The coalition of Yoruba groups under the aegis of Yoruba Appraisal Forum , on Tuesday, moved its peaceful rally against Amotekun to Ekiti State, warning of an impending danger if the security outfit is allowed to operate in the South West region.
The coalition has been demanding the immediate suspension and urgent review of the allegedly hijacked Southwest regional security outfit.
It has consistently argued that Amotekun, as presently structured, poses great threat and danger to human lives and property in the South West region, in particular, and Nigeria in general.
It maintained its position that “the current promoters (hijackers) of the idea, unbeknownst to the South West governors and the innocent people of the region, who see it as a new force to provide them adequate security against the activities of criminal elements, since the police seem overwhelmed by the security challenges across the country, have through devious means, subtle and outright naked threat, taken over Amotekun for the purpose of achieving their selfish agenda of dismembering Nigeria; of course, in collaboration with their foreign sponsors,” adding, “The indications to this are very clear.”
The coalition’s peaceful protests kicked off successfully in Lagos on March 12, 2020.
According to the communique signed by its Convener, Comrade Adeshina Animashaun, “Although the intention of those who originally conceived the idea of Amotekun was a noble one, as they set out to protect the people of the region against criminal elements causing wanton destruction of lives and property, the idea has been hijacked and now intended for purposes that could be injurious to the continued corporate existence of Nigeria. We have uncovered plans to use Amotekun to destabilise the South West and ultimately the entire country.
“It’s an incontrovertible fact that in the event of any chaos in the South West, people from other parts of the country residing in the region- Igbo, Hausa and others- will bear the brunt as no one can guarantee the safety of their persons, business and investments in Yorubaland.”
Meanwhile, an Igbo group, popularly known as Igbo Ndioma, has raised concerns over the alarm raised by the Yoruba coalition on the purported hijack of Amotekun, saying that the group may not be crying wolf where there’s none, after all.
In a statement made available to newsmen and signed by Mazi Ikechukwu Kalu, the Igbo group said, “There are strong indications from what happened during the last elections that Amotekun might be turned to a political militia to intimidate and attack Ndigbo in the Southwest, politically and socially. We have fears that our businesses in the Southwest, especially Lagos, are their targets.
“We have intelligence reports that once Amotekun is inaugurated and armed with poor renumeration, they will begin to impose huge levies on our small businesses and properties.”
He warned that any unprovoked attack on their lives, businesses and properties would be fiercely resisted.
He, therefore, called on the government at all levels to ensure maximum security for all residents in the Southwestern part of Nigeria.
The Yoruba Appraisal Forum had highlighted some issues of concern in their protest letter, which partly reads, “We call on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, to take urgent and decisive steps to nip the burgeoning insurrection now threatening to arise from the South West under the cover of the Amotekun security outfit in the bud.
“We enjoin President Buhari to use his good offices to call the South West governors to order by prevailing on them not to sign the Amotekun bills into law yet, until the proper checks about such a security outfit are done.
“Thorough investigation and checks need to be carried out on Amotekun and the intention of its current promoters (hijackers). We are not crying wolf where none exists.
“It is proper for the Federal Government to take urgent steps to stop the suicide mission the South West governors have unknowingly embarked upon with their backing of the arrangement, especially their impending signing of the bills giving the evil contraption a legal backing, into law.
“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 South West governors should be made to realise that they should not allow themselves to be railroaded into taking an action they will regret later.
“The South West governors should not allow their scarce state resources to be used in funding outsiders and foreign mercenaries, whose main objective is to destabilise the South West region and the country in collaboration with some unscrupulous citizens.
“The nation’s security agencies, including the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Department of State Services (DSS), need to profile the current promoters (hijackers) of the Amotekun security outfit with a view to ascertaining its real membership and their original intention.
“We advise that President Buhari holds discussions with the South West governors on the concerns we have raised about Amotekun. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine. We must not watch idly as the enemies of the country hide under the smokescreen of running a regional security outfit to engage in activities that are not only inimical, but also injurious to the continued corporate existence of the entire Nigerian nation.”