The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the establishment of Amotekun and such other security apparati in various parts of the country are direct vote of no confidence in the Federal Government.
The party, which made its position known for the first time since the controversy trailing the establishment of Amotekun by states in the South-West, added that it arrived at the decision after a wide consultation and extensive meeting on the security situation in the country.
PDP, in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, decried the failure of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to take a decisive step to stem the escalated wave of killings by insurgents.
It also noted the refusal of the administration “to rejig the security high command and a lack of commitment to track down and prosecute even confessed perpetrators of mindless killings,” are pointers that the Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration cannot guarantee the security of lives and property in the country.
The party further stated that Federal Government failed to prosecute the war against acts of terrorism beyond lip service and condolence statements.
It said such emboldened the killings.
PDP regretted that the situation has now degenerated to execution of compatriots, “the latest being the gruesome beheading of the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika, Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi.
“The execution of Rev. Andimi is heartrending and like other killings, remains a sad commentary of the inability of a government to stand for its citizens at very crucial moments.”
It recalled that the Buhari-led Federal Government had failed to prosecute the masterminds of the mass killings in Benue, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Taraba, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Zamfara, Kaduna, Ekiti and other parts of the country under the current administration.
“Moreover, the body language, brazen acts of nepotism, as well as divisive and incendiary comments by officials in the Buhari administration, have continued to fuel disunity, acts of violence and insecurity in various parts of our nation.
“Given the failure of the Buhari administration to guarantee the essential of government which is the security of lives and property, Nigerians across board, as homes, communities, groups, towns, even states and regions are now organizing their respective security apparatuses such as Amotekun in the South-West and several others in various parts of the country to guarantee their safety.
“The situation would not have degenerated to this level if the Buhari presidency is living up to its billing on security, including listening to wise counsel by well-meaning Nigerians to rejig his security high command,” the party said.
It added that that the security of lives and property in the country has gone beyond what the Buhari administration could guarantee.
“Indeed, our nation has come to a stage where any genuine assistance that can be provided by states and even communities in securing lives and property should be integrated.
“The situation requires the collaboration of all, including the federating states.
“Furthermore, the PDP remains committed to all efforts toward national cohesion, security, peace, stability of our nation and all federating units in a manner that promotes good governance and national cohesion at all times,” PDP stated.
lia may cause the public to misconstrue the role of Amotekun, incorrectly believing its mandate is more expansive than it is. This possible disconnect could impede the good aims of the programme.
“We also should consider that the Buhari administration has approved implementation of a policy of community policing wherein additional recruits from all 774 local government areas will be added to the force to help protect their own communities. As the Federal Government emphasizes grassroots policing, it is uncertain how well Amotekun can complement the police force as the force moves toward greater decentralisation when Amotekun is organisationally leaning in the opposite way.
“We have been fighting for local and decentralised policing for a long time because we know that too much centralisation impedes performance. In regard to actual performance of its appointed tasks, Amotekun should have focused on grassroots local organisation at the state level without a regional command hierarchy. The regional approach may undermine efficiency. There is no compelling logic why the same personnel providing security and informational assistance in Ado-Ekiti should be under the same functional and operational leadership as those providing assistance in Lekki or Akure. This will not lead to optimal performance.
“The regional approach has only limited benefit with regard to the procurement and maintenance of vehicles and communications equipment because this wider approach allows for economies of scale. The regional approach also helps tackle the growing incidences of interstate criminal activity. Some things need to be corrected before Amotekun becomes operational. If not, it will not live up to expectations. Thus, the current formulation of Amotekun is in need of repair before it takes to the road only to quickly slip into a ditch.”
Though the APC leader maintained that Nigeria’s foundation has not been put at risk over Amotekun’s launch, he warned that the fabric could be torn by what he described as “dangerous rhetoric of those who should know better.”
He said: “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 South-West 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.
“This issue has dominated recent discourse and media headlines. Distilled to its basics, it concerns how best state governments can assist with the safety and security of their residents. This is a matter of serious concern entitled to sober thought. However, it has been turned into a political tug-of-war. Fierce, often unthinking rhetoric, for and against, has crossed the lips of too many Nigerians. More subjective talking than objective thinking has been the fuel of this outburst.
“While colourful, the rhetoric has been disconcerting. How people have mishandled this matter demonstrates that we still have far to go in perfecting this democracy. Too much energy has been spent distorting this issue instead of seeking a resolution that supports local enhancement of security while keeping the constitution intact. If this becomes the standard for how we handle disagreements, then we will obscure Nigeria’s path forward with our own rubbish.
“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. To a significant degree, the enduring quality of our republic will be established by the sagacity with which we handle disagreements regarding the division of power between federal and state governments. Such disagreements are inevitable. This is not the first nor will it be the last. We must devote our energies more toward solving problems rather than amplifying them.”