By Okanga Agila
Day break has caught some Nigerian leaders on the wrong side of history. Aspiring for public office is as easy as dreaming dreams. But the most difficult aspect of dreams is the consummation of its reality. Most Nigerians have found themselves on the leadership plane. But their actions and utterances depict a frustrating departure from their flaunted competencies in seeking for such exalted offices. They are devoid of tact, vision and diplomacy required of such positions of leadership.
Nigerians woke up to the rude shock of the inauguration of a para-military security organization christened as Western Nigeria Security Network alias Operation Amotekun in Ibadan, Oyo state. It is a collective initiative of State Governors of the six South West states of Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Ogun, and headquartered in Gbongan in Osun State.
Ordinarily, the launch of Amotekun would have passed unnoticed either by the people of the Southwest region of Nigeria or elsewhere. But there were disturbing malcontents in the speeches of leaders offered on the day of inauguration of Amotekun.
Some Southwest governors, most especially the Ekiti state Gov. Dr. Kayode Fayemi and his Oyo state counterpart Gov. Seyi Makinde plainly expressed the cynicism of the masses over the security outfit. The kicks against it came from the same people it was designed to protect. Issues arising from a likely conflict of interest with conventional security agencies with the birth of Operation Amotekun popped up.
So, Fayemi and Makinde, devoted time to dispel what they call rumours of Amotekun’s likelihood to undermine the Police or other security agencies. Apparently, there were discordant voices compelling the desperate attempts to expel the antagonisms against Amotekun.
Makinde said “Amotekun is not a duplication neither is it a replacement for the Nigeria Police Force. Amotekun is a complement that gives our people the confidence that they are being looked after by the people they elected into office. We do not want this to create fear in the mind of anyone. We are not creating a regional police force.”
The South westerners fears about the reality of Amotekun could have not been less accurate or misplaced. To think that hunters, members of the dreaded Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) led by Ganiyu Adams and existing sects of such ilks are components of Amotekun is understandably scary to the people. It unveils an insidious dreary content of Amotekun. And the people of Southwest are not new to such experiences under OPC and such clans of miscreants.
Even Gov. Fayemi’s explanation failed to allay the fears when he said, “The Western Nigeria Security Network Operation Amotekun is nothing but a community policing response to a problem that our people would like to put an end to.”
What most Nigerian leaders and surrogates are refusing to decode in Operation Amotekun is its propensity to aggravate the problem than remedy it. Its composition is not only defective, but it is extremely and potentially dangerous to willingly handover arms to jobless and untrained youths and baptize them with an imprecise job description of this nature, as consented by the South West Governors.
Notwithstanding the expressed discontents, such an action is susceptible to dire repercussions in future which are not envisaged now by those excitedly voicing support for Amotekun. Even George Orwell’s satirical novel, “Animal Farm,” with the imprimatur of a jungle, there are rules and regulations which govern the animals in the farm.
As mindless as some Nigerian political leaders are fixated on evil, this is how simple arms and ammunitions are handed over to youths. These are youths armed by the state, who would sooner or later, be beyond their control and deviate from the original trajectory to turn the arms against the people and the state in criminality.
It is the unconscious roots of violence and killings some Nigerian leaders implant in the system with scant regard of its boomerang effects. It most times leads to the multifarious armed struggles in Nigeria, such as Boko Haram, Niger Delta militancy, IPOB and so forth, only to stage out to beg for armistice and amnesty.
And for those with the satanic passion for violence and blood, who scheme their leadership in shrines, backed by foreign agents of destabilization and eventual break-up of Nigeria, the night is not yet nigh. Nigeria under Buhari is not afraid of genuine aspirations of any group of peoples for self-determination or secession. But those canvassing or supporting such views under veiled shadows by arming native armies must not be allowed to triumph.
There is no wisdom in serving President Buhari, who is the Chief Security Officer of Nigeria to mortgage or concede his powers of securing Nigeria to any armed local militia sect in the guise of Amotekun or any other such unlawful groups. Buhari reasoned it clearly through the Attorney-General (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami.
