Yoruba leaders blast FG’s ‘double standards’ on arms bearing by vigilantes

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Major socio-cultural and political organisations in Yorubaland have thrown their weights behind the resolve of the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), to equip Amotekun Corps with sophisticated weapons towards tackling banditry and terrorism in Yorubaland.

The organisations include the Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Yoruba Self-Determination Movement (YSDM) and Apapo Egbe Alaabo Ile Oodua (Homeland Defence and Security Initiative).

Akeredolu had on Thursday chastised the Federal Government on its alleged approval of arms for a state-owned security outfit in Katsina. He accused the Federal Government for being sectional in its activities. He said for the Federal Government to have approved arms for the Katsina State-owned security outfit and deny the same for Amotekun Corps in the South West showed sectionalism.

National Publicity Secretary of  pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation, Afenifere, Mr. Jare Ajayi, said: “What Governor Akeredolu of Ondo State has stated is what is happening. He hit the nail on the head. We are proud of him as a Yoruba son and we are fully behind what he said.

“Some days ago, the governor of Benue State went to President Muhammadu Buhari to lobby him to allow security outfit in that state to carry weapons. We have not heard of the outcome. Now, the president found it convenient and easy to allow the governor of his home state – Katsina, to arm security outfit in the state with sophisticated weapons. This is double standard.

“What operates in Sokoto is supposed to be what is operating in Port Harcourt or in Ibadan, and every part of the country, if we are truly running a united country on a federal basis. There is no reason to pretend about the need for state police now. More so, the governors in the North also said some days ago that they are ready for state police. So, Governor Akeredolu is right on point. The Federal Government should go beyond just allowing the security outfit – Amotekun Corps, to carry heavy weapons, it should allow the state police to come into being.”

Secretary-General of YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, also stated: “The YCE congratulates and commends Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu for standing up for his people because double standard should not be allowed when it comes to preservation of human lives and property.

“In the same country, you don’t expect different laws to exist side-by-side. A law in the South West and South East that says civil defence and co, should not carry arms, and in other part of the country, says they are allowed to carry arms, and even the government is defending their actions. So, we commend Arakunrin Akeredolu for taking politics out of the preservation of human lives, hence the protection of human lives and property. Akeredolu is in order and we commend that courage. We implore other governors in the South West to be courageous enough to emulate him, irrespective of their political affiliations.”

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“I have always called for state police and I remain resolute that states must have their own police, that must be fully armed to protect lives and property in their jurisdiction. This does not stop the federal police from operations because the federal police are to police the federal laws, when the state police are to police the state laws.”

Leader of Yoruba Self-Determination Movement (YSDM), Prof Banji Akintoye, who spoke from Cotonou in Benin Republic, said: “Governor Akeredolu has said a very, very true thing, a truth that we who want Yoruba self-determination, and those who want independent countries like the Biafrans, the people of the Delta and the Middle Belt, have been saying for a long time.

“The British empowered the Fulani over Nigeria in 1960. The answer is clear. Nigeria is not viable. The fact that a section of Nigeria is warring against the rest of Nigeria has destroyed the legitimacy of one Nigeria. The answer is let those who want their countries go.

“Thanks to Akeredolu for what he has said. There have always been, since 1960, two Nigeria. There is a Nigeria of the underprivileged, the vast majority. And there is a Nigeria of the deeply and viciously privileged. It is time to bring it to an end.”

The Leader of Apapo Egbe Alaabo Ile Oodua (Homeland Defence and Security Initiative), Dr Victor Taiwo, also articulated his support for Akeredolu, saying: “It is a known fact that Nigeria is fraught with biased system. There is no argument about the fact. There is no psychological therapy for this. It is double-standard and it should be tackled.”

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