Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, on Wednesday declared that the South-West security outfit, Operation Amotekun, has come to stay irrespective of its legality or otherwise while throwing his support for its establishment by the six state governors from the zone.
Soyinka made this assertion while addressing a press conference at his Kongi’s Harvest Art Gallery, Freedom Park, Lagos, in reaction to Minister of Justice and Attorney-general of the Federation, Abubakar Malami’s declaration that the security outfit was illegal.
Malami had through a statement made available by his office on Tuesday argued that the establishment of the security outfit ran contrary to the provisions of the country’s constitution and therefore illegal.
Soyinka, while throwing his support, disclosed that he had always believed and has always been passionate about self-policing, declaring the federal government cannot deny people who were ready to protect themselves since it had failed to secure the lives and property of citizens as part of its fundamental duty.
He said it was inhuman and unpatriotic as Malami’s action had suggested saying that people do not have the right to flush out the evil ones among them which the existing security outfits had not been able to do.
According to him, this has been the objective the South-West governors had aimed at achieving with the setting up of Operation Amotekun.
“This has been the result of the consciousness by the people of this region. These governors met, looked seriously at the menace, examined its antecedent, they’re elected representatives and they came up with this solution Amotekun,” the Nobel Laureate said, declaring: “Amotekun is a result of meetings to curb the menace in the region.”
“And now some people who have been sleeping all this time, taking belated actions in many directions, watched the citizens of this nation been decimated, villages been wiped out, farmers been chased off their lands, not merely in the North, but West and all the way down South to the East in Enugu. They are now coming and telling us that this initiative is illegal, unconstitutional,” he said.
Soyinka, who noted that there could be criticism concerning fear that the outfit could be misused, however, assured: “there are possibilities for correction.”
“But to come and say that people do not have a right to defend their lives, to secure means of livelihood, to flush out the evil elements among themselves, I am talking about ritual killers, kidnappers, armed robbers, 41niners, in other words, to pick up the slacks which existing security units have been unable to fulfil, I consider this enemy’s action, unpatriotic inhuman,” he said.
The Nobel Laureate, however, expressed the belief that the federal government itself had not yet spoken, saying he refused to believe that any serious government which cared for its citizenry would raise an objection to such kind of initiative aimed at securing lives and properties of the citizens in the country.
“Mr Asemota will say one or two things about the legal contestation but I prefer to believe that the government itself has not spoken, I refuse to believe that any serious government which cares for its citizenry will raise an objection to this kind of initiative.
“But whether they raise it or not, Amotekun has come to stay. Amotekun is a creation of people about humanity, not about legalism,” he declared.
Speaking further, Soyinka argued that Amotekun is only a part of the solution to address myriad of criminalities that are derived from many causes, including poverty, hunger, desperation, sense of alienation.
He said Amotekun should not be crime prevention or the only solution to insecurity, noting that there had to be also social actions and proactive initiatives for the amelioration of the impoverished condition of people of the country.
Amotekun is only a part of the story, we all know the criminality that derives from many causes, among them are poverty, hunger, desperation, sense of alienation. So Amotekun should not be crime prevention or the only solution to insecurity, to criminality, there has to be also social actions, proactive initiatives for the amelioration of the impoverished condition of our people.
“We should move from Amotekun to Arosikun, both should be complementary, in other words, we should start thinking in terms of how to feed our own people, we must think outside the normal parameters of productivity and distribution.
“Hunger is real, poverty is real, it’s very much with us and it’s reaching a critical mass. So we should start thinking of soup kitchens as obtained in other parts of the world, involve the millionaires, billionaires among us to contribute to the covers of our state governments to establish these temporary agencies of amelioration of the condition of our people.
“I don’t want to use the expression of stomach infrastructure, that has a bad odour, for those who promoted it, we know whose stomachs they were looking after so I prefer just ‘Arosikun (food preparation) to end criminality once and for all in our community,” he stated.Read Full Story