…Says it is vindicated
The Coalition of Northern Groups CNG has described the reported cattle rustling scandal involving the Ekiti commandant of the Western Nigerian Security Network, Amotekun as a vindication of their challenge to the outfit’s formation and called for its immediate proscription.
One of the senior officers of the Western Nigeria Security Network, code named Amotekun, Chief Johnson Ogunyemi reportedly petitioned Governor Kayode Fayemi over his alleged removal from office by the commandant of the corps Rtd. Brig. Gen. Joe Komolafe on the account that he allegedly failed to supply him cows for his personal business.
Chief Ogunyemi in the petition dated, October 25, 2021 and copied Ekiti State House of Assembly, alleged that he was deliberately witch hunted because he could no longer meet up with the number of targeted cows as instructed by the commandant.
In reaction, the CNG, in a statement by its Spokesperson Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said it is ridiculous, as revealed by Ogunyemi for every local government commandant to be forced to steal a minimum of 10 cows in a day, while the arrested cows are allegedly traded and the money goes into the coffers of the state commandant.
“The fact that the focus of Amotekun has shifted from tracking and arresting criminal herders, Bandits and kidnappers to forceful theft of cows from innocent pastoralists has vindicated our opposition to the formation of the outfit on the grounds that it was meant to humiliate, harass and intimidate innocent citizens particularly northerners.
He noted that no power, not even the federal government has the constitutional prerogative to confiscate citizens properties without the leave of court.
“We call on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to disband Amotekun and all militias and armed groups in Nigeria by resort to the use of force if needs be, to ensure that no group has the capacity to intimidate innocent citizens and challenge the State in its prerogative to maintain law and order, and protect citizens’ lives and properties.
“With regards to the current revelation, government should take further steps to ensure that innocent herdsmen are given adequate protection by state agencies and proper investigation conducted, culprits prosecuted and the victims compensated.
“We demand that an exact list of all those who were killed in the process of the reported rustling, number of cows and the identity of the perpetrators be made known. Compensation to those who lost their cattle and other properties should thereafter be paid by sanctioning those who are guilty of the crimes,” Suleiman said.
“This is important because antecedents show that the current general and pervasive banditry in particularly the North, was the direct reaction to the forceful confiscation of cattle from lawful Fulani owners by some traditional rulers who connived with the police and judicial officials,” Suleiman said.
CNG then called on the Federal Government to reconsider its current attitude towards the injurious and vindictive anti-grazing laws that are not only in conflict with the supremacy of the nation’s Constitution, but also repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience.
“We ask that the presidency, northern federal legislators and northern governors show more zeal and effort at protecting the lives and property of peaceful everyday pastoral communities everywhere, and ensuring their right to free movement is not impeded by any legislation or obstacle imposed by a state or a community,” Suleiman.
He lamented what he called the bankruptcy of most Northern Governors that categorically rejected the initiative for a northern security outfit that could have anticipated and checkmated the excesses of the Amotekun and other state sponsored armed gangs.