Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State has said that the raging debate over the launch of the South West Security Network, codenamed “Operation Amotekun” is a healthy and welcome development.
Oyetola, however, said politicising the security outfit on the altar of religion and ethnicity would be unhealthy, dangerous and counter-productive.
The governor said this in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, yesterday in Osogbo.
According to him, Amotekun is a collective response by the South-West zone to the spate of armed banditry, rape, kidnappings and other violent crimes that have suddenly become a past time in the zone.
Oyetola noted that for anybody to claim that it was an agenda against a particular faith or adherent of a particular religion was not only preposterous, but also in bad taste.
Besides, the governor said that the state government had not embarked on any recruitment into the security outfit.
“For the records, no recruitment has been carried out so far, especially in our dear Osun State.
“Therefore, we should not constitute ourselves into opposing a project we all clamoured for in response to existential threats for which some of the governors in the region have been called out and vilified in the past.
“Rather, we should rally support for Amotekun by coming up with strategies to fine-tune it with a view to bridging any communication gap between the Federal Government and the South-West governors over the security outfit.
“Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is clear that the security of lives and property of citizens as well as their welfare is the primary purpose and responsibility of government, be it state or federal”, the governor said.
Oyetola expressed his administration’s commitment to protecting the citizens, adding that every reasonable and responsible individual in the state indigene must join government’s collective resolve to protect the lives and property of the citizens.
Tinubu had on Wednesday called for private discussion between the Governors of the South-west and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, over Amotekun.
This is following the controversy stirred by Malami after he declared Amotekun illegal.
Bayelsa: Don Chides Party Leaders For Criticising S’Court Judgement
A university don, Richard Nwokocha has said political leaders and government officials who criticise the judgment of the Supreme Courtare simply reflecting their commitment to governance.
Nwokocha, who is an Associate Professor of Public Law at the Rivers State University (RSU) stated this during a live Radio programme in Port Harcourt monitored by The Tide.
Nwokocha was reacting to the Supreme Court judgement which sacked the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his running mate and declared their opponents, the candidates of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) winners of the recent governorship poll in Bayelsa State.
He stated, “I think the situation we are finding among our officials is a clear reflection of the poverty of our commitment to governance. It is a bit very worrisome to hear when the highest court in the land has given a judgment to hear public office holders criticising and condemning those decisions in the manner in which they do here.
“It is alright to hear citizens who do not understand the details and the intricacies of the justice system. It is alright for such citizens to vent their anger. But not public officials, not party leaders, not government officials. It is a reflection of the poverty of our commitment to the ideas of governance in this country.”
Asked if anything can be done to change that situation, Prof. Nwokocha said, “Perhaps it is a question of orientation. Maybe government should be embarrassed about it government can take steps to enlighten both government officials and institutions in the public sector on these matters. Even if it is the High Court that gives a judgement that we are not satisfied with, we should say we are not satisfied with the judgement.
“We shall approach the appellate Court to test the waters and see that that Court was right in what it said or to confirm that we are right in the hunch we have about the legitimacy of the propriety of that judgment.
Imo: Why S’Court Must Reverse Judgement – Guber Candidate
Ahead today’s hearing of Emeka Ihedioha’s appeal to the Supreme Court, the governorship candidate of Reform and Advancement Party in the 2019 governorship election in Imo State, Mr Okere Kingdom Nnamdi has advanced reasons why the apex court should reverse its earlier decision.
Addressing reporters in Abuja, yesterday the legal practitioner said the judgment was erroneously premised on results from 388 polling units when only 366 polling units’ results were admitted in the Election Petition Tribunal before being expunged at the lower courts.
He said: “It is obvious that the Supreme Court relied only on the submission of Hope Uzodinma without any reference to the records of proceedings of the Tribunal and Court of Appeal or otherwise.
“It would have realised that even though Hope Uzodinma claimed 388 polling units, he only dumped 366 discredited polling units through the police.
“Yet, the Supreme Court unilaterally credited him with figures from the 388 units which figures didn’t remove the 20 or even 22 polling units that were in fact not tendered before the tribunal.”
Speaking further, he said the judgment did not consider zoning and federal character. He said Owerri zone is being marginalised. He lamented that since 1999 the zone is yet to produce a governor.
He said: “Since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, our brothers from Orlu zone have occupied the governorship position of the state and some crude political elements are derogating our sense of belonging.
“Both Uzodinma and Rochas Okorocha is from the same zone. This certainly breaches the principles of federal character, equity and fairness contained in the APC constitution.”
Govs Congratulate Mrs Buhari On Birthday …Laud Her Contributions
The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has congratulated the First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari, as she celebrated her birthday, yesterday while lauding her contributions to the promotion of quality health care and girl child education.
The forum through its Chairman and Governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong congratulated the first lady in a statement released to newsmen, yesterday in Jos.
The statement was signed by the governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham.
He said through her collaborations with her colleagues globally, Mrs Buhari had advocated for girl-child education, healthcare improvement, tackling gender-based violence and advocating for women rights. .
“As the mother of the nation, you have done so much to impact the lives of the vulnerable and less-privileged persons in our society through your compassionate programmes.
“Your Future Assured Programme and Get Involved Campaign have become vehicles of goodwill and hope to women, children and other needy persons across the country as you continue to mobilise resources to support their well-being,”the chairman said
He also commended Mrs Buhari for being a role model for the wife of governors to emulate in conceiving programmes that would help vulnerable people in their states.
He said the first lady through the Aisha Buhari Foundation is mobilising resources to take care of street children, the elderly and homeless, describing it as a noble cause.
The chairman prayed for good health, divine protection, and wisdom for the first lady as she continues to support the president to serve the nation.
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