Amotekun: Yoruba leaders knock Tinubu for not taking a stand
Eminent Nigerians, on Wednesday, reacted to the statement of Tinubu on Amotekun.
Tinubu should have kept quiet — Afenifere
The Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, accused Tinubu for sitting in judgment against the governors, all in a bid to please the Federal Government, adding that he should have kept quiet.
Spokesman of the group, Yinka Odumakin, in a reaction, said “it is unfortunate that Tinubu decided to sit in judgment over the South-West governors and his people and those using federal might to rubbish Yoruba people.
“At a time like this, anybody that says he wants to lead his people should be clear on his stance. Anybody who says he is a leader among Yoruba people and he is dancing here and there, going forth and back, that isn’t leadership.
“In 2013, when Jonathan wanted to declare emergency in some northern states, Pesident Muhammadu Buhari spoke clearly for his people as he said Jonathan couldn’t be giving amnesty to Niger Delta boys and be killing Boko Haram boys. He said attack on Boko Haram is attack against the North.
“In 2001, as former head of state, he [Buhari] went to Ibadan to harass Lam Adesina and his words were clear: ‘your people were killing my people.’
“When Chief Fasoranti’s daughter was killed, Tinubu asked: ‘where are the cows?’ Now, when the governors want to put security measures in place, you are now using negative words. It is unfortunate, we think he should have kept quiet,” the group’s spokesman said.
Odumakin added that Tinubu should have kept quiet over the development, adding that “many of the people who had asked him to speak were afraid that he would not stand for what we are saying.
“And when you read the statement he has issued, you will see that he is neither here nor there. He is even saying that many of us who are saying the Federal Government is cheating the South-West have lost our compass. So I see that he should have kept quiet.”
Tinubu not neutral — Okurounmu
A leader of Afenifere, Senator Femi Okurounmu, said Tinubu was pretending to be neutral while actually pitching tent with the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
“I have read it. He tried to impress both sides, the governors and the Federal Government. He is neither here nor there.
“It is a statement of somebody who doesn’t want to offend either sides: he doesn’t want to offend the Yoruba and he doesn’t want to offend Buhari and his people.
“He wants to be a neutral person. But I will remind you of the famous saying: that in the battle of injustice against justice, the neutral person is, in fact, supporting injustice.
“If you say you are neutral when somebody is being unjustly persecuted, and you claim to be neutral, you are part of the persecutors. You are supporting injustice.
“Anybody that is neutral in today’s Nigeria is a supporter of those persecuting the innocent,” he said.
Comment against Amotekun in bad faith —Babatope
A former minister of transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, asked Nigerians to galvanise support for the governors to ensure success of the initiative, adding that opposing comments on Amotekun are in bad faith.
“I felt bad to hear that some people are condemning the actions of the South-West governors in establishing Amotekun. I am very concerned. I want to commend the governors for what they have done.
“The primary duty of any government is the protection of the citizens and to guarantee their security. Anybody who faults it is offending God Almighty.
“Many people have been killed. The governors are taking steps to guarantee security for their people and I think we should all support them.”
There’s wisdom in Tinubu’s position —Majekodunmi
The Bagbile of Egbaland, Chief (Dr) Femi Majekodunmi, however, commended Tinubu for not being hasty in making comment on the establishment of the security outfit.
He said there was wisdom in the position of the national leader of the APC, whom he said had reasoned above all the protagonists and antagonists of Amotekun.
“I can see wisdom in all he has said. He has analysed everything, taking the advantages of Amotekun into considerations and fears of the paramilitary formation,” added the APC chieftain in Ogun State.
Amotekun issue has passed dialogue stage — Akinsola, lawyer
A legal professional in Ogun State, Mr Kayode Akinsola, faulted Tinubu on the call for dialogue on Amotekun, saying a lot of resources had been committed to the smooth take-off of the security outfit.
“Amotekun issue is a consensus that the Yoruba nation has actually been able to agree and arrived at. You cannot be mentioning dialogue when a robber has hit the road. We have started Amotekun.
