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Thursday, 23 January 2020

South-West Governors Back Tinubu On Operation Amotekun

South-West Governors Back Tinubu On Operation Amotekun

Bola Tinubu

Governors of the south-west have stated their position on Amotekun following Tinubu's recent statement.

South-West governors on Wednesday supported the All Progressives Congress leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s  position on the Western Nigerian Security Network, Operation Amotekun.

According to a report by Punch, the governors commended the former Lagos State governor and promised to look into the  issues he raised.

Recall that Tinubu broke his silence after almost three weeks Amotekun was launched.

In a statement, Tinubu took a neutral position on  Amotekun.

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Tinubu blamed both the South-West governors and Malami  for the controversy the matter had generated.

The APC leader, who is rumoured to be nursing a presidential ambition, said the intentions of the governors were good but the manner with which Amotekun was being set up was wrong.

The former governor of Lagos State criticised Malami for issuing a statement condemning the initiative when he could have simply reached out to them and handled it internally and more amicably.

He added, “The governors stated that they consulted regularly with the police and security agencies. This was the right thing to do. However, their failure to include the office of the attorney general in these discussions is the fount of the current public uproar.

This was an unfortunate omission the governors should regret and seek to remedy. However, the conceptual merits and positive functional aspects of Amotekun should not be tainted by this procedural defect.

“While the Attorney General is a conscientious public servant, he is also human. Not having been consulted, he was suddenly faced with an unexpected public announcement regarding a matter within his official ambit.

He likely feared the failure to consult him meant that federal prerogatives were being encroached. To blame him for this conclusion would be to blame human nature itself. Though his negative reaction was understandable, it was also unhelpful.

“The Attorney General acted hastily in rendering a public statement that was more inaccurate than it should have been. Amotekun was never proposed as a ‘defence’ agency; the Attorney General erred in using this description.

The use of uniform and brightly coloured vehicles may not be the best ideas, but they do not render Amotekun a defence agency or paramilitary group any more than a designated school van carrying uniformed students constitutes a paramilitary deployment.”

The APC chieftain said Amotekun was a laudable initiative, but needed some operational and conceptual modifications or else it would fail.

Tinubu wrote, “As I understand it, Amotekun is to be another set of eyes and ears to assist the police. As such, it is but the second generation of Neighbourhood Watch expanded to a regional scale. Conceptually, there is nothing wrong with this. It does not appear to insult the constitution.

“However, my position regarding Amotekun is not blind or uncritical; there are several organisational and functional aspects of the proposal that could cause some problems if left unresolved.”

Tinubu said Amotekun should have been fashioned to the peculiarities of each state rather than having a regional structure.

He stated that the regional approach had only limited benefit with regard to the procurement and maintenance of vehicles and communications equipment because this wider approach allows for economies of scale.

Reacting to Tinubu’s statement, Akeredolu commended him.

The governor, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Security, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, said it was commendable for Tinubu to have broken silence on the issue.

He said,  “We have to commend our leader, Asiwaju Tinubu, for his comments. As a leader who loves his people, he has made objective observations in his statement.

“In the comment he could see that the Operation Amotekun can never be a threat to the unity of the country and that the people of the South-West needed to be protected by their governors. Also, all other issues he pointed out in the statement would be looked into. But he has spoken well.”

Also, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, said he did not disagree with the submission made by  the ex-Lagos governor.

The Special Adviser to governor on media, Mr  Remmy Hassan, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said, “We in Ogun State  support every agenda that promotes peace, security and welfare of the South-West people, including Operation Amotekun.”

The Director General of Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, Seye Oyeleye, on his part, said mischief-makers who could not assist the South-West in the wake of security challenges ravaging it, were behind opposition to Amotekun.

He allayed fears that Amotekun would be against an ethnic group, saying it  would serve the interest of all ethnic groups resident in South-West. Oyeleye said this during  a programme aired by a private radio station, Rave FM in Osogbo.

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