By Taiwo Adeyemi
It was a mammoth gathering at the ancient city of Ibadan, capital of old western region. Though they came from different political parties with different political ideologies (if it exits) but they were united in purpose because they share similar fate in pains.
Executive Governors of their respective states, bearing the Authority conferred on them, under the law, as Chief Security Officer of their states. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State dropped his People Democratic Party, PDP, insignia to embrace his counterparts from the ruling All Progressive Congress , APC, from Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Lagos and Ogun States.
They travailed in joint efforts and resources to give birth to Western Nigeria Security Network, code name Operation Amotekun (Leopard). Amotekun, their cherished Son has come to put an end to their pain, because they have suffered attacks from suspected marauding Fulani Herdsmen, attacks on highways which has become dens for kidnappers demanding ransom from their innocent Victims, bandits taken over their farmlands. Their people are in pain, they groin for help and deliverance because the Police has failed them and the military have not be able to guarantee them safety.
The birth of Amotekun will save the land, it will heal and put an end to their pain. The birth of Amotekun signals an end to their pain and healing to their wounds. There would be an end to Kidnappers having field day along Ilesha/Akure expressway, Akure/Ore road and Ife/Ibadan road will be delivered from the hand of blood thirsty Gunmen, Farmers will be safe to return to their farmlands which have been turned to grazing sites by nomadic Herdsmen.
Amotekun initiative is, long overdue, because there is what we call joint pain experience in this region and the main susoects are Gun wielding herdsmen who killed the daughter of revered leader of Pan Yoruba Socio-Political Organization Group, (Afenifere), Pa Reuben Fasoranti, Funke Olakunrin. The people demanded for justice but which they will never get; they have been waiting for the perpetrators to be brought to book. Alas! The criminals has disappeared into the tin air where the hand of law can never reach.
Amotekun is to roar and scare away hyenas. Bandits, kidnappers and illegal arm carrying Fulani herdsmen who have been alleged to have taken over their farmlands. Amotekun has come to frighten criminals, when thay appears. Its eyes is red, its sharp teeth and strong with its strong legs to run after and destroy its prey.
They flew to Abuja because of Presidential fiat that summoned them, President Muhammadu Buhari, Emperor of the Aso-rock villa warned them to desist from bringing Amotekun to limelig, Police and Army warned them not to conceive it, that their operatives won’t be part of it when it is born. They failed to appear at its inauguration in Ibadan. The Governors moved ahead with the delivery of their cherished baby, Amotekun. Amotekun has come to stay and it will live to fulfil its mission.
Amotekun is the baby of all leaders from their region. Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka called it their New Year gift. Afenifere applauded it, Gani Adams, Aare Onakakanfo celebrated it because leopard skin is the colour of his official attire as the defender of Yorubaland.
Their happiness was aborted when Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami issued a statement that confine Amotekun to total comatose, he fired a missile that burst its stomach. He declared its birth as illegal, he called it an illegitimate child.
“The power over security exclusively belonged to the Federal Government, no part of the Federation could singly or jointly take security measure” Malami threatened to bring to law any group or association linked with operation Amotekun.
Malami must have braced up to take attacks from Amotekun’s promoters and lovers.
Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo State Governor, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) put his wealth of law knowledge to use and educate his learned fellow that Amotekun is not a paramilitary outfit, but a security outfit to complement efforts of other security agencies to tame spread of banditry, kidnapping, farmers and herders clashes, among other forms of criminal activities. Prof. Soyinka condemned Malami’s action and charged the Governors to defy Federal Government directive.
From Ooni Palace in Ife, to both Oyo and Ekiti state Governors’ house, the mantra has been the same. They followed Akeredolu and Soyinka’s path that Amotekun has come to stay.
Reactions from South-West leaders is creating an impression that the Federal Government is working against the region, Afenifere called Malami’s statement a joke. Ethnic warriors are throwing salvo against Buhari’s led administration with narrative that he is working for the North against the South.
Caution must be exercise by all stakeholders not to plunge Nigeria into another civil war after fifty years of surviving one with its scars still visible in our heart.
Has Malami’s missile rendered Amotekun into perpetual coma that will lead to its final burial? Would State Governors who are fathers of fierce looking Amotekun challenge Federal Government in court to get needed vaccine to rescue Amotekun?
Taiwo Adeyemi writes from Osogbo