From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The six governors in the southwest geo-political zone of Nigeria have asked the Federal Government to allow Amotekun Corps, which is a security network for the zone, to bear sophisticated weapons in order for them to be more effective in tackling criminals that have been terrorising people with AK-47, and other leather weapons.
This was made known on Tuesday by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State in the goodwill message that he delivered at the opening of the 2021 Law Week of Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan Branch, with the theme: ‘Unity in diversity and sustainable security in Nigeria: Any Role for the Law?’ held at the Aare Afe Babalola Bar Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
According to Makinde, “The South West Governors have resolved to call upon the Federal Government to allow for the increased capacity so that there can be meaningful role being played by Amotekun in provision of security. The era of facing criminal bearing AK47 and X15 with sakabula (dane gun) and pump action is in modern time a ridiculous error.
“Therefore, Amotekun must be allowed to play the role that it can provide security because as of today, the presence of Amotekun in all area of Oyo State, has brought about improved security that is being enjoyed.”
Makinde, who was represented by the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General in the state, Prof Oyelowo Oyewo, stated further: “With the recent experience in Oyo State, it has become necessary to call upon the Federal Government to recognise the need to upgrade the capacity of Amotekun in providing security.
“In Oyo State, Amotekun has become the first responder and this was demonstrated during the jailbreak in Oyo town, where Amotekun suffered loss of lives because there was a disparity between the firepower of the Amotekun and the criminals.”
A prominent lawyer, Chief Joe Gadzama (SAN), his keynote address, advocated constitutional amendment with a view to allowing state police to be created, adding that no central police could effectively address security issues in a large country as Nigeria. But he noted that the problem of the country is not about the right laws but implementation, saying the problematic interplay of ethnicity, religion and politics would continue to fuel militancy and religious movements.
“The importance of good leadership cannot be over-emphasised. Nigerians have held the belief that there is a problem in Nigeria and that the problem is horrendously bad leadership since the country’s independence in 1960; they appear to feel that if they had excellent leaders, their country would be many times more developed than it is.
“Nigeria, without a doubt, has a leadership crisis. But, rather than waiting for good leaders to fall from the sky and do the necessary, every Nigeria should become the good leader he or she desires. To be a credible leader and follower, one must be open to genuine change and not just the mantra of it.”