The Societal Safety Network has call on the Southwest governors to reconsider their stand on Operation Amotekun in order no to endanger the lives of Yoruba people living in other Pat of Nigeria. Read Full Text below…..

Those with good sense of history can easily understand the nexus between current conspiracies against conventional security agencies and innuendos of ethnic militia formations. The separate security votes of Governors can purchase helicopters for aerial surveillance and empower conventional security agencies to undertake minute to minute security patrol of highways to curb crimes, especially kidnapping and banditry in their respective States. Without collaboration with indigenous criminals, no alien can succeed with continuous onslaught against the natives, Diary of Suspects arrested have proved this time to time.

When some Northern Groups issued threat to the Igbos to leave the North in 2017, it took several interventions from eminent Nigerians to douse the tensions that arose from that Kaduna Declaration. The announcement of the Amotekun Code Name by South West Governors as alternative security platform for South West States has led to rise in tension across the Country. Yahoo Yahoo, Yahoo Plus, Ritual Killings, Armed Robberies & Cultism are daily crimes in Yoruba Land, if the prevalence of these crimes, mostly committed by both residents and indigenous people of South West have been tamed over time, the present predicaments wouldn’t have sufficed. It’s not late to solve these problems, only if the proponents of Amotekun will show the same emotions against kith & kin involved in crimes of different kinds.

Our organisation, Societal Safety Network frowns at the rising spate of crimes across the Country and urge the security agencies to step up the fight against criminality. We urge the Governors to use the platform of Nigeria Governors Forum to facilitate nexus among themselves to tame insecurity wholesomely, if they can facilitate improved funding and personnel increase for the Nigeria Police Force, the situation can definitely be better.

The current spate of insecurity is a national malaise but when we consider that whopping sum goes to each State Governor as security votes and the expenditure are never queried by anyone, it amount to blame shift to claim not to be in charge of Security of their States

Despite unrelenting efforts by the security agencies to curb and prevent crimes in Nigeria, the unwarranted breakdown of laws and orders has remained alarming due to the low size of personnel in Internal Security. The reality of Nigeria situation clearly depict that the Nigeria Security Agencies seems to have been outweighed by unimaginable population of criminals. Ordinarily, there is nothing legally or morally wrong in State Governments setting up legally backed unconventional security apparatus to assist the conventional security network in situations of high powered security flaws but when such actions become suspicious, it deserves serious admonitions.

The curiosity of our governors to hurriedly commence Operation Amotekun without clear cut mode of opereraton inform the following questions:

1. Can our Governors tell the world, who are the personnel of Operation Amotekun?

2. Who trained the personnel and will they bear arms or not?

3. Do they have power to arrest, detain and prosecute or where do they keep suspects upon arrest?

4. How true is the information that Amotekun is a decoy for commencement of Oodua Peoples Congress in a new guise?

5. Those is uniforms during the launching of Amotekun, who are they?

If the Nigeria Police Force will still be the agency to detain and prosecute arrested culprits, the best action for the Governors is to properly liase with the Police Formations to achieve the desired result and fight crimes in it’s entirety and shun any act of compromise. The major crimes can be fought to a standstil, if there is enhanced funding of Security Operatives.

We respect the ideals of the Developmental Agenda of Western Nigerian and commend their progressive action plan on the economy of the South West, Nigeria but we seriously frown at the hurried nature without considering the plight of Yoruba living in the North on two grounds. Firstly, the well pronounced racial profiling in the conceptualisation of the platform and secondly, the shoddy announcement of operation Amotekun without regard for proper legal framework and clear cut modes of operation.

We seriously frown against insecurity in Nigeria but to play politics with security of the people is highly mischievous. Police Stations and Correctional Centres in the South West States have many criminals and suspects of Yoruba Descent, serving jail terms and those under trial for different heinous crimes, which is to state that criminals have no tribes or ethnicity. We fear that if the Amotekun is misunderstood as targeting a particular ethnic group, as this expose Yorubas living in other parts of the Country to dangers, with predicted reprisal attacks as history recorded during past ethnic clashes.

The Country doesn’t currently operate a regional government and the declaration of a regional security outfit is an aberration that should ordinarily attract stoppage of security votes by the Federal Government and except individual States begin to display prove of judicious usage of the security votes, the present circumstances could remain unabated. All law abiding citizens should enjoy security anywhere in the Country and we are scared of ethnic profiling under guise, criminals are criminals and should be treated as criminals.

Knowing fully well that the South West is the most sophisticated in terms of provoking changes in the polity, South West has the history of creating political upheavals that usually unsettle the polity and if not for the consciousness of the Minister of Justice and the Inspector General of Police, things would have fallen apart, had necessary cautions not issued on the legality of naming the Network as a Regional Security Operation. During the hullabaloo on the Amotekun debacle, the South East Governors were charged by their kinsmen to follow the suit and prepare for a launch of similar platform, while the North Central held a Security Summit in Lafia, voices arose from the North West and North East demanding for the conveyance of similar security networks in their geo political zones. Are we preparing for wars against ourselves?

If the Governors can intervene on the prompt implementation of the 0.005% deduction from Companies for Police Trust Fund, motivations and morale boost will be achieved through this already signed initiative.We hope President Muhammadu Buhari will expedite action on the appointment of Chairman and members for the Police Trust Fund.

We urge the State Governors to work assiduously for the commencement of Community Police Initiative and foster unity of purpose among all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, religion or race. For those whose emotions and bigotry have beclouded their sense of foresight and advance reasoning, we urge them to look beyond their nose, the fight against crime is a collective responsibility, the little ways individuals break law and orders constitute the general spate of violence and insecurity in Nigeria. Things can only get better, if we all shun crimes of any kind.

Abdulrahman Agboola
Executive Director
Societal Safety Network

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