It brings about a big challenge to address the de la crème of the Nigerian journalists, Osun State Chapter, which is always reputed today to be one of the best chapels in the country.
It is very much unusual to be hosted by a set of people who set agenda for the society not as an august visitor but as a common citizen who is fairly armed to uncage reactions to some apparent wrongs bordering on some steps recently taken on collective security of the people in the Southwest of the country. As a representative of the Supreme Council for Sharia, we are here to unequivocally state our position on the recently proposed Southwest of Nigeria Security Outfit which was just midwifed by the current six Southwest Governors in the country.
About three weeks ago, Nigerians were rudely awakened with the launching of a new Security Outfit codenamed Amotekun by the six governors of the region. In a twinkling of an eye, what was initially perceived as a rumour by a sizeable section of the region suddenly became a burning and trending story in all the media outlets.
It is very much instructive at this juncture to re-emphasis importance of putting in place all the necessary mechanism useful in a targeted effort to enhance efficient secure environment for all the citizens in the country.
This is so believed on the ground that smooth economic activities can thrive save only in an environment devoid of any sort of insecurities. Vicariously, it definitely adds to quality of standard of living of the people.
However, the furtive creation of the Amotekun by these governors without proper consultations has left the majority of the stakeholders who are mostly Muslims in the region panting. Such a development is ordinarily and reasonably expected to be a brain-child of an all-inclusive stakeholders’ meeting where the multi-component structures of the region vis a vis the complexities entrenched in sociological composition of the country at large would be exhaustively considered. No doubt about it, provision of safety for lives and property epitomizes the fulcrum of the government responsibility and to effectively achieve such, collective contributions of all the people regardless of their ethnic and religious creed are constantly required.
Criminal killings had happened here and there and everywhere in the recent past thus the situation being now painted as a ground to exclude the Muslims in the creation of a security outfit is false and affirmation of a saying that lies repeated over a length of time will definitely wear a garment of the truth. Instances listed below explain better:
Offa bank Robbery attack was a robbery which led to the death of over 33 people. The robbery was carried out in four commercial banks on April 4, 2018 in Offa; a neighbouring town to the Southwest. Some of the accused persons in the robbery were Yoruba and Igbo from different parts of the Southwest, Southeast and Southsouth.
On the morning of July 6, 2012 Alhaji Rasak Gawat left his house in search of his daily bread, decked in a white Agbada with his signature cap but he never returned home. Whether killed or missing in Lagos State, his whereabouts still remains in one kind of mystery.
On February 1, 2019 Babatunde Akinyemi, an Estate Developer was allegedly lured to his site at Peace Estate, Opposite the Redemption Camp, Off the Lagos-Ibadan Express way and was killed also in the Southwest while his body was dumped in the bush by the assailants.
Late Babatunde Akinyemi’s gruesome murder was similar to the way Chief Hyginus Odunukwe was equally killed in Lagos State by some people on December 1, 2019 and his body was cut into pieces and thrown into a bush by his assailants among who was a medical doctor.
On January 22nd, 2020, the State Chairman of the CAN in Adamawa State, in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev Lawal Andimi was killed by some criminals in the Northeast.
In July, 2019 Mrs Funke Olakunrin and daughter of the Afenifere’s Leader was also killed along Ondo-Ore road in Ondo State.
Also on January 21, 2020 the Lagos based popular trado-medical practitioner and founder of Oko Oloyun Worldwide, Alhaji Fatai Yusuf was gunned down by some yet to be identified assailants in Oyo State.
It was very sad when on November 10, 2019, a one-year-old boy was declared missing in Sotitobire Miracle Centre, Akure in Ondo State and a case in which the pastor in charge of the church is standing trial.
Also in July, 2017, one Oluwafemi Oluwatimilehin Shonibare, a part 4 student of Osun State University, was gruesomely murdered by some heartless muslim clerics.
Prophet Segun Philip was alleged to have involved in conjunction with one Owolabi Adeeko (a lone child of his mother) in a ritual killing of Late Oladele Favour on December 8, 2019 in Ikire, Osun State.
On the 21st day of June, 2019, one Prophet Oludotun Ogunlade (A.KA. Woli Arole Jesu) was alleged said to have murdered Bosede Oguntade.
Save only the case of Late Rev Lawal Andimi, all the suspects in the few heinous acts listed above were from the Southern part of the country Southwest inclusive. May Allah continue to give the families of the deceased fortitude to bear the colossal loss and return sanity, peace and love to our dear land. By and large, the criminals kill indiscriminately and a ground to conclude that commission of crimes in Nigeria is not peculiar to a region and not ethnic and religious sensitive.
It is against this background that it is carefully submitted that the isolation of a sizeable number of the concerned people specifically, the Muslims who are the majority in the region and some faithfuls of other religions by these Governors especially the 5 Christians Governors, in the deliberation that subsequently produced the planned Amotekun is nothing but a constructive display of low understanding of religious tolerance on the side of the promoters of the Security Outfit.
