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Tinubu lists failures made by South West governors on Amotekun

Oladele Olamide

Jan. 22, 2020

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday listed some of the major setbacks on the Western Nigerian Security Network (WNSN) codenamed Amotekun.
Tinubu made the disclosure in his first pronouncements on the Amotekun saga, in a statement titled The Public Discourse over Amotekun.
In the lengthy statement, the posited that Amotekun is not a threat to Nigeria’s existence but also listed steps he described as failures in the procedure leading to the establishment of the security outfit.
His words on the Amotekun misteps: “their failure to include the office of the Attorney-General in these discussions is the fount of the current public uproar. This was an unfortunate omission the governors should regret and seek to remedy.
However, the conceptual merits and positive functional aspects of Amotekun should not be tainted by this procedural defect.
“While the Attorney-General is a conscientious public servant, he is also human. Not having been consulted, he was suddenly faced with an unexpected public announcement regarding a matter within his official ambit. He likely feared the failure to consult him meant that federal prerogatives were being encroached.
To blame him for this conclusion would be to blame human nature itself. Though his negative reaction was understandable it was also unhelpful.
“The Attorney-General acted hastily in rendering a public statement that was more inaccurate than it should have been. Amotekun was never proposed as a “defence” agency; the Attorney-General erred in using this description.
The use of uniforms and brightly coloured vehicles may not be the best ideas but they do not render Amotekun a defence agency or paramilitary group any more than a designated school van carrying uniformed students constitutes a paramilitary deployment.
“Believing the governors had crossed the line, the Attorney-General should have reached out to them. Before going public, he should have sought a private meeting so that he could have a better factual understanding of Amotekun. This would have enabled him to give the governors any specific constitutional or other objectives he might have.
In this way, the two sides would have engaged in private consultations to reach agreement on the way forward. This cooperative process might have helped to correct some of the organisational lapses above identified. Such a diplomatic and wise step also would have prevented the current public acrimony now surrounding the issue.
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