South-West has no plan to secede from Nigeria, says Fayemi
• Odesola lauds govs over Amotekun, predicts end to nation’s woes
• Muslim groups back plan, urge inclusive-initiative
• SCSN alleges religious coloration
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday said that the South-West geo-political zone had no plan to secede from Nigeria despite the controversy generated by the launch of Western Nigeria Security Network, code-named Operation Amotekun, saying that the region remains part of the country and will continue to be committed to a united and indivisible Nigeria.
Fayemi stated this when he received a pan-Yoruba development interest group, the Oodua Progressive Union (OPU) Worldwide in his office led by the Aare OnaKakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams.
The governor, represented by his deputy, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, urged people not to entertain any fear of secession by the South-West over the launch of Amotekun, which he said, was meant to protect all Nigerians resident in the region.
Meanwhile, the Assistant General Overseer (Administration & Personnel) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and a member of the Governing Council, Pastor Johnson Odesola, yesterday said that everything that could be done in the name of security by every stakeholder should not be discouraged.
He consequently commended South-West governors for initiating the idea of ‘Amotekun’, which he described as a lofty one.Odesola stated this when he superintended a press briefing with other pastors in the region in preparation for a one-day crusade with the theme: “Victory Without Fight” to be presided over by the General Overseer, RCCG (Worldwide), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, in Lagos.He advised the police to liaise with the authorities behind the creation of Amotekun so that they can work together.
However, concerned Muslim groups in the South-West region have urged a re-branded security initiative that would embrace all citizens living in the sub-region, irrespective of tribe or religion.
The Muslim Ummah of South-West Nigeria (MUSWEN), the umbrella body for all Muslims in the southwestern Nigeria and the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), in a separate statements yesterday, which gave the advice yesterday in separate statements, enjoined governors of the South-West to ensure that the new security organisation did not lean towards any religion or target any ethnic group for victimisation.
Executive Secretary, MUSWEN, Muslih Tayo Yahya, said: “It must also be emphasised that the operational framework of the security initiative must be sensitive to the peculiarities of all segments of the citizens in the region – Muslims, Christians and others.
Director, MURIC, Ishaq Akintola, said: “We are interested in security. We are security conscious. We will therefore join a South-West security initiative if it is not tainted with Christian landmarks. We will have confidence in a security outfit that involves Muslim leaders, and not one that parades pastors, bishops and archbishops alone.
In another vein, the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN) has faulted the symbolic Amotekun given to the security outfit, alleging that it has religious coloration as it was a coinage derived from Jeremiah Chapter 5, verse 6 of the Holy Bible.
Vice President of SCSN, Sheik Abdullr’Rasheed Hadiyatullah, who stated this at a press conference yesterday in Osogbo, Osun State, said that the Muslim community was sidelined in the process that gave birth to it. But in a swift reaction, Osun State government debunked the allegation, stating that Amotekun was not a religious organisation but a conscious and deliberate effort to stem the tide of insecurity.
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