On Tinubu’s Statement

By Ikenga Chronicles January 22, 2020

On Tinubu’s Statement

— Chris Adetayo

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has had his say on Amotekun. He is a politician, a skilled one at that. And he issued a political statement that gave both sides of the divide something to celebrate. It is what politicians do when they have a lot to lose in matters of these nature. They equivocate.

It is good that he has come out now. But it is also the case that, not wanting to rock the boat, he has chosen to berate those who did not start the squabble. Those of us for Amotekun did not start the fight. Had elements from some sections (interests and geography) not taken it upon themselves to criticise the concept, had the country’s Attorney-General not taken it upon himself to issue a gratuitous opinion piece on the subject, it is doubtful if the polity would have been as heated as it has over the past couple of weeks.

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If the AG (and by extension, the Federal Government) really meant well, there was no need for that Press Statement. It was unnecessary provocation and deserved the response that it got. The primary purpose of Govt is to preserve lives and properties. By extension, any programme that will help to deliver on this fundamental purpose deserves far better than for a public official sitting in Abuja to immediately attempt to strike it down. Federations do not work that way. Most certainly not Federal democracies.

Many in the SW are unhappy about the Nigerian Federation. It is, essentially, a Unitary system masquerading as a Federation, all thanks to long years under military dictatorship on whose given laws we still operate. Still, very few will like to see the country dismembered. The SW, as history bears out, is the only one that has never had any separatists inclinations. The North sought to leave Nigeria in 1966. The East formally did in that same decade. The Niger Delta has only been calmed after more than a decade of restiveness. But the SW, inspite of its misgivings, has never. Not even during the monumental injustice of June 12. All its struggle has always been confined to building a truly Federal State where units can take responsibility for their own development. All it wants is a true Federation.

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Given its history, the SW should be the least of anyone’s worry when it comes to secession. The idea that most supporters are pushing for Amotekun as a precursor to Nigeria’s dismemberment is ludicrous if not downright satanic. There is no basis for such an idea. If the idea is that allowing Amotekun might pave the way for others to set up similar, all the better. Federating units should be free to enter into partnerships that enhance the quality of lives of the people.

We thank the Jagaban for his statement. But we have no apologies to offer for our position. On Amotekun we still stand!!!