Former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu, has suggested ways to resolve the disagreement between the Buhari government and Southwest governors over Amotekun.
Amotekun, an initiative of Southwest Governors, has been declared illegal by the Buhari government.
Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in a statement on Wednesday, told Nigerians that the matter cannot be resolved on the pages of newspapers or by attributing negative motives to either side.
He noted that the best way is for the two sides to enter into private discussions; that either the governors should seek an official but private meeting with the Attorney-General, or the Attorney-General can initiate the contact.
Tinubu said: “Since Amotekun is their initiative, the governors bear the greater onus in seeking the meeting. The meeting will initiate further discussion on how to resolve what appears to be a misunderstanding caused by an unfortunate lack of communication. Remedy the gap in communication and the misunderstanding will begin to disappear.
“I again stress to well-intentioned Nigerians to shun those who employ heated language to inflame emotions. It does us no good to rush toward exaggerated statements that suggest calamity of the highest order. Don’t allow yourselves to be fodder for those who seek to divide us.
“The fabric of the Republic has not been put at stake by Amotekun. However, that fabric could be torn by the dangerous rhetoric of those who should know better. Those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion.
“Those claiming that the Federal Government seeks to terribly suppress the Southwest have also lost their compass. Those who occupy these two extremes have sunken into the dark recesses of fear and political paranoia that can undo a nation if such sentiments are allowed to gestate.
“We are one nation, 200 million strong with 36 states and a great complex of federal authority residing in dozens of federal ministries and agencies. If everyone is allowed their democratic expression, there are bound to be disagreements. This is inherent in the federal structure.
“Nations that have practised federalism much longer than us still frequently debate over where the line between state and federal power is to be drawn. They have hundreds of court cases each year on this very issue. Yet they do not attack each other as we do. We must all learn to be more restrained and judicious in our reactions when such disagreements arise.
“Before leaping from our seats to lift our voice to the high rafters in profound indignation, we first would be wise to properly discern the situation. We must ascertain whether it merely is a tempest in a teapot or whether our house and all its teapots are swirling in a real tempest.
“Despite the ominous headlines and heated talk, an objective analysis points more clearly to the former than the latter. The resolution of this matter is not beyond us if only we allow ourselves to be the democrats that our better conscience and the very documents of our national existence call us to be.
“In trying to help resolve this matter, I have initiated communication with the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, with a view to meeting the South-West governors to explore amicable solutions to the avoidable controversy. I am sure that, at the end of it all, peace, security, and progress shall reign in our nation”.