Home Crime INTERVIEW: How Yoruba Governors Can Make Amotekun Acceptable — Open Salawu

INTERVIEW: How Yoruba Governors Can Make Amotekun Acceptable — Open Salawu


Mufutau Open Salawu was special adviser to former governor Abiola Ajimobi on works and transport. In this interview with SIKIRU AKINOLA, the Engr. Muftau Open Salawu, the Wazirin Jari Nupe and All Progressives Congress, APC, House of Representatives’ aspirant for Ogbomoso North/Ogbomoso South/Oriire in the 2019 election bares his mind on the controversy surrounding the formation of Amotekun. Excerpt:

Do you support the formation of Amotekun?

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It is not a case of supporting Amotekun or not but the first question is do we have security challenges in the South West?. Yes, we have.

Just like any other region, there are security challenges, the bandits, the kidnappers and other criminals. And for anybody that has been a victim of this insecurity, such person will definitely see any means that could improve the security situation as a solution but again, it must been within the confines of the law.

As a member of the ruling party, what can you say about the decision of the federal government to declare the Operation Amotekun illegal?

You see, if there is any breakdown of law and order in any part of the nation, it is the Federal government that will be worried most but what the federal government is saying is that, if there will be Amotekun, it must have a legal backing, so that it will not be a case of having a parallel police or a situation whereby every region will have a similar thing. But I know the idea behind Amotekun is not to have a parallel police but to assist the policing architecture in the south west.

It is true many people are worried about the modus operandi or what is going to look like.  I think there should have been more awareness before the launching of Amotekun itself so that people will know that it is about supporting the existing security architecture not to create a parallel one.

You will agree with me that the situation in the southwest in terms of security is not too encouraging but I think our governors can do better, most especially those governors that are from same party with the federal which is APC can sit down and have a proper understanding on how best to run this programme and to have better result so that it will have the backing of the law and as well a smooth operation without having any conflict and without anybody having any worry or to be afraid of the way it will be operating.

But what do you think should be done to make Operation Amotekun effective and sustainable

First and foremost, the governors should have a proper and a clear modus operandi publicized and get a backing from National Assembly or State Assemblies so that it will be passed into law that such an organization exists and appropriation will be made for it.

It won’t be a case of why governors will do it unilaterally without the backing of the legislators and I believe if that is done, certainly the  Attorney Generals will not have a problem with that.

For Attorney General, it is normal with what he has said. As Attorney General  of the Federation, he can’t fold his arms and watch such important part of exclusive list being exercised by regional. Imagine six states coming together; south west for that matter and don’t forget, it is not only south west that has security challenges, but it is just the south west governors that took the first step. If the Attorney General did not make any pronouncement, I can assure you that other regions will also have similar thing and which could become messier but again, the South West governors will not fold their arms and be watching as well, seeing the security situation getting so deteriorated that you can’t even travel from Ibadan to Ondo state.

Miyetti Allah said South West will lose its presidential slot if Amotekun is allowed. Do you see its creation as a whole threat?

The leadership of Miyetti Allah socio-cultural group, I believe, is just trying to protect the interest of its members and make itself also relevant in the political circle. If not, they don’t  have the power to determine who becomes the president of this country.

As a matter of fact, no region can determine or can win the presidential election without the support of another. It requires two to three regions to form alliance to be able to get the required constitutional votes to become president. But again, it’s okay. People from the south west are civilized and logical in pursuing the interest of the zone and I will advise all the spokespersons from different groups from South west to please try to be cautious, to desist from making inflammatory statement that could make the situation worse. We all need one another. If Miyetti Allah makes some statement that is not pleasant to us, we don’t need to be reactive.  We have been very proactive with this measure but again, we still need to discuss about it so that it will be acceptable to other regions. Mind you, security is a very serious issue and it’s everybody’s concern. But everybody wants to be in a very secured environment, it is when the environment is secured that other things can thrive.

I will say that people should try to guide what their utterances will be at this moment. It is not about next election, it is about the current situation. Their can’t be next election if there is no peace,  so please let just try to be civil.

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