Groups Disagree on Miyetti Allah Call for Inclusion Of its members Into Amotekun

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…..It Doesn’t Make Sense —Middle Belt Forum
……Miyetti Allah Should Address Worsening Security Problem in North —PANDEF

Countrywide nomadic cattle herders, under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, have again called for the inclusion of its members in the south-western security outfit (Amotekun), in Oyo state.

Speaking on behalf of the association at the Ibadan palace of Sarkin Sasa Sardaunan Yamaa, the leader; Ibrahim Jiji who also double as the Chairman, Council of Arewa Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, in the Southern states hinted that the inclusion of members of other ethnic backgrounds will mend the communication barrier arising as a result of the difference in dialect and languages.

The call by MACBAN, however, elicited angry reactions from other ethnic groups like the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and the Middle Belt Forum.

Jiji, who expressed sadness over the killing of his men at Ayete, called on the relevant security agencies and Governor Seyi Makinde to expedite the release of his men, numbering 46, who were mistaken for criminals and erroneously arrested by security agents.

Speaking on the arrest of his men, Jiji noted that security men arrested members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, who are the people fighting banditry, robbery and kidnapping in the area.

In his own words: “After the commandant of Amotekun called us that we should join in a clearance operation, we agreed that 50 men from us, who are members of Vigilante Group, would go with them.”

“We got information that some people were kidnapped at Igangan and our Vigilance Group was directed to go there and rescue the victims. But, on their way to the place, some security men arrested them; they are 46. They were taken later handed over to the Police Area Commander at Eruwa.

“They are not criminals at all. This Vigilance Group had arrested and handed suspected criminals to the police. How would they now be taken as criminals?

“A criminal is a criminal. He may be Igbo, Yoruba, Fulani or any other ethnic group in the country”.

Reacting to Miyetti Allah’s request, Afenifere said MACBAN was asking for too much.

Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin said: “Why don’t they ask for them to come and mount traditional stools in Yorubaland? These people are climbing over the leaves of the tree in their unbridled ambition.”

Also, the Deputy National Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum, Thompson Okorotie flayed the move by the Myetti Allah but urged them to address the worsening security problem in the north.

Okorotie said: “What do they want to achieve? Though we do not have a direct link, as far as we know, Amotekun is purely a South West arrangement to help the region. It is a self-help arrangement borne out of the rising insecurity in the land. The security situation has so worsened that everybody is to himself.

“What is the role of Myetti Allah? Do they have any structure that is related to Amotekun? Amotekun, as far as I know from outside, is well structured and it covers the South West, the Yoruba states.

“So, I do not understand what they want to do. I think they have more jobs in the North. Although we have security challenges all over the country, there is a bigger problem in the North. But if they want to solve the security challenge, let them concentrate on Yobe, Borno and others where fellow Nigerians are dying in their droves in the North. So, I don’t think it is a good idea. I don’t even believe that the Amotekun structure will accommodate then.”

On its part, the Middle Belt Forum described MACBAN’s request as “irrational because it does not make any bit of sense.”

National President of MBF, Dr. Pogu Bitrus in Makurdi said: “What is their business with Amotekun? Is the South-West not predominantly Yoruba? So, the suggestion is just like saying that we should go and have traditional rulers like Emirs of other ethnic groups in the north. It simply doesn’t make sense, it is irrational and there is no justification for that.

“Amotekun is a Yoruba outfit to save the Yoruba people from aggression. Aggression from which people? From Fulani herdsmen.

“So, it is only proper that Amotekun should be a Yoruba affair. We are not saying that Nigeria should not be plural in all spheres. But what we are saying is that when a particular ethnic group takes it upon themselves to attack others unprovoked, for whatever reason, those people have the right to defend themselves. And that is what brought about Amotekun.

“Amotekun is a Yoruba answer to the aggression by the Fulani herdsmen and of course other insurgent groups on their people.

“If they are not happy with it, they should go to their states and have their own outfit. The truth remains that even in the north, different ethnic nationalities have vigilante groups of their ethnic nationalities to defend their people.

“So there is nothing wrong for the Yoruba to defend themselves. It is up to the Fulanis to ask their people to stop killing others, to stop attacking farmers, to stop carrying out unprovoked attacks on communities so that Amotekun will not be necessary.”





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