Following reactions that greeted the formation of Southwest regional security organisation, codenamed Amotekun, a Fulani socio-cultural organisation, Miyetti Allah, has alleged that the aim of forming the security outfit was to flush out the Fulani tribe from the region (Southwest.)
However, chairman of South West Governors Forum and Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said fears being expressed by the Fulani group were misplaced and absolutely unnecessary.
This came on a day former acting national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, threw his weight behind the regional security outfit, and called for dialogue among various groups, individuals, government and security agencies on how best to solve the security challenges the nation was currently going through.
Leader of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore in Bauchi State, Alhaji Sadiq Ahmed, said weekend that the security outfit (Amotekun) lacked the legal framework to succeed.
The elder statesman, who admitted that the nation was facing serious security threat, called for the restructuring of the security architecture in the country.
He said: “I can tell you one thing, Amotekun will not last because it is indigenous, regionalised and lacks constitutional backing. The constitution has a ready made provision for regular security with the establishment of the Nigeria Police Force. A regional security outfit like Amotekun is a breach of the constitution that will only breed problems and conflicts.
‘’Is there a doubt anywhere that the motive behind the establishment of Amotekun is to cleanse our tribe from the Southwest? It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to provide security, any parallel security outfit is illegal and unacceptable.”
The Miyetti Allah leader also called for the removal of service chiefs, saying they had performed below expectation, while also advocating the reform of the Nigeria Police to enable it perform its duties effectively.
‘’I suggest that the President remove the service chiefs immediately because they have done nothing, despite trillions of Naira they have received in recent years. He should also reform the Police, Army and all other security agencies in the country.
“I hear people every time try to compare Amotekun to Hizba, and that irritates me. Hizba security outfit in the North is just an umbrella of an Islamic body only meant for Islamic affairs. It bears no resemblance to Amotekun or the motive behind its formation,” he added.
Reacting yesterday, Governor, Akeredolu, said: “For the record, these fears are misplaced and absolutely unnecessary. As Nigerians, we have more to gain from our indivisibility as a nation.’’
Speaking through his Information and Orientation Commissioner, Donald Ojogo, in Akure, the governor said: “We must de-emphasise those issues that tend to create gaps and take maximum advantage of those that can promote oneness and love.
“Amotekun as an initiative, when it finally takes off, is not just to protect the people of the Southwest in the region.
“It aimed at protecting all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic placement, religious affiliations and creed.
“Our interpersonal and inter ethnic relations as Nigerians could be better protected if initiatives such as Amotekun are encouraged to provide confidence building measures for all those who reside in the South west, including our Fulani brothers and sisters.
Akeredolu added that “That apprehension is not necessary. The governors of the Southwest have a collective duty to protect all.
Meanwhile, former acting national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has thrown his support for Amotekun, and called for dialogue among various groups, individuals, government and security agencies on how best to solve the security challenges the nation is currently going through.
Baraje expressed regret that the unabated security problems and mass killings of innocent citizens was becoming too worrisome, alarming and getting out of the control of the nation’s security outfits.
The PDP chieftain, who is the founder and financier of Kawu Baraje Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Gerewu, spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, as he clocked 69 years yesterday.
According to him, the most difficult problem the country is facing at present is insecurity.
He urged Nigerians, particularly the youths, to be security-conscious about their environment and report strange people, as well as suspicious objects around them to the appropriate authorities.
“I wish to appreciate all Nigerians for their resilience, perseverance and ‘never say die attitude’ at this very difficult times in Nigeria.
“I want to also enjoin Nigerians to go back to their culture, the culture of working together with our neighbours in ensuring that our environment is safe as this is the period that we must be at alert, live up to our responsibilities and be our brothers’ keepers.’’
On the establishment of Amotekun, Alhaji Baraje described the security arrangement as appropriate, more so that it would complement the efforts of security agencies.
He explained that similar outfits had been in operations in other regions but called for dialogue over their mode of operations, especially with regards to resolving the grey areas in the formation of the outfit with the Federal Government.