“People have deployed necessary resources into it. We have passed through the issue of dialogue as far as Amotekun is concerned. Calling for dialogue on the issue is like dragging us back.
“I will regard the stance of Senator Tinubu calling for dialogue will all sense of humility as one that cannot work. He has been so silent on the activities of herdsmen who have caused our people across the South-West states a lot, as regards destruction of farmlands. That is not expected from any leader of any race.
“Amotekun has come to stay and we will be willing to defend its establishment,” Akinsola added.
Tinubu’s comment mere talk, false ego — Don
A retired lecturer of the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan, Dr Ademola Adedokun, said Tinubu’s reaction amounted to mere talk and false ego.
Speaking during a telephone chat with the Nigerian Tribune in Osogbo, he said “Tinubu’s reaction to Amotekun security outfit is mere talk and false ego. Nobody can know the length and breadth of it.
“People who have insight are afraid of unlimited possibilities of its consequences, positive or negative. Certainly, if the people are united and determined, capable of meeting force with force, any organisation will stand.
“Amotekun is not illegal. If they are not afraid of Amotekun, why did the Minister of Justice say it is illegal. They believe it (Amotekun) is going to be capable of defending its territory,” he said.
Be categorical, Olu Alabi challenges Tinubu
Former chairman, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Abuja, Senator Olu Alabi, challenged Tinubu to be categorical about his exact position on Amotekun.
According to him, “he (Tinubu) should let the people of Yoruba know where he actually belongs or his stand on the controvery over the setting up of Amotekun by the governors in the South-West to tackle insecurity and other forms of ciminalities.
“For him to say Amotekun is not a threat to national unity and, at the same time, saying the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, is right on his position in not only confusing, but also ambiguous.”
Tinubu’s reaction belated, unacceptable —Ekiti elders
Ekiti State Elders Council described the public response of Tinubu to Amotekun as “belated and unacceptable.”
Secretary-General of the group, Mr Niyi Ajibulu, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday, said the advice by the APC chieftain for the governors to open discussion with the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, was not necessary, adding that the governors had done the expected on the launching of the outfit.
Ajibulu accused Tinubu of not speaking out “at the right time” on the initiative aimed at securing the region from the scourge of kidnapping, killings and banditry ravaging the states.
Tinubu not in tune with people’s suffering in S/West — Olajide
On his part, Dr Kunle Olajide noted that the response from the former Lagos State governor showed he was not in tune with the sufferings of people in the region.
“His release is a welcome development, though rather coming late in the day. He went to town analysing the situation and in so doing, he created the impression that he is distanced from the people of the region.
“He gave a good leadership in Lagos as governor but for him to be saying he is now initiating communication with the governors in the South-West on Amotekun is a little bit disappointing.
“We want to advise him to be closer to us in the South-West and we don’t want a situation he will be seen more of Federal Government than his people here. We want him to share our pains with us and also our joy,” he said.
Tinubu’s stance objective, balanced, thoughtful — Areoye Oyebola
Former editor of Daily Times, Chief Areoye Oyebola, described Tinubu’s position on Amotekun as objective, balanced and thoughtful.
Oyebola maintained Tinubu reaffirmed his stance that Amotekun was set up like other similar outfits in other geopolitical zones, aimed at strengthening security in the country.
“I have found Tinubu’s rejoinder on the controversies surrounding the new Amotekun system for South-West as very objective, balanced and thoughtful.
“As far as I am concerned, there is nothing bad, negative or against national interest about Amotekun in the South-West.
“In fact, it is similar to other systems being planned by other parts of Nigeria in order to straighten general security of the country and different zones,” Oyebola said.
Tinubu elusive, doesn’t want to be perceived as sectional leader — Don
A political scientist, Dr Gbade Ojo, has said the decision of Tinubu to be elusive in his statement on Amotekun is so as not to be perceived as a Yoruba chauvinist or irredentist.
According to Ojo, Tinubu’s stance was to prevent being seen as a sectional leader, because the Amotekun operation seemingly was having a toga of a Yoruba concept more than a security measure.
