The Yoruba Self-determination Movement (YSDM) has called on the Governors of the Yoruba States to equip the Western Nigeria Security Network Amotekun with AK47 to enable them to match Fulani terrorists fire for fire.
The organization said it is in full support of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo in the quest to make sure that members of the Amotekun are properly equipped to defend the citizens of the Yoruba states against terrorists of the Fulani stock that have been rampaging the forest of the southwest.
In a statement made available to Newsmen by the Vice- Chairman of the Movement, Mr. Banji Ayiloge, the movement is of the opinion that states need no approval from the Federal government to protect their citizens. This position is more tenable when it is on record that the lameduck Buhari administration had tacitly allowed a similar organization in his own state to train and acquire and AK47 assault rifles.
Certainly, the denial by the federal government is unrealistic and untrue. Mr. Ayiloge added that nobody trains on assault riffle only to be issues a dane gun.
The YSDM also believes that by denying Yoruba states the requisite weapons to equalize the kind of weapon being used to terrorize citizen of our states by terror groups and marauding herdsmen armed with sophisticated weapons.
The Buhari administration has demonstrated that it feels that Yoruba people are underlings in what is supposed to be a federation of equals.
These groups have been terrorizing the people of the South West for many years. If these persists, non-state actors may have no choice than to form themselves into militias to defend and protect their properties and families.
Undoubtedly, the need for members of the Amoktekun Corps to carry assault weapons have become necessary and immediate in view of the announced incursion of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) into the South West region. According to the terrorist group, “we are already in the South West, we are responsible for attacks in Ondo State.” The terror group went further and stated that the attack in Ipele, Owo Local government area of Ondo state was carried out by “soldiers of the caliphate.”
These are well-trained and well-armed terror groups that have carried out attacks on the presidential convoy and attacked Kuje prison and freed their fellow terrorists. Does the federal government truly believe that Amotekun Corps can successfully engage these terrorists with dane guns or home-made firearms? It is instructive to know that they have mounted other daring attacks resulting in the deaths of law enforcements officers.
It is the firm believe of YSDM that the function of Amotekun in complementing the efforts of the law enforcement agencies require that they be fully armed with modern weapons in order to curb the terrorism and other criminal activities of lawless individuals who are armed with modern automatic weapons.
The federal government should ignore the statement credited to one Hakeem Baba Ahmed, the Northern Elders Forum spokesman who seems to think only vigilantes in Katsina State and other Northern parts of the country can carry assault rifles to protect their people.
Baba Ahmed referenced the illegality of Amotekun carrying arms while indirectly advocating for the right of vigilantes in the North to carry sophisticated weapons. The spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum just cannot get past master-servant relationship in his puerile and incoherent response to Governor Akeredolu. He appears to have a distorted ideas about the extent of insecurity in the South West.
It is important for Northerners to stop exhibiting hubristic behavior. It is this kind of behaviors that makes it compelling for Yoruba people to exit Nigeria within months. Essentially, if vigilantes in Katsina can carry assault weapons for the defense of their people, members of the Amotekun Corps ought to be able to carry appropriate arms for the defense of the people of their respective states.
The fact of the matter is that governor have absolute constitutional right to protect their people. He sworn an oath to do just that. Governor Akeredolu is right while Hakeem Baba Ahmed is patently wrong in his ill-conceived reaction to the governor’s request.