THE Federal Government on Tuesday officially shut down the regional security outfit codenamed Amotekun about five days after the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Socio-Cultural group and other northern formations kicked against the initiative.
The security initiative launched by the South West governors officially took-off on 9th January with the sole aim of protecting the region against serial killings and kidnapping allegedly perpetuated by herders.
“When you empower groups and give them arms, the possibility is that others will follow suit and the central government will begin losing its power. Definitely, our politicians will begin to abuse these outfits,” Alhassan Saleh, National Secretary of the group told Saturday Punch.
The South West Governors involved are those from Ekiti, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun.
However, the federal government stated that such security body is not recognised by the constitution, thus is illegal.
“The setting up of the paramilitary organisation called ‘Amotekun’ is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law. The constitutions 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 defence of Nigeria,” statement by the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr Umar Gwandu stated.
The federal government insisted that national security remains exclusive to the government at the centre, citing item 45 of the second schedule.
However, it vowed to take necessary action if anyone or group decides to associate with Amotekun.
“As a consequence of this, no state government, whether singly or in a group has the legal right and competence to establish any form of organisation or agency for the defence of Nigeria or any of its constituent parts. This is sanctioned by the provision of item 45 of the second schedule of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria (as amended) authorising the Police and other federal government security services established by law to maintain law and order.
“The law will take its natural course in relation to excesses associated with organisation, administration and participation in Amotekun or continuous association with it as an association.
“Finally, it is important to put on record that the office of the attorney general and minister of justice was not consulted on the matter. If it had, proper information and guidance would have been offered to ensure that Nigeria’s defence and corporate entity are preserved at all times.”
Prior to the initiative, the South West governors met to discuss likely means to end continuous killings and kidnapping in the region.
Death of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Yoruba socio-cultural chieftain heightened the situation which led President Muhammadu Buhari to meet with the traditional rulers at the presidential villa.