Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Wednesday dismissed the weight given to comments on Amotekun attributed to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Makinde said no official document to that effect has been sent to his office, therefore Malami’s take on the security outfit should be taken with a pinch of salt. According to the governor, the office of the AGF has no such authority and the government cannot be run on the pages of newspapers.
Speaking on Wednesday in Abẹ́òkúta during a courtesy visit to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Makinde pointed out that Operation Amotekun is not an attempt to create a state police or duplicate the functions of the police. Rather it is to complement the work of security agencies.
Malami had on Tuesday claimed the outfit is illegal, triggering an outpouring of rebuttals from many Nigerians, including Femi Falana (SAN), Professor Wole Soyinka, and Olisa Agbakoba (SAN).
Makinde added that Operation Amotekun is not in violation of any part of the Constitution.
He said: “You don’t run a government on social media. If I see a letter or receive a call from the Attorney-General of the Federation saying that Amotekun is illegal, it will be a different reaction.
“For now, I have been reading on social media just like you and I have not seen anything official to that effect.
“Besides, I don’t think that in a country like Nigeria, the Attorney-General should just wake up and make his own law. He may interpret and advise the President about legal issues but I have not seen anything that gave his office the power to make such declaration.
“This outfit (Amotekun) is complementary to the effort of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies. In Oyo State, the government has four pillars; namely education, health, security and expansion of our economy through agribusiness. So, security is a major pillar for us and we believe we cannot have any development in an atmosphere that is not secure.
“If you look at investments, the money coming into an economy is like a coward; if such money sees anywhere that is not secure, it will fly. So, security is key and security agencies are doing their best but there is still a gap. Just like in most sectors of our body polity, we do have gaps; in education, health care delivery and the rest. We believe playing complementary roles will help to narrow those gaps.”