GOVERNOR Kayode Fayemi on Wednesday says the South West Governors are currently understudying the position of Abubakar Malami, over his suspension of Amotekun security outfit, the regional security outfit established by the state administrators.
Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice had announced on Tuesday that the establishment of a regional security force is illegal.
According to him, the regional security body is not recognised by the Nigerian constitution.
“The setting up of the paramilitary organisation called ‘Amotekun’ is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) has established the Army, Navy, and Airforce, including the Police and other numerous paramilitary organisations for the purpose of the defense of Nigeria,” he said through Dr. Umar Gwandu, his media aide.
But Fayemi said the governors are sitting on the matter and would respond as appropriate soon.
“In no short distance, the governors will respond. I’m sure they are studying the situation,” Fayemi said through his Special Assistant on Media, Yinka Oyebode.
He told The ICIR in an interview that the idea of Amotekun was a joint decision from the six governors.
“The governors’ position is that, at the appropriate time, the governors will speak. You know it’s a collective thing. So, the governors will speak at the appropriate time. They will speak with one voice. You know it’s a collective decision by the six-state governors. So definitely, any reaction will come through them.”
Meanwhile, some leaders under the umbrella body of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum expressed disappointment about the decision of the minister – nullifying Amotekun.
The group questioned the logic and legality of Hisbah and the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in the northern states while the south-western security outfit is being perceived as illegal.
Describing the decision of Malami as an ‘abuse of office’ to deny states from securing themselves, the elders challenged the concerned governors to approach the court to seek redress.
“We consider his action as an abuse of office to suppress the rights of federating units to secure themselves and in furtherance of the widely – held suspicion that sections of the country are deliberately being rendered vulnerable for herdsmen and other criminals by the Federal Government.
“We ask the Governors of the South West to ignore Malami and allow him to go to court to challenge their decision as he cannot constitute himself a court over elected governors; we are not under military rule,” the forum stated.
The forum emphasised that contrary to the popular argument, it is the duty of southwest governors to ensure the safety of their people.
“We ask Malami to tell us what makes Amotekun illegal and Hisbah legal, he should further explain to us what makes Civilian JTF legal in the North East where there is war and in Zamfara and Katsina and Kano where there is no war, while Amotekun is his only illegal take.”
The statement reads further: “The right to preserve your life cannot be under any exclusive list other than the list of those who have no value for human lives.
“The ultra vire action of the AGF has further exposed Nigeria as a country under command and control and governed by a conquest mentality.”