The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has condemned the decision of the Federal Government to declare Operation Amotekun illegal. Amotekun, a security outfit was recently set up by South-West governments to address insecurity in the region.
The group in a statement asked the governors to ignore the position of the Federal Government, delivered by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, adding that they should allow the FG to go to court to challenge their decision.
Mr. Malami had announced on Tuesday that the paramilitary organization called “Amotekun” is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law. A position the forum believes is an abuse of office to suppress the rights of federating units to secure themselves.
“We consider his action as an abuse of office to suppress the rights of federating units to secure themselves and in furtherance of the widely – held suspicion that sections of the country are deliberately being rendered vulnerable for herdsmen and other criminals by the Federal Government.
“We ask the Governors of the South West to ignore Malami and allow him to go to court to challenge their decision as he cannot constitute himself a court over elected governors; we are not under military rule.” The group explained that contrary to views, the South-West governors are working to ensure that the lives and property of the region are safe and secure; thereby challenging the AGF to explain why Operation Amotekun is illegal.
“The right to preserve your life cannot be under any exclusive list other than the list of those who have no value for human lives. “The ultra vire action of the AGF has further exposed Nigeria as a country under command and control and governed by a conquest mentality.
“We ask Malami to tell us what makes Amotekun illegal and Hisbah legal, he should further explain to us what makes Civilian JTF legal in the North East where there is war and in Zamfara and Katsina and Kano where there is no war, while Amotekun is his only illegal take,” they insisted.