And those who have ears, listened to Mr. Malami (SAN) echoed clearly that; “The setting up of the paramilitary organization 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 Airforce, including the Police and other numerous paramilitary organizations for the purpose of the defence of Nigeria.”
So, those misled into Amotekun should be counselled appropriately! There is no iota of doubt that the Southwest Governors never took into consideration these fallouts before venturing into a fouled, hurried assemblage and arming of youths in the pretext of substitute community policing. It is uncharitable and a disservice to themselves and the nation.
The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under President Muhammadu Buhari has viewed the formation of Amotekun as unpardonable contempt on his government, Nigerians and subtle glaring attempts by a clan of State Governors to impose illegality on the country. The deliberate windows being opened for the rise and flourishing of ethnic militias in Nigeria through Amotekun to spite the Presidency has not escaped sane minds.
But the proponents and supporters of this repulsive idea have no option than to realize and re-direct their senses or energies in conformity with the path of truth and law. They must know that neither state governors nor regional leaders have the powers to impose, create or operate an armed para-military security outfit without the requisite approval of the FGN, no matter the imperative of the motivation for its establishment.
The loud arguments condemning and countering AGF’s position on Amotekun as constituting a lawful court unto himself are nowhere near any ounce of plausibility. The same thoughts should also be extended to the South West Governors, leaders and all apostates of Amotekun to have a free conscience by interrogating themselves as to whether, any government at the lower rung, other than the FGN has the lawful powers to seize the sacred power of security from the hands of the FGN to munch and abuse in whatsoever manner they deem fit.
It just flows along the same familiar path when violence-prone cursed souls like Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed IPOB shamelessly backing the idea of Amotekun. Kanu’s “dead” spirit was enlivened and ventilated with the establishment of Amotekun .
The IPOB leader exclaimed pleasantly, “The final and definitive stance of the Biafran people is that IPOB will support Operation Amotekun with all our might…IPOB will work with them. If they want one million men, I will give them….”
Kanu and his likes are not just spoilers, but effeminate local champions waiting to see how President Buhari rocks the boat on Amotekun. In doing this, like James Hardly Chase, they have put their ears on the ground to diligently twist and explore the loopholes to establish their own versions of Amotekun, to easily justify the absurdity with the Southwest example.
No Nigerian is fooled! President Buhari can never be deceived with such antics of retrogressives and destroyers of Nigeria in the #NextLevel. The promoters of Amotekun have field might to purchase arms and ammunitions to threaten everybody unlawfully; but President Buhari has the executive might, much greater than a thousand-armed Amotekuns!
And discernment of this nonsensical idea can only be gleaned from the public statement of Chief Nnia Nwodo , the President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization who paid glowing tributes to Southwest leaders for the creation of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN). He said, “Our Army and Air Force are commanded by officers who should have retired according to establishment laws.” With this comment, tt’s not misplaced to assert that Nwodo is suffering from senility and needs some rest. So, when elders begin to deviate and mouth this senselessly, it heralds a grand conspiracy to execute the unthinkable.
However, former military President of Nigeria, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) a man who has seen and experienced everything in Nigeria has freely rendered this advice to Southwest Governors, Afenifere, Nwodo, and opinion moulders in any part of Nigeria who are supporting Amotekun.
IBB as he is fondly called by his clan of admirers and who currently belongs to the party in opposition to President Buhari cautioned during last Monday’s interview, “News Night “ on Channels TV that Amotekun is unsustainable and an “Overstretch of security functions.”
IBB was emphatic that; “What we need to do is to have a closer look. We have a lot of security outfits; we have the army, the mobile police, the National Defence security, we have a whole load of them.
President Buhari has a responsibility to ensure no security of Nigerians in any part of the country is abandoned for rent to ethnic or religious leaders to adopt in pursuing violent personal vendetta and political ambitions in future. Amotekun is Southwest leaders’ saddest slide to uncivilized and irresponsible leadership and should not be condoned or allowed to stand.
Okanga wrote from Agila, Benue State.