That the Muslims Communities in the Zone were completely alienated in all the arrangements that produced the Amotekun and that the “symbolic message” “Amotekun” is a coinage from Jeremiah Chapter 5: Verse 6 of the Holy Bible which reads, ‘Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slain them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a Leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased’ seemed less offensive compared with the fact that it was once advertised that any applicant for the purpose of recruitment into the Outfit should produce a birth certificate from a church as a precondition for qualification.
This is the height of rude insults to the religious sensibilities of the Muslims in the region. It tells a lot about the real motives of the promoters of the program. Little wonders no consideration was given to the legal conflicts such a program would generate in the face of the extant law of the land which is the 1999 Constitution as altered.
One of the promoter-governors was reported to have said some days ago that it is not only internal community policing that they were asking for or wrongs with the current federal system but also that a restructuring must follow too. He was said to have even boasted around that he was ready to forfeit his second term ambition. Little wonders that they went ahead establishing an armed-bearing ammunition security outfit where there is no law to back it. We are tempted to ask what exactly is their demand! Regional police or their age-long agitation for a restructuring of the country but under another guise?
With the kind of hullabaloo, hues and cries that the creation of the Amotekun has generated, a soothsayer is no longer needed to predict that the Amotekun as it stands and its proposed composition may constitute a great threat to the unity of Nigeria.
In summary, the Amotekun program is viewed as a subtle method of further Christianization of the Southwest by its promoters in their usual manner of having political and power dominance over the Muslims in the region. It is another elusive way of establishing a ‘Christian-dominated State Police Force’ whose affairs would be designed and determined from the Church at the expense of the Muslims majority in the region.
Meanwhile, all the Muslims in the region have been properly advised to remain calm and law abiding as they used to be in the face of a series of injustice they suffer in a region where they constitute the majority.
Instance of this is not lost on record when the Muslims had to be forced to approach a court of law for some Christians in power to allow the Muslims’ children willing to use Hijab to have access to public schools funded from the proceeds of taxes paid by their parents. Despite so many valid court pronouncements to the constitutionality of using Hijab by any willing person (Catholic children inclusive) not even the Muslims alone, an otherwise citadel of knowledge, that is a whole University of Ibadan in Oyo State, still denies some Muslims girls right to freedom of religion in its secondary school and an ugly development that compelled the Muslims to approach the court again in the state.
One is genuinely perturbed over how a region whose economies are fast crumbling is so eager and defiant to all known norms in the steps preparatory to formation of the Amotekun to jettison and neglect an already existing security outfit like the Vigilante Group which requires just a little fund, re-adjustment and resourcefulness to perform better in the area of community policing. Using a scarce resource by these governors in such a critical economic condition of the region to float a new security outfit designed in line with a particular religious credo further reveals that the promoters of the Amotekun have a sinister motive which is at variance with the true, genuine and real yawning of the public for a more secure environment. Issue of provision of a real security outfit is always a question of a synergy of all Nigerians regardless of where they come from and the type of faith they profess.
Provision of effective safety for lives and property of the people at any point in time is a collective responsibility one that is devoid of any iota of elements of religious, ethnic and primitive bigotry; a type of garment that Amotekun presently but unfortunately wears.
The Southwest Region, being a house to virtually all the peoples in Nigeria, is just a component unit of the Country but not a separate sovereign Reich therefore all necessary deliberations about formation of any regional security outfit have to involve not only the Yoruba Christians but also all the Yoruba speaking people such as the Yoruba Muslims and Yoruba Traditional religion worshippers, Hausa, Fulani, Igbo, Itsekiri, Kanuri, Urobo, Igbira, Ikwere and all other tribes who have taken and considered the region as a home. Example is how some black people are being recruited into the police force and army in the US, UK, China, Canada and so on. It enhances mutual cooperation to achieve effective community policing.
Issues of security of the peoples ought not to be premised on the altar of politics and personal interests as doing such would amount to building an empire on a mere propaganda and the figment of the imagination of the gullible. It stands to collapse shortly after its creation.
Any form of the Christian agenda camouflaged as a Security Outfit, such as the Amotekun, where the Muslims population from the Southwest and in the country at large is viewed as a target is an act of injustice, unfairness, inequality, barbarism, savagery and wickedness taken too far and therefore outright unacceptable and thereby condemned in its entirety.
The Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria is using this medium to call on all the security agencies and/or operatives in the country to rise up against any form of threats to the unity, peace and harmony of the country and lives of Nigerians particularly the recent alleged threats to the life of Prof. Ishaq Lakin Akintola, the Director of the Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC) by one Twitter Handler. The alleged threat must be taken seriously.
In all, we strongly submit that all our resolution be considered for a better society where we shall continue to live in peace, harmony and unity. This is believed would serve as an effort to abate a trend of an age-long injustice to which the Muslims in the region have been subjected. May the wise counsel prevail.
Thank you and remain blessed.