Operation Amotekun continued to dominate national discourse and debates particularly in the South West where it was launched on Thursday, January 9, 2020. So it was at the second year anniversary of the installation of the National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Iba Gani Adams on January 15 and 16 as Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land.
Adams again expressed his displeasure over position of the Federal Government on Amotekun. He said he is still expecting a reply to the letter written to Attorney-General of Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami on the matter:
“I want to state that the right to life cannot be in the exclusive list of any serious government. I call on Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) to ignore your (Malami’s) position on this matter.
“Why do people employ guards in their houses? It is for security. Why do Community Development Associations (CDAs) employ guards to secure streets and areas? It is to ensure protection of life and property.
“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.
“I am aware of similar security outfits in other sections of the country. Why is Malami against the protection of the lives and properties of Yoruba people? That defies logic.
“Security is a serious issue and it should not be toyed it with. If the controversy surrounding Operation Amotekun is not resolved, from intelligence gathering, I can tell you in the next six months, Boko Haram will invade South West.”
Publicity Secretary of the Yoruba social political group, Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin, dismissed insinuations that the security outfit in the South-West codenamed, Amotekun, was designed to drive herdsmen out of the region:
“We are aware that members of Miyetti Allah are jittery and are saying Operation Amotekun will chase them out of South West. But we dare say they have nothing to fear because Amotekun is to protect the Yoruba, Igbo, Miyetti Allah and other tribes as long as they live and conduct their businesses in the South West peacefully.
“However, if their (Miyetti Allah) intention is evil, let us tell them that will no longer be tolerated. I challenge the Federal Government to order the proscription of Hisbah, Civilian JTF and other ethnic security groups nationwide to justify its stance.”
Joe Okei-Odumakin, president, Women Arise for Change Initiative (WACI), said that there should be synergy among regional security outfits irrespective of the names they were called or wherever they were formed: “Let them ensure that those who are at the helm of affairs in terms of security continue to network.
“They should have enough synergy in the way it is reported and coordinated so that at the end, they would take the scorecard and know where to put more efforts. This will also ensure better guarantee of lives and property.”
She argued that Amotekun was long overdue: “There was need for necessary support to ensure that Amotekun became a strong effective outfit complementing the security agencies in fighting crime and criminality in the region. It would help to protect citizens more and complement community policing work of the Nigeria Police.
“Amotekun was not created to compete with state police but to complement their roles in ensuring the security of life and property. Amotekun must not be used to heat up the polity. The country was already grappling with the pains of the colossal loss of lives and properties in recent times.
“A life that is lost can never be brought back, that is why l support anything that can be done to protect lives. I do not want the loss of lives again, it pains and breaks my heart each time a life is lost.”
Sixteen new chiefs drawn from different professions were installed by Adams at the ceremony. They included Adegboyega Salvador, Otun Aare OnaKakanfo; Akinola Osuntokun, Ajagun-Nla; Segun Sanni, Bashorun; Dr. Gboyega Adejumo as Gbonka; Babajide Tanimowo, Atoloye; Abiodun Adewale Kuku, Otun Balogun and his wife, Bolanle Kuku, Erelu. Others were Victor Adewale, Akingbayi and Gani Wahab, Tunaarese.
Fatai Adesina, Opo-Akin; his wife, Yeye Opo-Akin; Obafemi Arowosola, Agbaoye; Esther Oyebola, Yeye Opeluwa and Ibrahim Adeleke, Otun Baaregunwa.
Adams stated that there was no reason for comparison between the Aare Onakakanfo’s chieftains and that of the Alaafin of Oyo. He made reference to the news making the rounds in some quarters that the newly installed Mayegun of Yoruba land, Wasiu Ayinde, was done to compete with Mayegun of Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land. He stressed that it was the plan of some mischief-makers who were bent on twisting history to misinform the public:
“Alaafin is the only monarch with the pre-requisite power to appoint a chieftain representing the entire Yoruba land.” He said he was just performing his traditional roles as the Generalissimo of Yoruba land.
He said those appointed into the new Aare Onakakanfo Chiefs-in-Council were men and women of credible characters: “The stool of the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land was historic. It was created in 1530 and dedicated to the head and king of all warriors in Yoruba land
“As it was in the beginning, and over the ages, as well as now, the Aare Onakakanfo, as the Generalissimo of all warriors in Yoruba land is kept in seclusion prior to his coronation. It was Alaafin, the imperial majesty that has the power to install Aare Onakakanfo and other chieftaincy titles that cover the entire Yoruba land.
“Once installed, the Aare Onakakanfo is mandated to have his Council of Chiefs. And all Aare Onakakanfos, since 1530, had Chiefs and Council of Chiefs. The only two exceptions in the long history of the institution were the late Aare S.L.A. Akintola, former Premier of the old Western Region, and the late Aare M.K.O. Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, who could not constitute their councils due to the political developments of their respective periods. “What we are doing today is aptly history in the making, no worries,
“At my inauguration as the 15th Aare Onakakanfo, our father, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, and the Oyomesi gave me a specific mandate to carry out the functions of my office as the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land in tandem with the established tradition for the progress and wellness of Yoruba land
“I was installed with a beaded crown called ‘Ade Idikoko.’ A sacred crown used to install any Aare Onakakanfo and a staff of office as the king of all warriors in Yoruba land, and this is what we replicate here today to show the unique input of tradition in Yoruba history. The installation committee did well in the selection of designated Aare Onakakanfo Chiefs-in-Council comprising people of note in the society.”