been able to sign the documents of many people in death sentence? I was Attorney general in old Ondo State and even in Ekiti, none of the governors could sign death [sentences] we them even though we had many on such row. You see chief judges of various states going to release prisoners and you are talking of death sentence?

“Please, they should respect the sanctity of human life. Nigeria is not in the stone age. We have laws that have taken care of all offences in Nigeria. Rights are inalienable, you can’t take rights away. It is not a question of adjustment but a question of, we are all human beings we can err. It is only God that is perfect. Let them withdraw the bill.

“Whether they amend it or not, it will conflict with the principles of fundamental human rights.

“No review, no amendment, but they should withdraw it outrightly. We will forgive them if they show that they err. We will understand that they are also human beings who can also err. Many governors have condemned the bill, and that is civilization. Everybody knows what is good. Everybody also values the sanctity of life. It is not a question of if it is APC, PDP or APGA. it is a question of what is not good is not good. It is a pity that the NASS even gave it a thought in the first place,” he said.

#Newsworthy…