Anti-Amotekun protest in Ekiti 24 hours after signing bill into law
• Group says outfit hijacked for 2023 polls
• Corps should not be under FG agencies, says Akintola
Twenty-four hours after Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi signed the Western Nigerian Security Network, code-named Operation Amotekun, youths drawn from the six states in the South-West region, yesterday protested in Ado-Ekiti against the security outfit.
Scores of the youths, under the aegis of ‘Yoruba Appraisal Forum,’ were seen brandishing various placards with inscriptions such as “Amotekun Will Turn Our Youths to Militia Group”, “Amotekun Motive, Shine Your Eyes,” “Amotekun Can Bring Proliferation of Arms”, “Yoruba Need Peace Not Armed Militia,” among others.
The protesters said they wanted the South-West governors to halt implementation of Amotekun before it is too late, saying that the security initiative has been hijacked by some powerful forces.
The group said they had uncovered alleged plot to use Amotekun to destabilise the South-West and ultimately the entire country in 2023.
The youths said that the entire Yoruba race would be endangered in 2023 with the existence of Amotekun, adding that the network may be hijacked by politicians for insidious mission in the coming elections.
The group’s Co-ordinator, Mr. Adeshina Animasaun, who spoke while addressing the protesters at Ajilosun area where the protest was held, said the project of Amotekun was a laudable one, but insisted that it had been hijacked by those nursing ambition in 2023.
Animasaun, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to rejig the country’s security architecture to prevent resurgence of what he called ‘militia groups’ with tendencies to pose dangers to the lives of the people.
“We call on President Buhari to use his good office to call the South-West governors to order by prevailing on them not to sign the Amotekun bill into law yet until proper checks about such security are done,” he said.
The protesters faulted the hurried manner at which the governors conducted the public hearings leading to formation of Amotekun, saying: “It ought to have been done senatorially, rather than bringing few people to the state capitals to contribute in a programme that lasted for 30 minutes.
“The South-West governors should be dissuaded from innocently equipping and funding a security outfit that some unscrupulous and wicked individuals have planned to use against the same people the governors have sworn to protect.
“The governors should be made to realise that they should not allow themselves to be railroaded into taking an action they will regret later.”
Meanwhile, an Ibadan-based lawyer and former Deputy Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), has said that Amotekun Corps should not be under any Federal Government agencies.
Akintola, who spoke with The Guardian against the backdrop of the need for the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in a local council to endorse enlistment into the Corps, said its effectiveness would be affected if this happened.
He said: “I don’t expect Amotekun to be under the control of any federal government agency. I think it is for the members of the community to know who members of Amotekun are”.
I mean the traditional leaders, religious leaders, opinion leaders should be the one to attest to the character of the would-be Amotekun Corps members”.
Akintola also faulted the fear that Amotekun Corps might be abused, saying: “It is playing ostrich. Has Nigeria Police not been abused?”
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