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Monarch: Amotekun now a political tool

Omoba Olusegun Aderemi is the Atayero of Aramoko Ekiti in Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State. He is also the regional president of Occupational Health and Safety Strategy (OSH) Association. In a chat with journalists, he lamented the structure of membership of South West security corps, Amotekun, which he said has now been politicised and reason behind setback on the outfit. He enjoined Nigerians among other things, on serious compliance to COVID-19 preventive guidelines, while urging people to positively take advantage of the pandemic lessons. ADEWUMI ADEMIJU writes

 

Year2020wasfullofissuesoneconomy, security. Asnewyearrollsin, whatlessons doyouexpectpeopletohavelearntfromthe previousyear?

 

Year 2020 has been a wonderful year, lets not talk about backwardness, a year with a lot of challenges, calamities, so devastating , but as a business person, and a fellow of so many business associations, we know very well that whenever there are crisis, there is always an underlining benefit , our ability to identify those benefits that are hidden in the crisis, is what makes us a professional. In 2020, we recorded a lot of lossesproperties, lives.

 

Economy became backward all over the world due to pandemic, but there are some benefits. And in these benefits, we have known that we can actually do so many things without stressing ourselves, we can do little to achieve much, national /international conferences, all other events can be done virtually with no stress of visa/travelling, expenses on entourage…. pandemic has also taught us a lesson that within our confine, we can do so many things, health is wealth, all the safety measures which we neglected in the past, pandemic is telling us how to revive them. The new normal is part of the benefits which pandemic has brought to us.

 

Howwillyoudescribegovernment’sresponse onEndSarsProtest?

 

Agitations on #EndSars protest is not meant for the youth alone, it is for the benefit of all including government itself. The protest has opened can of worms of government on challenges its facing on how to correct some abnormalities. #End- Sars protest is not only on police brutality and government has not really done much regarding to response. We pray for immediate necessary actions on the youth agitations.

 

Whatdoyousuggestaspossiblewayout?

 

It’s the responsibility of all to ensure peace in the society. Government and relevant stakeholders have enormous roles to play, because there are some waiting for this kind of protest to hijack and use for their own selfish desires. Youths should peacefully present their demands while government listens promptly for immediate solutions.

 

Somepeopleareoftheopinionthat Amotekunbecamedeadonarrivalsince objectionofAttorneyGeneraloftheFederationAGFAbubakarMalami onissueof legal backingsinsettingupofsecurityoutfit?

 

Not the objection of AGF Malami alone, that is just an official issue that can be handled officially but looking at the setting up of Amotekun, the question that comes to mind is that, is it based on politics or facts and issues affecting human beings as far as security is concerned in the south west. Incessantcrime banditry, kidnapping havemadethecountrynottobeNigeriaof our dream .

 

Now, in order to defend ourselves, let us have our own local security outfit, Police is federal which can decide to look at this place and look at another, it’s part of their work, if they decide to look at one place , not looking at another place, they are still working, but if there is a local security with area of concentration, itwillcomplementthe work of police. Amotekun is meant to be a security net  workintheSouthwesttoprotectlivesandproperties .Now it is being Politicised.

For instance in this community, we know of some people, local vigilante, hunters, who should be looking at , we have been sponsoring them, encouraging them that they can actually protect us if such is coming here. We have their lists, they have gone to several trainings, all of a sudden, when we have to submit final list for the securityprogramme, some groupof people went and change those names and put in some otherpeoplethatdidn’tpartakeinthetraining.

 

Those who were neither hunters nor vigilante forpoliticalreasonsandjustbecausetheywant to be collecting money, mixed it all up with politics. The membership of Amotekun has been messed up, it contains large number of people without security experience mixed up with some hunters, vigilante and these Amotekun corps who lack security experience claimed they are also on ground as far as security is concerned. How can they work as a team with those who do not have such experience, how will there not be problem?

Whatdoyouthinkisthewayout?

 

My suggestion is that if we really want to do things the way it should be done, let there be proper re-screening of the existing membership of Amotekun and let there be that oath of allegiance within them. If you are not a member of this security outfit, you do not know anything about their oath of secrecy, you can do whatever you like, and nothing will happen to you , if you are a member with the oath of secrecy, you will never do otherwise, you have to do what is expected as a member.

As a community Stakeholder, youmusthaveheard aboutagitationforpresidencyintheS/West come 2023?

 

As far as this particular decision is concerned, it is still very fresh, let’s not rush, though it’s normal to talk about it, still, let’s wait.

 

Ekitiwillenteranotherpoliticaldispensationby nextyear2022, yourviewconcerningthepreparation?

 

Ekiti should have a good person that will take us to the next level a good person that will develop Ekiti for us there is no doubt the state is a developing one we need somebody with a good heart , somebody that has the interest of the state at heart , somebody that knows where shoe pinches we are not enterprising in Ekiti, whoever is coming should be somebody that is enterprising that would bring back enterprise in different levels to Ekiti , so that the economy can grow, what I see as far as politics is concern is that people play politics from the time they want to aspire to a particular position , by the time they get there, they still continue the politics till the expiration of their tenure , so the aftermath is that, economy always suffer . I make objective criticism.

 

My advice is that , politics can be played when going into election , as soon as the person is elected, slow down politics and look at economy and if the person wants second term, before the expiration of his term let him begin politics again, after getting elected, focus on economy , if we can have elected politician Ekiti that can do away with politics in two years while in power and focus on economy, there would be drastic and stupendous improvement in the economy of Ekiti state, because any little development ahead towards improving the economy would go a long way especially in a developing state .

 

Ekiti is not enterprising, we need to facilitate enterprise . in Oyo state entreprenurship is moving method that will boom economy in the state is always in place there is Ofada in ogun stare, Abakaliki in the East, what’s happening to our own Igbimo rice.

 

People in different fields in the state should also engage in other entrepreneurship as another source of income to fight poverty and hunger so that during election people would be able to vote with their conscience not based on monetary absolute correction in this regard is the responsibility of everyone not government alone . In

 

Nigeria, a kidnapped person is made to pay ransom before he/she is set free….how do you think security agencies should do in tracking those people?

 

Everybody is surprised at that and I’m asking question as the regional president of OSH association. My position involves security and safety as far as health is concerned in Nigeria OSH- Occupational Health and Safety Strategy, has head of states like governor in every state.

 

Now, the question is who are behind this, what are we doing with our technology? It has become a norm, a business and a racket which some people are involved.

 

Does it mean that technology is working in one place and not working in another place, does it mean that those involved are not human beings? They are not spirit! We should be able to find out what is going on.

 

We heard about kidnapped people at the federal level who were released , and we have had several cases that government is playing to their sides on settlement, though unconfirmed, if that is true, it shows that such is being legalised.

 

So, if the federal government can do it, then state can do it and anybody can follow suit. We should be able to ask ourselves, is technology not working, what are those people using to make their demands. Are they operating outside this place, even if it is so, are there no technology to track them?

 

Do you feel specific roles for traditional rulers should be enshrined into the Nigeria Constitution?

 

We missed the whole thing since the very period they took us away from the monarchical system. In that system, the kings were always very involved, they were not under any governor, unlike now if governor is talking, king will keep quiet, that is where we got it wrong

 

The importance of a king in this whole thing cannot be washed away , it is these days that we see governor gathers traditional rulers and be insulting them , as if he(the governor) is the headmaster and they were his students. It is never done, it’s sacrilegious!

 

By now such governor would have apologised, because no one does that and go scot-free. Kings are very important in their communities, they know every family, they know the good ones and the bad ones, proper recognition and involvement of monarchs in the whole thing will do the system a lot of good.

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