As controversy continues to trail the formation of a security outfit to tackle rising threats in the Southwest, Engr. Muftau Open Salawu, the Wazirin jari Nupe, who’s also a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo state, speaks in this interview with OLUWAFEMI AJIBOYE on the regional security outfit.
Do you support the formation of Amotekun.
It is not a case of supporting Operation Amotekun or not, but the first question is, do we have security challenge in the south-west? Yes we have. Just like any other region there are security challenges such as the bandits, kidnappers and other crimes and for anybody that has been a victim of this insecurity, such person will definitely see any measure that could improve security situation as a solution. But again it must be within the cover of the law.
As a member of the ruling party, what can you say about the decision of the federal government to declare the Operation amotekun illegal?
You see if there is any breakdown of law and order in any part of the nation, it is the Federal Government that would be worried most, but what the Federal Government is saying is that, if there would be Amotekun, it must have a legal backing, so that it would not be a case of having parallel police or a case whereby every region will have a similar thing. But I know that the idea behind Operation Amotekun is not to have a parallel police, but to assist the policing architecture in the South-west.
It is true many are worried about the operation modules or what it’s going to look like, i think there should be more awareness before the launching of Operation Amotekun itself so that people will know that it is about supporting the existing security architecture not to create a parallel one. You will agree with me that the security situation in the South-west in terms of security is not too encouraging, but I think our Governors can do better, most especially those who are of the same party with the Federal Government which is APC, can sit down and have a proper understanding on how best to run this programme and have a better result so that it would have a legal backing, and as well a smooth operation, without having any conflict and without any body having any worry or to be afraid of the way it would be operating.
What do you think should be done to make Operation Amotekun effective and sustainable.
First and foremost, the Governors should have a proper and clean module publicised and get a backing from their respective House of assembly, so that it can be pass into law that such organization exist and appropriation would be made for it. It won’t be a case of why Governors would do it unilaterally without the backing of the legislators and i believe it that if it is done, certainly the Attorney General will not have a problem with that. For the Attorney General of the Federation, it’s normal for what he has said, as the Attorney General he can’t fold his arms and watch such important part of exclusive list being exercised by regional or six states come together South-west for that matter and don’t forget it’s not only the South-west that is facing security challenges but it’s South-west Governors that took the first step, that if the Attorney General did not make any pronouncement, i can assure you that other regions will also have similar thing which it could become messy. But again the South-west Governors will not be folding their arms and be watching as well getting the security situation so deteriorated that you can’t even travel from Ibadan to Ondo state.
Miyetti Allah said South West will loose Presidency slot if Amotekun is allowed. Do you see it’s creation as a whole threat?
Miyetti Allah is a social cultural group and i believe that they are just trying to protect the interest of their members and make themselves also relevant in the political cycle, if not they don’t have the power to determine who becomes the president of this country. As a matter of fact, no region can win the presidential election alone, it requires two to three region to form alliance to be able to get the required constitutional vote to become the president. People from the South-west are civilised and logical in pursue of the interest of the people of this region. I will employ all spokespersons from different groups from the South-west to please caution themselves to desist from inflammatory statements that could make the situation worse as we all need one another. If Miyetti Allah make some statements that are not pleasing to us, we don’t need to be reactive. We have been very proactive with this measure, but again we still need to discuss about it, so that it would be acceptable to other regions. Mind you security is a very serious issue and it’s everybody concern, but everybody want to be in a very secure environment, and it’s when the environment is secure that other things can strive. I would advise that people should try to guide what their utterances would be at this moment, it is not about next election, it is about the current situation, there can’t be next election of there is no peace, so please let’s try to be civil.