Wednesday, January 22, 2020 2:37 pm
By Nehru Odeh
National leader of the All Progressive Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu plans to meet with governors of the South-West over Amotekun in order to broker peace between them and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami. He said this in a statement he issued on Wednesday, 22 January, 2020.
“In trying to help resolve this matter, I have initiated communication with the Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, with a view to meeting the South West governors to explore amicable solutions to the avoidable controversy. I am sure that, at the end of it all, peace, security, and progress shall reign in our nation,” the statement reads.
In the statement entitled, “The Public Discourse Over Amotekun,” Tinubu said he does not see any reason for the conflict of interest between Malami and the South-West governors.
“In this matter, I do not see malign intent in the differences of opinion between the South-West governors as authors of Amotekun and the Attorney-General as the primary law enforcement officer of the Federal Government. Shorn of the overly dramatic language, what lies before us is but a step in the evolution of our federalism. This is an opportunity to more clearly define that federalism; but one cannot attain this better, more functional definition through overblown, emotional language. Objectivity and calmness are required.
He said since the governors are protecting the interest of their people on the one hand while Malami is protecting that of the federal government on the other, there should be a meeting point.
“Seeking to fulfill their mandates by helping protect their people, the governors of the South-west collectively established a program to buttress existing security mechanisms. Seeking to protect the constitution as best he could, the Attorney-General offered his opinion on what he believed the governors have sought to do. No one can blame either party for seeking to fulfill what they genuinely see as their public duty.
He also called on the conflicting parties to sheathe their swords and dialogue privately. “Those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion. …Those claiming that the Federal Government seeks to terribly suppress the Southwest have also lost their compass. Those who occupy these two extremes have sunken into the dark recesses of fear and political paranoia that can undo a nation if such sentiments are allowed to gestate,”
The former governor of Lagos State however took a swipe at those who had been waiting for him to issue a statement to see which side of the political divide he belongs.
“Until now, I have deliberately maintained a studied silence regarding Amotekun. Many have tried to goad my swift public reaction. Those who have taken this road did so not because they care about Amotekun or even the people it intends to help protect. They did so knowing this had become a delicate and emotional issue for many. These cynics did so with the adversarial hope that, in haste, I might misspeak or misstep in a manner they could twist to their political advantage.
“If truly I am a political leader as I am often described, then I have not the luxury of hasty, ill-conceived utterances. There are those who will use inflamed words to spark the passions of others. This may bring transient applause. But when the cheers fade, we shall only have further descended because their words were never inclined toward resolution and long-term improvement but toward short-term popularity and perpetual confrontation
“Such people are possessed of a mercenary aspect that permits them to sacrifice almost anything, even jeopardize the very foundations of our political unity, if they might exact personal gain from the upheaval. In that they know no nobler purpose than their own appetites, we should feel sorry for them. However, we must not allow our sympathies for their barren condition to persuade us that there is worth in their destructive misconduct. They must be left to the consequences of their own devices.