Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson insists Operation Amotekun has made the restructuring of the country inevitable.
The Federal Government has come under attack for declaring the security initiative of South-West governors to check criminal activities in their states illegal.
Dickson, who has thrown his weight behind Operation Amotekun, said the governors opted for the outfit because of “the politicisation and collapse of the centralised national security apparatus in the country”.
“The politicisation and over-centralisation of security without an effective funding mechanism and arrangements for professionalism has reduced Nigeria to an un-policed country,” the governor said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, on Monday.
He warned that if the country was not restructured, there might be nothing left for Nigerians to restructure when they were ready.
Dickson, who described “Amotekun as a component of the restructuring” which he had championed, said every South-South state had some form of internal security mechanism to collaborate with the law enforcement agencies.
According to him, his state has Bayelsa Volunteers, State Vigilante, Community Safety Corps and Water Water Security.
He said, “No governor from the South-South has made serious comments on the issues of restructuring, state police and true federalism
“I have taken the message for restructuring, true federalism and the need for state police everywhere, even to the doorstep of the President.”
Dickson added, “Amotekun is a clear issue of restructuring. It is like state and regional police that I have been calling for.”
Amotekun’ll help address security challenges –Group
Also, the Interfaith Dialogue Forum For Peace said Operation Amotekun would help to address the security challenges facing the South-West.
The Co-chair, Executive Council of IDFP, Alhaji Ishaq Sanni, said this at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.
He said, “People are clamouring for state police because they are the people in the neighbourhoods and are in the best position to know the radicals, the hoodlums, the hooligans and all these people around that are causing these crises.
“So, when you have this type of thing, it helps. Even though the thing is still contentious, I believe at the end of the day the government will understand whichever way they want to do it.”
According to Sanni, Operation Amotekun is just like a vigilance group that cannot replace the Nigeria Police.
He added, “We cannot say the situation now is as bad as it was before but the problem here is that we are being sentimental and emotional about some of these things.
“I know before this government came into power, Boko Haram was controlling almost everywhere in Borno State but it is not like that now. So, I believe something that started one day will surely end one day.”
Govs shouldn’t yield to pressure –Cleric
The General Overseer, Christian Youth Evangelistic Ministry, Prophet Kehinde Ola, who spoke to reporters after the church’s 10-day prayer programme at the Mount Golgotha, Trinity Village, Efon Alaaye, Ekiti State, urged South-West governors to go ahead with Operation Amotekun.
He said, “Yoruba governors should maintain their stand and forge ahead with Amotekun. “Why has there been no response since the region has been under a serious threat?
“Why is it now that the Federal Government is coming up with a position against a genuine step by the governors to tame insecurity? Amotekun is to restore the confidence of the people in the zone that they can be safe on their farms and in their homes. Why should anybody or group be against this?”
S’West PDP, APC are behind outfit –Fani-Kayode
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, says Amotekun has the backing of both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West.
Fani-Kayode said this during an interview with reporters in Abuja on Sunday.
He said, “Whether you are in the PDP or in the APC, it doesn’t matter. The fact remains that those of us that claim to be South-West leaders have taken a decision. We will protect our people no matter what it takes, no matter what it cost.
“There is no going back and it is something we have firmly resolved about. We speak as one, we stand as one; we are solidly behind the governors. Every group in the South-West is behind the governors. It is across party lines.”
He said the announcement by Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), that the outfit was illegal was his personal opinion.
Fani-Kayode asked the Federal Government to explain why there was Civilian Joint Task Force in the North-East and Sharia police and Hisbah in the North-West.
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The PDP chief added that South-West leaders had resolved to stop the incessant bloodletting in their region by marauders.
He said, “Anybody that feels that they don’t have to support the people of the South-West is making a mistake. And anybody that believes that we can be in anyway intimidated by stepping down and saying we will not protect our people from those killing them is making a mistake.”
The ex-minister recalled the daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, was killed while Chief Olu Falae’s farm was invaded by suspected herdsmen two years ago.
He said, “So, our opinion is different. In any case, whatever he says, whatever court says we have the right to self-defence. People are being slaughtered. The leader of Afenifere’s daughter was slaughtered, Baba Olu Falae’s farm raided; he was kidnapped and beaten like a dog, he was insulted.
“Thousands of our people are being slaughtered in the South-West and somebody will tell us that his interpretation of the constitution is that we don’t have the right to self-defence.”