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Operation Amotekun by Southwest governors

Sir: It is an undeniable fact that in an atmosphere of crisis, killings, kidnapping, and other antisocial activities of this magnitude, to...

Sir: It is an undeniable fact that in an atmosphere of crisis, killings, kidnapping, and other antisocial activities of this magnitude, to have economic development and progress will be difficult. This seems to be the rationale behind the inauguration of Operation Amotekun by Southwest governors on January 9, before it was shot in the leg by the federal might.

According to the Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF) Abubakar Malami (SAN) on January 14, the formation of operation Amotekun is alien to the 1999 Constitution because it runs contrary to the provisions that uphold the establishment of such security outfit.

Part of the provisions cited by the AGF are items 38 and 45 of the second schedule of the constitution which stipulate that the military (Army, Navy and Air Force) including any other branch of the armed forces of the federation and the police and other government security services established by law to maintain law and order in the country are exclusively for the federal government and not on the concurrent list where federal and state governments interplay as actors.

While this seems not to be far from the reality, the level of insecurity in the country suggests a need for community policing which would have been included in the constitution if the country were to be facing this kind of security turbulent in 1998.

Even, despite this lacuna, the constitution still recognizes the governor as the chief security officer of the state, thereby giving them the responsibility to protest lives and property within their area of jurisdiction which probably informed the formation of Operation Amotekun.

Prior to the formation of Amotekun, there were series of killings, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the Southwest region. There was the July 2019, killing of the daughter of one of the leaders of a Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, at Ore junction in Ondo State by unknown gunmen.

The farm of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Chief Olu Falae, located at Ilado, Ondo State was set ablaze by herdsmen in January 2018. In fact, Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu was quoted in June 2019 as saying that his convoy was targeted by the kidnappers when he ran into them along Akure-Ibadan road before his security shot into the air to scare them away.

Though, the issue of insecurity is not only limited to the Southwest because its manifestation is felt in all the geopolitical zones of the country, the manner with which it is being reported daily shows that it has defied the tactics of the mainstream security agencies.

Nigerians in the diaspora are afraid to come back to Nigeria because of insecurity while some within the country no longer go to their villages again because of this menace which seems to have rendered the mainstream security agencies powerless and the citizens helpless.

Most times, people are even afraid to report security threats to the police station because of the fear of being the next subject of attack.

In the world of today, intelligence gathering is very important for security officers to perform hence the reason Operation Amotekun or something similar is of a necessity. With such security outfit, the mainstream security will be able to gather information necessary for their operations.

The outfit will bring security architecture closer to the people and naturally reduce the hideout of criminal elements wreaking havoc on citizens.

So, it is high time the nation looked beyond legalism to its exigency by facing squarely the common enemy which is the insecurity in order to achieve economic development and progress because in a state of insecurity, there is possibility of anarchy and where there is anarchy, the constitution is thrown to the dustbin while the survival of the fittest becomes the rule.

Femi Oluwasanmi,
Ibafo, Ogun State.

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