Amotekun, Solution to Insecurity in Nigeria — Gbajabiamila
..Senate condemns Plateau killings, abductions
By Anthony Okafor
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has described Amotekun, a South-West regional security initiative and similar regional outfits, as solution to the insecurity in the country.
Amotekun has generated a heated debate by different stakeholders, since it was launched late in 2019.
The Speaker gave his opinion on the issue on Wednesday, in his resumption speech to his colleagues, where he also queried the “gaps and weaknesses within the security infrastructure living Nigerians vulnerable to bandits, kidnappers and insurgents.
He commended the Governors of South-West for the security arrangement for the region.
His words: “Recently, the Governors of Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Oyo and Ondo states, took action to implement a regional security network to support the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in preventing crime and protecting the lives and property of those our citizens who live, work and travel through these states.
“The establishment of Àmòtékùn, as the network is called, has met with commentary from across the country, both for and against. Too often, it has seemed to me that lost in these interactions is the hard, brutal and unavoidable fact that Àmòtékùn and other such state or zonal interventions that already quietly exist in other parts of the country, are a desperate response to the vile manifestations of insecurity that trouble the lives of citizens, depriving them of the peace and security that gives life meaning.
“I do not know that Àmòtékùn or whatever iterations of it may follow represents the ultimate or perfect solution to the problem of insecurity in our country”, he stated.
He added that “the localised manifestations of insecurity across the different parts of our country, call for unique and localised approaches that take those peculiarities into account”.
He however advised that the arrangement should abide by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
“What I also know, is that whichever approach we seek, we are obligated to work within the limits imposed by the constitution to which we all swear allegiance”, but added that “Above all else, I am certain in the knowledge that doing nothing is not an option. We have a responsibility as legislators to support the best efforts of those who act with noble intent to protect our citizens”.
The Speaker in his speech, also lamented the killing of Pastor Lawan Andimi and a student of Plateau origin, by Boko Haram terrorists.
“All people of conscience, mourn the loss of a reverend and a senior member of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Adamawa State, Mr Lawan Andimi, a good and honourable man, who through the church and in his personal capacity served the people of his community earning their reverence and our collective gratitude. In the midst of our mourning, our hearts were broken once more by the release of a video depicting the gruesome assassination of Mr Ropvil Dalep Daciya, a student from Plateau State who was abducted by suspected Boko Haram terrorists on his way back to school at the University of Maiduguri.
“God forbid that it is now our nation’s fate to live forever under the threat of abduction and murder. What gaps and weaknesses continue to exist in the national security infrastructure that makes us more susceptible to the machinations of those who seek to achieve wealth and power through brutal violence? How do we achieve for all our people, a just and honourable peace? These questions are never too far from my mind, and I know that it is the same for you too because often it is you who are at the frontlines responding to the concerns of constituents who have themselves been victimised and those who fear that the moment of their own affliction is only a matter of time and circumstance”, he said.
“Honourable colleagues, this House will shortly take action to put these questions before those agencies of our national security to whom our constitution and other legislation have granted the powers and the resources to ensure the safety and security of all our people.
“Our cup of endurance has run over and we are no longer willing to labour under these dark clouds of random violence inflicted upon our people by faceless cowards whose ends we do not understand, and whose means we do not know. Overcoming our overwhelming national security challenges now requires of us all that we be willing to accept new approaches and consider novel ideas.
Neither the security institutions nor political leaders can afford to hold on too tightly to a status quo whose frustrating limitations are painfully evident, whilst reflexively rejecting innovations that may improve our fortunes if properly implemented”.