Amotekun has come at the right time —Weyinmi, Itsekiri Youth President
Comrade Agbateyiniro Weyinmi Isaac is the National President of the Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC). He speaks with EBENEZER ADUROKIYA on why Operation Amotekun is a masterstroke and a welcome development. Excerpts:
What is your reaction to the deluge of opposition from the Northern leaders? Is it justifiable?
Operation Amotekun is an idea whose time has come. In the words of Jean Jacques Roseau, a French philosopher, “there is nothing that is more important than an idea whose time has come.”
The implication of the above philosophical expression is that once the time of an idea comes, every other idea which time hadn’t come becomes inferior and so, they naturally give way or bow to the superior idea which time has come.
This, to me, is some sort of natural law. Besides being an idea which time has come, if you properly analyse all the concepts and theories and the ingenuity with which Operation Amotekun was packaged, you will, again, agree with me that Operation Amotekun is quite very phenomenal. No wonder there is a deluge of opposition from certain quarters of this country, particularly, the North.
You may also not need to be reminded because I know you know that before the emergence of this outfit, there have been Civilian JTF, vigilantes, community policing and all kinds of various neighbourhood security outfits that had been established by various interest groups all over the country to cater for and fill the huge gaps occasioned by the near total collapse of our central security architecture in this country. Among all of these security outfits, none has been greeted by as much attacks as the Operation Amotekun, simply because of the ingenuity that the Yorubas are known for in doing their things.
Yes, when the Yorubas are ready, everyone will understand that they are ready. They don’t pretend. They will always hit the nail on the head.
The North has also threatened to hold onto the presidency beyond 2023 without any consideration for other parts of the country. What’s your take?
Well, when we get to that river, we will all cross it together but for now, our emphasis and preoccupation is Operation Amotekun. It is a common thing in life for everyone to say all kinds of things before they get to the river bank. Some will say, when we get to the river bank, like Jesus Christ, I will walk on top of the water and cross to the other side. Some will boast of having the capacity to swim without waiting for any assistance. Some will even boast of flying across. But in all, I think my candid advice is for everyone to be patient until we get there because, as soon as we get there you will start to hear people exclaim: Oh! This river is wider than the Atlantic Ocean; I can’t cross it anymore; I’m going back.
Many believe that with the worsening insecurity in the North-East and the North-West, it appears the security architecture of the country has collapsed. Do you share this view and what’s your take on the situation?
The primary responsibility of any government at any level is to ensure the protection and security of lives and property of her citizenry. As it is today in Nigeria, we do not need any prophet to know there is a monumental and perhaps, an unprecedented level of failure of our central security architecture that we all know is listed in the exclusive legislative list. From the recruitment level through the funding level and reward system have all been compromised and once a system that is as significant and sensitive as that in charge of security of lives and property is so compromised, the result is what you can see everywhere in the form of unprecedented killings, armed robberies, kidnappings, hostage taking, militancy and, of course, terrorism.
Hence, everyone seems to have resorted to self-help by however means possible. Hence, the prevalence of all kinds of vigilance groups, civilian JTF, community police everywhere and most recently, the arrival of the the mother of all inventions, “Operation Amotekun.”
What would you suggest as the way out of the security quagmire for Nigeria?
Restructuring, devolution of power, true and fiscal federalism as against the current tested and failed unity system of government. All critical elements listed in the exclusive legislative list should, as a matter of urgency, be removed and placed in the concurrent or residual legislative list as may be deemed applicable. Of what use will a man sitting in Abuja, deciding the quality and quantity of heat facilities and educational facilities that are needed at Orere-Uluba here in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State when if you did the needful and devolved such power, my workaholic Delta governor can conveniently do it? So, do the needful and everything will fall into shape. Don’t wait until democratic forces intervene like it is currently doing in the security segment before you do the needful because if you fail to do the needful, democratic forces that I know will help intervene and restructure and devolve power as it is expected in a federal system of government and serve all the federating units of Nigeria peace and justice.
Independent Nigeria will be 60 on October 1, would you say the country has been a success?
No, I don’t pretend, everything has gone from bad to worse and if we continue as a nation along this trajectory, the worst should be expected.
Governors from the South South appear to be dilly-dallying in emulating governors from Western Nigeria who have established Operation Amotekun to save lives and property in the region. How do you react to this?
It is not dilly-dallying. Governance and leadership in an area that is essentially homogeneous and that is in a heterogeneous area is not the same. The reason why Operation Amotekun was very successful in the six western states of Nigeria is largely due to their homogeneous nature.
Over here in the South South region, the degree of heterogeneity and ethnic sensitivity and sensibility is quite high hence, mutual suspicion along these heterogeneous boundaries is very high. Therefore, to float such kind of security outfit that will be effective and serve the interests of all, you will need adequate and wide consultations and time. I think that is what they are currently doing and they will need a lot more time to achieve this.
If they eventually meet to bring up one, what would be your advice and suggestions to them?
As long as it is able to fill the huge gap occasioned by failure of the centrally control security system, ensure protection of lives and properties as envisaged by our constitution, then we are good to go.