EDITORIAL; Amotekun: FG should not conspire to make Nigeria insecure

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The response of the Federal Government to the regional security initiative of the Southwest Geopolitical Zone is nothing short of surprise and extreme shock. To say that the Federal government would describe the effort of component states to provide security for its people as illegal raises not only grave concern and suspicion but a call to question the motive of the FG over rampage insecurity that has enveloped Nigeria.

We knew something was in the offing when the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said in a news report that the Federal Government would make its position known on OPERATION AMOTEKUN. Yesterday, the FG’s response was a shocker to Nigerians not only to people in the southwest. According to a statement released by a media assistant to the Minister, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, “The setting up of the paramilitary organisation called Amotekun is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law.

“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) has established the army, navy and air force, including the police and other numerous paramilitary organisations for the purpose of the defence of Nigeria.

“As a consequence of this, no state government, whether singly or in a group has the legal right and competence to establish any form of organisation or agency for the defence of Nigeria or any of its constituent parts.

“This is sanctioned by the provision of Item 45 of the Second Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) authorising the police and other Federal Government security services established by law to maintain law and order.”

IMPACT NEWS recalled that the Southwest Governors had in June 2019 at a security summit raised alarm over the rampaging insecurity caused by deadly attacks on innocent Nigerians without provocation. The result of the summit became evidence when the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) approved that the region could establish a Joint Task Force (JTF) to tackle kidnapping, insecurity and banditry in the region.

Following the approval the governors launched the OPERATION AMOTEKUN under the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) made up of unconventional security operatives, local hunters and the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC).

They are expected to work with traditional rulers and relate with the police on specific engagements, including prosecution of arrested suspects. Their relationship with the police is also to ensure that they operate within the ambits of the law. The operatives of the WNSN are expected to comb forests and monitor activities in urban neighbourhoods to supports regular law enforcement agencies.

This latest action of the federal government is another testament that the presidency is not house united. How would the NSA gave approval for the formation of a security organization and the AGF would declare it illegal? Such drama has continued to characterize the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Recently the CEOs of Nigeria Electricity Bulk Trading PLC, Marilyn Amobi, and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Damilola Ogunbiyi were relieved of their responsibilities and in the spate of weeks recalled.

The action of the Buhari led government in handling the security challenge in the country with the recent take on OPERATION AMOTEKUN has raised the suspicion level in various parts of the country over the sincerity of Buhari to secure Nigerians who are not from a particular part of the country. What would be the preferable solution to the insecurity challenge in the Southwest? Should the Southwest governors also declare compensation for criminals like some northern state have done? Should peace loving Nigerians continue to live at the mercy of criminals while state government would remain helpless?

We join other reasonable Nigerians to condemned the posture of the Federal Government on the Security innovation of the Southwest and challenge President Buhari to reason with innocent Nigerian and victims of kidnapping, armed banditry and reckless killings and rescind this obnoxious position  over the WNSN.

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