Dr. Doyin Okupe, former presidential spokesperson, in this excerpt from Punch newspaper says the north should be blamed if Amotekun fails.
The South-West governors inaugurated Operation Amotekun, a security outfit, which has come under severe criticisms. What is your view about this outfit?
We are not sincere people in Nigeria. Nigeria’s political elite are not sincere. Within democracy and true federalism, Amotekun is very legitimate and it ought not to have generated any furore where there is sincerity. There are some body movements which suggest that the government is not in support of it and it is unfortunate. It is not proper to do what causes disunity. The North will be held responsible for anything that goes wrong on this issue of Amotekun. The northern elite should be held responsible. People in government do make errors of judgment. Political elite from where the president comes from must have readable recourse and leverage on that administration to tell the president that some actions or inaction will destabilise the nation and that he should not take it.
When I was in Obasanjo’s government and at a time, northern governors, contrary to what any right-thinking person may be favourably disposed to, declared Sharia Law in the North. I remember sitting down with President Obasanjo then and leaders from the South-West and the South consulted with him and told him to leave the governors alone. They said provided they did not force Sharia on anybody, Obasanjo should leave them alone. This is how a country is run. The northern elite cannot close their eyes and say it’s Buhari or APC. It is not acceptable. That is how the North has consistently assaulted the psyche of southerners over the years. When the military was ruling, northern leaders said they did not have control over the military guys from the North. That was why it was easy for them to get away with cheating in local government and state creation and all that. This is civilian government and we expect those who want Nigeria to remain an indivisible nation, lovers of democracy, those who want Nigeria to be a progressive country ought to prevail on the government not to do anything that can destabilise us. Amotekun is a legitimate desire of the governors of the South-West to protect their people and it should be left alone.