19th March, 2020
MURIC LAUDS ANTI-AMOTEKUN PROTEST
An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has lauded youths who recently protested against Operation Amotekun. The youths, under the aegis of the Yoruba Appraisal Group (YAG) led by Chief Oloketuyi Joshua, organized a massive rally and commenced their procession from Women Development Centre in Agege down to Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja. The rally took place on Thursday, 12th March, 2020.
MURIC’s endorsement of the protest was expressed in a press statement issued on Thursday, 19th March 2020 by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
“It is very clear now that the Amotekun initiative has been hijacked by ethnic jingoists. The protest by the Yoruba Appraisal Group (YAG) has exposed the tribal charlatans and ethnic demagogues in Yorubaland. It is now very clear that those camouflaging as lovers of Yorubaland are only after their personal gains. They pander to the passion of innocent Yorubas. Not only that, they are pursuing a balkanisation agenda. They neither love Yorubaland nor Nigeria.
“Only a fool will oppose the reform of Nigeria’s security architecture in view of several lapses. But breaking up the country is not the solution. Some looters among the Yoruba who are facing prosecution in the law courts are behind the incitement of the Yoruba against the Federal Government (FG). They want to cause confusion before the long arm of the law can reach them. They believe that the only escape route for them is for the Yoruba enclave to be expunged from the Nigerian entity after which they can no longer be prosecuted.
“This is why they are aggressively promoting non-existent ideologies of fulanisation and Islamisation. We contend that these are sheer myth, phantom and ordinary mirage. We appeal to well-meaning Yoruba leaders not to allow these hawks to railroad them into destabilising the country.
“We call on the governors of the South West to be wary of agent provocateur and advocatus diaboli among the major dramatis personae of the Amotekun initiative. Security is good but not when some have hidden agenda against a section of the country, a particular religion and certain individuals.
“Exempli gratia, the former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, threatened in one of his notorious tweets that they knew where to keep people like Akintola when the Oduduwa project is completed. We believe he was referring to Muslim leaders in Yorubaland who dare to promote Islam and not Akintola alone. Another yet to be identified Amotekun enthusiast called for the assassination of the same Akintola. Again, A Yoruba group, the Apapo Oodua Koya (AOKOYA), told the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who is currently in Lagos, to go back to the North. These threats have not been withdrawn and nobody has been arrested. What is most worrisome is the silence of Yoruba leaders in the face of these threats.
“It is therefore evident that certain extremist groups and individuals nurse diabolical ideas which they intend to actualise via Amotekun and the more the governors look, the less they see. It is unfortunate that the governors of the sub-region have danced to the gallery in the euphoria of regionalism. We corroborate the fear of last week’s protesters (YAG) who alleged that Amotekun is an instrument to perpetrate crime and make political gains for a few individuals masquerading as having the love of the people of the region at heart. We add that Amotekun is seen by some kleptomaniacs as a means of escaping justice having colluded with other thieves from other regions to steal Nigeria dry.
“It is not too late however. Early changes will save Yorubaland from the clutches of ethnic demagogues. We therefore call for a review of the security initiative before recruitments begin. In particular, we advise against the appointment of die-hard Yoruba nationalists and activists in the top echelons of the security outfit. This class of people will only bring prejudice against particular tribes into the system. We insist that real professionals like retired army and police officers should be allowed to handle the recruitments as well as post-recruitment command centres.
In conclusion, we join the Yoruba Appraisal Group (YAG) in calling upon FG and the Inspector General of Police to exercise caution over the request of the Amotekun camp for arms. There is need for FG to sample the opinion of Muslim leaders in the region.
As for now, Amotekun has become the sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of innocent citizens residing in the South West and critics of Amotekun are being labelled traitors and threatened with death. There is every reason to believe that Amotekun may become a real terror in the land, worse than kidnappers and robbers. Therefore, a gun-brandishing amotekun may be the last nail in the coffin of a united Nigeria.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)