The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has kicked against the position of the Federal Government declaring the South West security initiative, Operation Amotekun, as illegal.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had on Tuesday declared the security outfit as illegal.
Reacting to the position of the Federal Government, the SMBLF asked the for explanation on why the Hisbah Boards in states like Kano and the Civilian Joint Task Force in states like Borno and Yobe were legal and Amoteku illegal.
The statement, signed by Yinka Odumakin (South West), General CRU Iherike (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South) and Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), urged the South West Governors to ignore Malami’s position.
The statement, titled: “SMBLF Rejects Malami’s Illegal Directive,” reads in full:
The attention of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has been drawn to the illegal diktat by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) declaring Amotekun, the South West security (not military or Police) outfit illegal.
We consider his action as an abuse of office to suppress the rights of federating units to secure themselves and in furtherance of the widely-held suspicion that sections of the country are deliberately being rendered vulnerable for herdsmen and other criminals by the Federal Government.
We ask the Governors of the South West to ignore Malami and allow him to go to court to challenge their decision as he cannot constitute himself a court over elected governors. We are not under military rule.
We insist that what the Governors have done is what individuals and and neighbourhoods can legally do to secure their lives and property.
The right to preserve your life cannot be under any exclusive list other than the list of those who have no value for human lives.
The ultra vire action of the AGF has further exposed Nigeria as a country under command and control and governed by a conquest mentality.
We ask Malami to tell us what makes Amotekun illegal and Hisbah legal.
He should further explain to us what makes Civilian JTF legal in the North East where there is war and in Zamfara and Katina and Kano where there is no war, while Amotekun is his only illegal take.
This is a defining moment to decide if we are under segregation and different laws in the country.