Emotions ran high on Tuesday across four regions of Southwest, Southeast, Southsouth and Northcentral following the declaration of the South Western Security Network code-named Amotekun as illegal by Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami.
Political leaders and leaders of socio-cultural organisations decried the statement credited to the minister as an after-thought, warning that, his threat has compounded the challenges of lopsided federalism in Nigeria.
Afenifere leaders Pa Rueben Fasoranti and Senator Ayo Fasanmi said Malami wanted to rubbish a robust regional idea that gave birth to the security network.
94-year-old Fasanmi says the minister deserved condemnation for making a reckless statement, which amounted to gross injustice, while he advised Southwest leaders, particularly the governors, to take Malami to court.
He flayed the minister for lack of sympathy for the region, pointing out that Southwest had groaned continually under the yoke of kidnapping, armed robbery and herdsmen/farmers’ clashes.
Fasoranti, on his part clarified that Afenifere was not contacted by the governors, adding that Malami decided to oppose a good idea.
A combative Chief Ayo Adebanjo said the statement by Malami conveyed the impression that the Federal Government was planning to move against the region despite its support for President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the reckless statement was discriminatory and condemnable, adding that it underscored the minister’s insensitivity to the plight of Yoruba.
Adebanjo said Southwest All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders should reflect on the critical statement, adding that it reflected the disposition of the Federal Government to their region.
Former Oyo State Deputy Governor Iyiola Oladokun said the governors of the Southwest did not violate the constitution, adding that they only responded to the region’s yearning for improved security.
He recalled that kidnapping, armed robbery and other security challenges motivated the setting up of Amotekun by the region to protect lives and property against this menace.
Elder statesman Senator Biyi Durojaye retorted: “Which aspect of the law does it violate? Did Agbekoya not exist in Yorubaland before?”