The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum last night faulted the declaration by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, that Amotekun was “illegal.”
In a statement by Yinka Odumakin (South West); Gen. CRU Iherike (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South) and D. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), the forum said the AGF’s action was an abuse of office.
“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,” the statement said.
The forum challenged Malami to explain what “makes Amotekun illegal and Hisbah, legal.”
“He should further explain to us what makes the Civilian JTF legal in the North East, where there is war and in Zamfara and Katsina 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,” it said.
The forum asked the west governors to ignore Malami and “allow him to go to court to challenge their decision as he cannot constitute himself a court over elected governors.
“We are not under military rule. The governors have done 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.”