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AMOTEKUN: Tinubu finally breaks silence, says Amotekun is ‘inoffensive,’ provokes ‘sober thought’

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BOLA Tinubu, National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday finally responded to the controversial South West Security Network code-named Amotekun, weeks after it was launched by the regional Governors.

Since the security network came to limelight, it has been trailed, daily with mixed reactions with far expectations from the public, particularly to get inputs of the former governor of Lagos.

The federal government’s resolve to suspend the security outfit also ignited serious demonstrations in each state of the south-west.

But in his reaction, Tinubu described the security initiative as such that is limited in operation, inoffensive and complements efforts of the Nigerian Police.

He also denied claims that the Federal Government’s decision to shut down the initiative was targeted to ‘suppress’ the south-west region.

“Those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion.

“Those claiming that the Federal Government seeks to terribly suppress the Southwest have also lost their compass. Those who occupy these two extremes have sunken into the dark recesses of fear and political paranoia that can undo a nation if such sentiments are allowed to gestate,” his statement read.

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According to him, arguments on the security network are bereft of logic as parties concerned were subjective in reasoning.

He emphasised on how the initiative became a political tool within the shortest period, stressing why he delayed in his response to the issue.

“Amotekun. This issue has dominated recent discourse and media headlines. Distilled to its basics, it concerns how best state governments can assist with the safety and security of their residents. This is a matter of serious concern entitled to sober thought. However, it has been turned into a political tug-of-war. Fierce, often unthinking rhetoric, for and against, has crossed the lips of too many Nigerians. More subjective talking than objective thinking has been the fuel of this outburst.”

The statement continues, “Question those in favour of Amotekun. Most have but the vaguest notion about it. They know few details yet vigorously attribute to its opponents the most negative intentions. Ask those who oppose Amotekun. They are equally ignorant of its provisions. They oppose the initiative not on its merits but merely because it was proposed by their political opponents or because they don’t see an avenue for personal gain from it.

“While colourful, the rhetoric has been disconcerting. How people have mishandled this matter demonstrates that we still have far to go in perfecting this democracy. Too much energy has been spent distorting this issue instead of seeking a resolution that supports local enhancement of security while keeping the constitution intact. If this becomes the standard for how we handle disagreements then we will obscure Nigeria’s path forward with our own rubbish.”

However, Tinubu called for caution describing the situation as the best opportunity to review the nation’s democratic system of government.

Objectivity and calmness are required; he noted stressing that disagreements are inevitable.

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“…Shorn of the overly dramatic language, what lies before us is but a step in the evolution of our federalism. This is an opportunity to more clearly define that federalism; but one cannot attain this better, more functional definition through overblown, emotional language. Objectivity and calmness are required.

“To a significant degree, the enduring quality of our republic will be established by the sagacity with which we handle disagreements regarding the division of power between federal and state governments. Such disagreements are inevitable. This is not the first. Nor will it be the last. We must devote our energies more toward solving problems rather than amplifying them.

“Seeking to fulfil their mandates by helping protect their people, the governors of the Southwest collectively established a program to buttress existing security mechanisms. Seeking to protect the constitution as best he could, the Attorney-General offered his opinion on what he believed the governors have sought to do. No one can blame either party for seeking to fulfil what they genuinely see as their public duty.

“Until now, I have deliberately maintained a studied silence regarding Amotekun. Many have tried to goad my swift public reaction. Those who have taken this road did so not because they care about Amotekun or even the people it intends to help protect. They did so knowing this had become a delicate and emotional issue for many. These cynics did so with the adversarial hope that, in haste, I might misspeak or misstep in a manner they could twist to their political advantage.”

Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Email address: [email protected] Twitter handle: @OluAdanikin

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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