As reactions continue to trail the establishment of ‘Operation Amotekun’, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has urged South-West governors to ignore the statement by Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), declaring Amotekun, the South-West security outfit illegal.
According to governors in the region, ‘Operation Amotekun’ was established to help tackle security challenges in the South-West.
But Malami, on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, described ‘Operation Amotekun’ as illegal outfit adding that security remains an exclusive preserve of the Federal Government and governors do not have that right under the constitution.
However, the regional leaders described Malami’s statement as an abuse of office meant to “suppress” the rights of federating units to secure themselves.
The group advised the governors to challenge the Malami’s stance in court, insisting that the right to preserve life cannot be under any exclusive list.
“Malami’s declaration is in furtherance of the widely–held suspicion that sections of the country are deliberately being rendered vulnerable for herdsmen and other criminals by the Federal Government,” the statement said.
“We ask the Governors of the South West to ignore Malami and allow him to go to court to challenge their decision as he cannot constitute himself into a court over elected governors. We are not under military rule.
“We insist that what the governors have done is what individuals and neighbourhoods can legally do to secure their lives and property.
“The ultra vire action of the AGF has further exposed Nigeria as a country under command and control and governed by a conquest mentality.”
The group queried Malami to provide legal backing for Hisbah police in Kano and Civilian Joint Task Force in the North-East.
“We ask Malami to tell us what makes Amotekun illegal but Hisbah legal.
“He should further explain to us what makes Civilian JTF legal in the North East where there is war and in Zamfara, Katsina, and Kano where there is no war, while Amotekun is illegal.
“This is a defining moment to decide if we are under segregation and different laws in this country.”
The statement was signed by group’s co-spokespersons; Yinka Odumakin (South-West), Gen. Collins Iherike (South-East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South), Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt).
The group is comprised of ethnic socio-cultural associations like Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum, and Pan Niger Delta Forum.