Ojo noted that Tinubu’s resolve not to firmly state being in support or against Amotekun may not be unconnected with his purported political ambition.
He, however, held that Tinubu tacitly expressed support for Amotekun by castigating those who assumed that the security outfit was a local army for the Yoruba to secede and asserting that Amotekun was aimed at strengthening the nation’s security apparatchik.
“I can deduce that the national leader of the APC was elusive. He was neither here nor there in the statement and that is understandable. It is understandable in the sense that he does not want to be perceived as a sectional leader.
“Probably going by his ambition, he does not want to be seen as a Yoruba irredentist because the Amotekun operation seems to have put on the toga of the Yoruba idea rather than security issue in South West Nigeria.
“So many interests that are Yoruba chauvinists are promoting Amotekun whereas it is purely a security issue in the South-West.
“For Bola Tinubu to join the fray, either in support or against will mean he is a sectional leader and he does nor want to be perceived as a sectional leader,” Ojo said.
Tinubu’s comment classic case of speaking from both sides of the mouth —Bolawole
A former editor of The Punch and now a columnist, Bola Bolawole, said Tinubu’s statement on Amotekun was a classic case of speaking from both sides of the mouth.
“He approbates and reprobates at the same time, trying to please both sides of a yawning divide. It was effectively a political statement, which might not have come from his soul.
“I agree that he should have looked before he leapt. But I disagree that Amotekun is Neighborhood Watch 2.
“Nigeria is in more precarious state today than it was during Tinubu’s days as governor. So Amotekun without arms will be mere Boys’ Scout on parade. That will not address the existential problem that confronts the South-West today. So Amotekun must bear arms.
“Tinubu neglected to comment on other para-military forces like Hisbah, Civilian JTF in the North bearing arms. Why are they not causing jitters to federal authorities but Amotekun is? Why is Amotekun the ones to be disarmed or will the others also stop or end bearing arms? These are the lacuna in Tinubu’s well crafted speech.
“So, it is not only the South-West governors that must go back to the drawing board on Amotekun, Tinubu’s speech writers should similarly do.
“Again, please ask Tinubu where he was when governors under his wings as APC national leader were forming Amotekun. Did he provide leadership? If so, why is the tail wagging the dog? Why is he just waking up after the people he is supposed to lead from the front have taken the initiative from him? It is a pity Tinubu as Asiwaju now leads from the rear. Can we then still call him Asiwaju?
“Yes, whatever shortcomings should be quickly corrected. Is it that the other armed groups in the North do not have shortcomings? Still they are functioning. Shortcomings should not be used as an excuse to truncate Amotekun. The baby must not be thrown away with the bath water,” he said.
It’s an insult to ask govs to dialogue with FG — Osibogun
Renowned Ijebu-born business mogul and convener of Yoruba Ko’ya Movement, Chief Deji Osibogun, said it was an insult to ask governors to discuss with the Federal Government over Amotekun.
“Nothing that the governors have done is wrong that needs a dialogue. With due respect, Tinubu is on both sides of the bridge. What is the dialogue about? Is it the dialogue that the governors have done already?
“Dialogue is okay and it is a democratic way of working to solve a problem, but not with someone who had declared Amotekun illegal.
“Should they continue to discuss the legality? There are better ways to tackle this problem,” he said.
Tinubu fighting for his selfish interest – Lukosi of Igbeinland
The Lukosi of Igbehinland, Chief Olaniyi Odejayi, said he supported Amotekun because there was no security in Nigeria.
“As you can see, all perpetrators of these crimes do not kill their people, they kill the Yoruba people. It is now time for Yoruba people to stand up and fight for their rights.
“Tinubu is just fighting for his selfish interests. There are insinuations that he wants to become the president of Nigeria. The Yoruba now need to cooperate. A governor in the south-eastern part of the country has openly supported the initiative.
“Enough is enough. It is time to rise up and fight for ourselves. Amo tekun has come and it has stayed, there is nothing anyone can do otherwise,” he said.