Acting National Chairman of SDP, Chief Supo Shonibare, has lampooned the federal government over the lingering legality issue of the security outfit set up by the South West Governors called ‘Amotekun’.
According to Shonibare, “Amotekun is a legitimate solution to enhancing the security architecture of the various South-West states participating in this most welcome approach to addressing the deteriorating state of insecurity in the various South West.
“Marauding Herdsmen appear to have been targeting the South West as a profitable cash cow zone, which invents seem to have enabled the rise in kidnapping and killings-intended to instil fear on the citizenry to always elect to pay a ransom.
“Armed robbery and other forms of criminal acts have also put the life & property of the inhabitants on a cliff edge of fear and trepidation.
“The Police lack the resources and the manpower pool to meet all these security challenges.
“In order to stem the tendency of individuals to resort to self-help in protecting themselves and property with the attendant chaos and anarchy that may portend, the South West Governors in an act of patriotism, consistent with the constitutional responsibilities of being the Chief Security Officer of their State, have sought a process to harness the right of self- defence enshrined in our being a National State, in a manner that clearly identifies those assisting in ensuring that anyone committing a crime or threatening or planning to do so is identified and handed over to the Police. The security architecture of any state transcends policing.
“Policing and arraignment is actually the last stages in the security architecture of any settlement. This will necessarily require other participants assisting the monitoring, maintenance and intelligence gathering along the chain.
“One would have imagined that a federal entity dependent on 80-90 funding of policing and security in some States, would gladly welcome the efforts of the Governors in enhancing the security of their States. Amotekun outfit is not licensed to bear firearms.
“The Joint Civilian/ Military Task Forces assisting the Military in parts of the North appear do bear arms. One welcomes any security architecture able to combat. Policing and Military are presently the function of the government of the Federation.
“But security of life and property is not on the exclusive list. We are all enjoined to take legal actions capable of enhancing the security architecture and assisting the process of policing.
“It’s simply common sense. The Governors need not seek the permission of anyone to activate such an action to protect its citizens. The provisions the AG has cited is more relevant to the Hisbah alternate policing outfits and other armed militia.
“It’s most mischievous and a really wild stretch to seek to extend that description to an unarmed civilian outfit carrying out continuing security vigilance and awareness consistent with the various action already embarked upon by South West Governors like provisions of funding the logistics for the police and installation of CCTV devices in several parts of the Zone.
“Or maybe the AG will also deem these to also illegal actions as they also compliment policing. As defective as our present constitution is, it’s framers still had the good sense not to include the AG in those constituting the members of the Police Council.
“It’s members are the President as Chairman, the 36 State Governors, the IG of Police and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission. The Council carries out functions incidental to administration & organization of the Police, but the powers of operation control, appointment, disciplinary and dismissal are excluded.
“It will be interesting if we test the extent of the administrative functions of the Council in a Court of law as although the President is the Chairman of the Council, the States are the predominant members.
“The AG’s functions is restricted to enforcing perceived contravention of clear provisions of the law in a manner of general application and not a selective unsolicited counsel opinion (which is at best what he has done), in a manner that is not helpful to enhancing the security architecture of the country.
“One welcomes any security architecture able to assist the Police and the Military overcome our state of insecurity. Or maybe the AG will also deem these to be also illegal actions as they also compliment policing”.