Indications are pilling up to show that the whole Amotekun thing is more political than legal. On legal and constitutional grounds, the Federal Government is correct and on more solid ground regardless of what anyone says.
Our governors should have managed the political angle better by getting the approval of the President. A more administrative pathway should have been fashioned out to manage the relationship between Amokekun and Federal security forces.
Those who have been comparing Amotekun with Kano’s Hisbah and Civilian JTF are just popularizing mischief.
Hisbah and CJTF are not the same as Amotekun. Federal Government also declared Hisbah as illegal and unconstitutional when Governor Shekarau started it in Kano.
Hisbah does not even carry arms. Kano State challenged FG in court. Hisbah was backed by a State House of Assembly Law.
There is no State or Federal Law that supports the legality of Amotekun as at today. Civilian JTF is a not a creation of any state. It is a community led effort to support the Military against Boko Haram. Military is a federal defence force working with CJTF.
Rivers State Government through a law passed by its House of Assembly last year or two years ago established a state security outfit that will carry arms.
The Federal Government also declared it illegal. It is wrong to make it look like Federal Government is supporting a section of the country while it is against Yorubas.
If Obasanjo administration called Kano’s Hisbah illegal and Buhari said Rivers State can’t have armed security outfit, one can safely conclude that the Federal Government is not partial on this.
Initial understanding of Amotekun was that it will be a special joint security operations comprising the Police, Military and Civil Defence dedicated to SW with special funding to be provided by the 6 states.
The reports that OPC members and others will form part of the security outfit naturally raise flag, more especially when they will carry arms and recruitment criteria is not known and operational manual not available, nor subject to standards.
These are issues that cannot be wished away just because Amotekun has become another emotional topic for public commentaries.
The insidious narrative and ethnicisation of Amotekun currently going on must be stopped.
The entire process was wrongly handled by the promoters who should no better. As desirable as a more devolved national security architecture should be to take care of New and emerging threats at local and community levels, we must still work within the framework of existing constitutional arrangement until it is amended.
Amotekun is not a rival police outfit. It is a child of circumstance brought about by the pressing security needs of the time.
Is Amotekun, the Southwest security outfit, a parallel police organisation? It is not and the states behind the outfit never tagged it as such.
But then, that is the intention, prima facie (on the face value).It is not made known to Law, to relevant authorities, according to the Attorney General. The law sees the act ,not the intention.
Now that the Federal Government has declared Amotekun illegal, what next for the security outfit?
There are two ways to right the wrongs as claimed by AGF, if in truth proper consultations were not made.
Beyond, talking tough by prominent lawyers and emotive statements about the good intentions , Amotekun proponents should kick start diplomatic moves to right the wrongs.
Beyond the media posturings and empty press statements is to re-engage the Federal Authorities for political solution.
SW Governors should re-engage FG on Amotekun
They should jaw jaw. A meeting with presidency would on the matter would go a long way..All the negative perception should be reshaped.
Things not done could be done. Mistakes could be corrected.
Interestingly, governors are involved,they are in the saddle, they know what to do.
Amotekun is to assist the police in its areas of operation, especially those mangroves which kidnappers use as their dens.
Amotekun operatives do not have the power to intervene in domestic disputes and related matters, which are in the purview of the Nigeria
Before Amotekun was launched in Ibadan, Oyo State, last Thursday these issues should have been sorted out with the police, the interior and justice ministries .
Though the Inspector-General (IG) was involved when they started but we don’t know what happened and he backed out. May be they had a re-think.
Amotekun’s mandate ought to be properly defined to avoid any conflict, especially with the police.
If that option does not yield fruit, which we doubt, the law should be tested.seeking judicial resolution at the Supreme Court should be the last result.
Lagos is a shining example in pushing the limit of the relationship between the Federal Government and the federating units. It will enrich our jurisprudence again if the SW Governors challenge this in court
Undoubtedly, there is need for Amotekun and related outfits to help the police, which appear overwhelmed by the prevailing security challenges.
The Federal Government should not perceive Amotekun as a rival police outfit. It is not; it is a child of circumstance brought about by the pressing security needs of the time.
It is unfair to throw the books at the initiating states for such a laudable venture.
What should be paramount to all in this matter is the security of lives and properties in the Southwest.