Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson insists Operation Amotekun has made the restructuring of the country inevitable.
The Federal Government has come under attack for declaring the security initiative of South-West governors to check criminal activities in their states illegal. And Dickson, who has thrown their weight behind Operation Amotekun, says the governors opted for the outfit because of “the politicisation and collapse of the centralised national security apparatus in the country”.
“The politicisation and overcentralisation of security without an effective funding mechanism and arrangements for professionalism has reduced Nigeria to an un-policed country,” the governor said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, on Monday.
He warned that if the country was not restructured, there might be nothing left for Nigerians to restructure when they were ready.
Dickson, who described “Amotekun as a component of the restructuring” which he had championed, said every South-South state had some form of internal security mechanism to collaborate with the law enforcement agencies.
According to him, his state has Bayelsa Volunteers, State Vigilante, Community Safety Corps and Water Water Security.
He said, “No governor from the South-South has made serious comments on the issues of restructuring, state police and true federalism
“I have taken the message for restructuring, true federalism and the need for state police everywhere, even to the doorstep of the President.”
Dickson added, “Amotekun is a clear issue of restructuring. It is like state and regional police that I have been calling for.”
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, says Amotekun has the backing of both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West.
Fani-Kayode said this during an interview with reporters in Abuja on Sunday.
He said, “Whether you are in the PDP or in the APC, it doesn’t matter. The fact remains that those of us that claim to be South-West leaders have taken a decision. We will protect our people no matter what it takes, no matter what it cost.
“There is no going back and it is something we have firmly resolved about. We speak as one, we stand as one; we are solidly behind the governors. Every group in the South-West is behind the governors. It is across party lines.”
He said the announcement by Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), that the outfit was illegal was his personal opinion.
Fani-Kayode asked the Federal Government to explain why there was Civilian Joint Task Force in the North-East and Sharia police and Hisbah in the North-West.
The PDP chief added that South-West leaders had resolved to stop the incessant bloodletting in their region by marauders.
He said, “Anybody that feels that they don’t have to support the people of the South-West is making a mistake. And anybody that believes that we can be in anyway intimidated by stepping down and saying we will not protect our people from those killing them is making a mistake.”
The ex-minister recalled the daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, was killed while Chief Olu Falae’s farm was invaded by suspected herdsmen two years ago.
He said, “So, our opinion is different. In any case, whatever he says, whatever court says we have the right to self-defence. People are being slaughtered. The leader of Afenifere’s daughter was slaughtered, Baba Olu Falae’s farm raided; he was kidnapped and beaten like a dog, he was insulted.
“Thousands of our people are being slaughtered in the South-West and somebody will tell us that his interpretation of the constitution is that we don’t have the right to self-defence.”