Amotekun: Malami’s statement disturbing ― Gani Adams
• Warns against plunging Nigeria into another war
Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, on Wednesday said he finds it disturbing the statement by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, declaring the security initiative of SouthWest governors ‘Amotekun’ as illegal.
Iba Adams, while calling on the six SouthWest governors to ignore Malami and move on, querying why do people employ guards in their houses or community if not for purposes of ensuring protection of lives and property, warned against setting bad example and plunging the country into another war in this very week that Nigeria is marking “the 50th anniversary of the end of the civil war.”
The Aare Ona Kakanfo said this in a statement titled: ‘Protest over illegal order to SouthWest governors,’ made available to Tribune Online in reaction to Malami’s comment on the SouthWest security outfit, even as he asserted that the attorney general’s outburst against the governors who were elected, selected or appointed, was against the spirit of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as the right to life amidst threat of killings, kidnappings, banditry, among others in the South-West recently, was universal and no government can legislate against such.
“I find disturbing your statement of Tuesday, January 14, 2020, declaring the security initiative of SouthWest governors ‘Amotekun’ as illegal.
“You also threatened that the full course of the law will be applied to anybody promoting the Amotekun security initiative.
“Maybe you have forgotten. I need to remind you that you are the Attorney-General of the country, not a section of the country.
“So, your outburst against the governors who were elected, selected or appointed, is against the spirit of 1999 Constituted (as amended).
“The right to life is universal and no government can legislate against that. I don’t need to bother you about killings, kidnappings, banditry and other criminal vices in the South-West recently,” Iba Adams said.
Adams, who sadly recalled that Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the leader of pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, was killed and nobody had been arrested in respect of all these killings, maintained that it was very clear beyond any reasonable doubt that Nigerians have the right to protect themselves.
The Aare Ona Kakanfo, who argued that not only do the people of South- West have a right to protect and defend themselves against attacks, added that Amotekun is an initiative by the South-West governors to defend their people.
“One thing is clear: Nigerians have the right to protect themselves. Not only that: South-West people have a right to protect and defend themselves against attacks.
“Amotekun is an initiative by the South-West governors to defend our people,” he said.
Iba Adams argued further that where Malami got it wrong was that the Amotekun initiative had nothing to do with the territorial integrity of Nigeria, saying if there was a breach of the territorial integrity of the country, it was the duty of the military to take care of immediately.
“So, nobody is rising against Nigeria, as your letter to the governors, directly or indirectly, implied.
“What is happening is that our people no longer feel safe because the land has been invaded by some elements from within and outside the country.
“It is unfortunate that rather than praise the governors, you are condemning their action, thereby strengthening the hands of those who believe the Federal Government is against some sections of the country.
“As a lawyer and a Senior Advocate, you should know that you are not the law. You are only the Attorney-General, not a court.
“It is only a court of competent jurisdiction that will decide if what an individual, group of individuals, an entity or a state does is legal or otherwise.
“So, it is only a court that can invalidate the South-West joint security initiative, not you,” Adams argued.
While insisting that the Yoruba had a right to protect themselves from attack or violence of any sort, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land contended that issues having to do with the security of lives and properties are highly sensitive, saying it could be understood where the threat was now coming from.
He said it was unfortunate that the Federal Government was doing everything to frustrate the SouthWest governors’ efforts, recalling that the Presidency had last Wednesday, less than 24 hours before the launching of Amotekun in Ibadan, summoned the governors to Aso rock as part of the intrigues playing out.
“We knew about the intrigues that played out at the meeting. We knew about the frustrations at Aso rock, but the governors, having realised the implications of playing politics with the lives of their people, stood their ground and went ahead to launch the security outfit as planned,” Adams said.
“So, it is your position on this volatile situation that is illegal, unlawful, immoral and of no effect because your declaration has proved some critics right that some states in the country are deliberately left vulnerable to attacks by criminals,” he declared.
“I want to state that the right to life cannot be in the exclusive list of any serious government,” Adams insisted.
While calling on the six SouthWest governors to ignore Malami’s position on Amotekun, Adams directed his attention to people who employed guards in their houses and community for security purpose, querying: “Is that initiative in the exclusive list of the constitution?”
“No. I repeat that the right to preserve and protect your life can never be in the exclusive list of any government,” the Aare maintained, just as he disclosed that he was aware of similar security outfits as Amotekun in other sections of the country, saying reason Malami was against the protection of the lives and properties of Yoruba people defied logic.
“I am aware of similar security outfits in other sections of the country. Why you are against the protection of the lives and properties of Yoruba people defies logic.
“This week is the 50th anniversary of the end of the civil war. We should do everything to avoid plunging the country into another war. Mr Malami, please don’t set a bad precedent,” he cautioned.