A groundswell of opinion is rising against the Federal Government’s declaration of the South-West security outfit, ‘Amotekun’, as illegal. One group has asked the government to go to court, if serious about its declaration.
Constitutional lawyer, Itse Satay sees nothing wrong in the State’s security cooperative initiative.
The Southern, Middle Belt, Leaders Forum (SMBLF) wonders why Amotekun is illegal and groups like Hisbah and others are not.
Titled SMBLF Rejects Malami’s Illegal Directive, the statement signed by Yinka Odumakin for the South West; General CRU Iherike (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South Sout), Dr Isuwa Dogo
(Middle Belt), reads in full: “The attention of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum(SMBLF) has been drawn to the illegal diktat by the Attorney – General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) declaring Amotekun, the South West security (not military or Police) outfit illegal.
“We consider his action as an abuse of office to suppress the rights of federating units to secure themselves and in furtherance of the widely – held suspicion that sections of the country are deliberately being rendered vulnerable for herdsmen and other criminals by the Federal Government.
“We ask the Governors of the South West to ignore Malami and allow him to go to court to challenge their decision as he cannot constitute himself a court over elected governors.We are not under military rule.
“We insist that what the Governors have done is what individuals and and neighborhoods can legally do to secure their lives and property.
“The right to preserve your life cannot be under any exclusive list other than the list of those who have no value for human lives.
“The ultra vire action of the AGF has further exposed Nigeria as a country under command and control and governed by a conquest mentality.
“We ask Malami to tell us what makes Amotekun illegal and Hisbah legal.
He should further explain to us what makes Civilian JTF legal in the North East where there is war and in Kaduna and Kano where there is no war, while Amotekun is his only illegal take.
“This is a defining moment to decide if we are under segregation and different laws in the country.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay, has thrown his weight behind the establishment of Operation Amotekun, describing as legal and within the constitutional powers of the governors who set it up in Ibadan last week.
Speaking with the Nation newspaper, Sagay said: “I am positively disposed towards it. I think it is a good beginning not to depend completely on the Federal Government for our security.
“We should begin to rely more and more on ourselves so that those who feel the pain are those who try to take control of the security situation.
“We know that the Police are few; they are stretched; we have about 250,000 policemen in a country of almost 200 million. So, I think these regional security institutions are necessary.
“I believe the police should cooperate with them and help with their training. And I believe eventually, they should even be armed so that we can have a lot more hands and local people involved in security.
“Perhaps that can lead to other benefits, such as economic cooperation and wealth creation; and gradually, we’ll begin to regain what we lost when we lost the regions in the 60s. So, yes, I support it.
“It’s not state police. I think the people who created it have been careful. Yes, there is a security outfit, but there is nothing in the Constitution that precludes either states or association of states from taking care of their security.*l
“There is this popular saying that the governor is the chief security officer of a state. That’s not an empty statement.
“They get a lot of money for security, and I look at this as part of the responsibility of the governors acting jointly to provide greater security in the Southwest.”