The Southern and Middle Belt leaders have called on the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation,Abubakar Malami to explain why it declared Operation Amotekun illegal while Hisbah police in the north is legal.
In a statement signed by Yinka Odumakin (South-West); Gen CRU Iherike (South-East); Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), the leaders rejected the federal government’s declaration of the outfit as illegal and said the right to preserve one’s life cannot be under any exclusive list.
“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 as a court over elected governors. We are not under military rule.
“We insist that what the Governors have done is what individuals 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 Katsina 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,” the statement said.