Following the recent establishment of a local security outfit called Amotekun by the southwestern governors and the much heated arguments and calls in some quarters for its disbandment, the former Presidential Aspirant and Convener of YesWeFit Movement, Dr Thomas-Wilson Ikubese, has said that Amotekun is part of the restructuring that the country needs, warning that Nigeria will only be “postponing the ‘evil’ day” as well as keep moving “in circles,” if the country is not restructured.
While frowning at the calls for its disbandment, Dr. Ikubese said the recent spate of criminality, insecurity in the region and the need to secure lives and properties of the residents of the region informed the establishment of Amotekun, hence, its necessity.
He said the police personnel securing the people in the country are grossly inadequate and hence, urged the state assemblies in the south west region to pass laws legalizing Amotekun so as to have the lives and property of the people properly protected.
The ex-presidential aspirant also urged other regions like the South-South and the South-East to toe the line of the South-West in floating similar local security outfits to better secure the lives and property of their people, adding that similar outfits abound in the north.
According to him, “In recent times, South Western Nigeria, like many parts of Nigeria, has been under siege by spates of unprecedented criminality, ranging from outright banditry to ruthless kidnapping for ransome.
So, the six governors of the region came together, putting aside political party affiliations and established a community security outfit called Amotekun, for the protection of lives and properties of persons who inhabit this region.
Then began the cascade of reactions; the theatric drama.
The police authorities set the ball rolling, stating that they cannot work with “untrained” hunters and that in fact, any ‘rascal’ who is found with ammunition in the name of ‘Amo-whatever’ will be arrested and prosecuted.
Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria followed suit by issuing a statement that the establishment of Amotekun was an invitation to war, as the Hausa-Fulanis are set to defend themselves against any onslaught from the outfit.
Indeed, Miyetti Allah went further by instructing the governors to disband the outfit, else the South West should forget about their quest for the Presidency in 2023.
While Nigerians were yet trying to understand why an outfit meant to endear self-preservation is suffering so much attacks, like a fire fighter eager to put out a ravaging flame, the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN issued a statement, that the outfit is “illegal”!
Perhaps, more confusingly disturbing is the fact that similar outfits exist in Northern Nigeria.
The Hisbah police and Civilian Joint Task Force in North West and the Civilian Joint Task Force in North East have since been on ground, working to preserve the region and its people.
So why the hues and cries about Amotekun?
It’s been rumoured in recent times, that there’s a grand plan to infiltrate and over run certain parts of the country by religious and ethnic supremacists.
Could the South Western governors have gotten wind of this clandestine plot and acted in good stead to preserve their people and geographical ancestry, vis-a-vis the on-going widespread criminality?
Could this be what General T.Y Danjuma was referring to when he stated last month that; “If I tell you what I know is happening in Nigeria today, you will no longer sleep”?
Whatever the case, a people deserve the right to self-preservation
The generally accepted police to civilian ratio is 1:450 or approximately 225 police officers for every 100,000 people. Nigeria however has a population of about 186 million people and a Police population of about 370,000, out of which 80% are posted to guard politicians, elites and corporate organisations, leaving the general populace with a paltry 74,000 officers at an abysmal ratio of 1:2,514 as against the 1:450 United Nations recommended ratio.
The above analysis makes the need for an outfit such as Amotekun, manned by locals who understand the terrains a dire necessity, as Nigeria is grossly under-policed.
Legally, the provisions of the Criminal Code in Sections 272-275 allows citizens to arrest any person or persons for committing an offence and may be exercised individually or communally, wherein the offender is handed over to the Police.
The governors should thus give the outfit a legal vertebra by getting their various state houses of Assembly to enact a law legalising the outfit in each state, wherein the regional confluence entity theretofore becomes seamless.
I encourage the South South, South East and North Central regions to toe this same line by establishing similar outfits for the preservation of their people and geographical ancestry.
For Nigeria to work, it must be unbundled!
Regionalism, which was one of the contents of my manifesto during the build up to the 2019 presidential election, is not by any stretch of imagination, a threat to Nigeria. It is in fact the catalyst needed to grow Nigeria into greatness.
No matter how long we shy away from restructuring, until we as a people sit down to negotiate the unity of Nigeria and therein generate OUR OWN constitution, this country will continue to move in cycles, a recipe for postponing the “evil” day!