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Amotekun: ”It’s sad people of Northern extraction are never happy when we want to organise ourselves on regional basis” – Itse Sagay reacts

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Professor Itse Sagay, the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has said that it is very sad that people of Northern extraction are never happy when Southerners want to organise themselves on regional basis.

Sagay who is a staunch Pro-Buhari government official, said this while reacting to the comment made by the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who on Tuesday January 14th, declared Amotekun, the newly created security outfit by SouthWest governors, as an illegal entity.

Sagay in an interview with Daily Independent, said Malami was only speak out of prejudice. He wondered why Amotekun can be described as illegal when it is the same laws that created it that was used in to create the Northern security outfits, Hisbah police and the Civilian Joint Taskforce. He stressed that Malami was only expressing his personal prejudice and not the law when he declared Amotekun illegal.

Read excepts from his interview below

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has described Operation Amotekun, a security arrangement put together by South-West governors as illegal. He said the governors should have consulted him so that he can give them legal advice on whether they can go ahead or not. As a legal expert, what is your perspective on this? 

I believe that the governors have no duty to consult him. He is Attorney- General of the Federation, not Attorney-General of South-West states. The state governors have their own Attorney-Generals who are equally as qualified as Malami is. So, if this is part of the conspiracy that anything that smacks of regional arrangements or organisation offends some people who believe there has to be direct federal rule in every nook and cranny of the country, that is own misery. But it has nothing to do with the law. As far as i am concerned, Malami is just expressing his personal prejudice, it has nothing to with the law. The Amotekun people are not paramilitary organisation. They are to apprehend those committing crimes and report to the police or they themselves can exercise their rights of citizen’s arrest which we all can do as individuals. I can arrest somebody who I suspect has committed a crime. 

So, the AGF is just speaking out of pure prejudice and it is very sad that people of Northern extraction are never happy when we want to organise ourselves on regional basis. I don’t understand that. if you don’t want to organise yourselves, how can you stop others from doing it? It is pure prejudice and it has nothing to do with the law. The governors have no duty whatsoever to consult him and he shouldn’t aggrandise himself and arrogate to himself powers that he doesn’t have. I think the governors should just ignore him and carry on with what they are doing. If he feels aggrieved that people in some parts off the country are trying to secure themselves against crime, he can go to court to challenge it. That arrogant authority that he can dictate to states is very insulting. 

Since the pronouncement by the Minister, there has been this debate about why Sharia Police in some Northern states popularly called Hisbah should be legal while Amotekun was declared illegal. Is there any difference between the two? 

In a sense, they have the same legal status; in the sense that each one is a creation of the state and not of the federal government. It is a very good point to raise and others have also raised the issue of the Civilian JTF in the North East. Those people are organised to identify Boko Haram terrorists and alert the military. When necessary, they defend themselves against the terrorists. Nobody is complaining because it is for a good purpose. Let me make a general statement here. In law, if something is not expressly prohibited, then that thing can be done legitimately. There is no law, either in the Police or any other act, is there a prohibition of one state or many states coming together to organise the promotion of the security of the peoples of the state. The primary duty of the state is the protection of the security of the people. It is in the section 14 (2) of the constitution. That is their primary duty and this falls not only on the federal government but on all states. If you look at the constitution, the powers are equal in that sense. The federal covers the whole country and the states cover their territorial areas. They can make laws for good governance which is also provided for in the constitution. What I am saying is that the concept of Amotekun is not banned and if it is not prohibited, it can be legitimately embarked upon. 

On the non-legal side, if you think about our security, the insecurity challenge which is confronting Nigeria now is so high everywhere. People are afraid of traveling by road or going out at nights and so on. I think we should welcome any effort by a group or individual state to help to secure lives and property and improve the security situation in the country. . 

 It is the duty of the federal government to collaborate with them to improve the security of everybody in the country. The state government also has a duty to protect the lives and security of everybody so, several state governments can decide to exercise that duty together collectively and the federal government should assist them. So, there is nothing illegal at all about Amotekun. If they now want to carry arms such as AK-47 and other powerful arms aside dane guns, at that stage, they will need federal permission. But if they are not doing that, and they are not an armed body in the modern sense, they do not need any other authority to operate 

An aide of the Minister yesterday said they wonder if you have any personal scores to settle with him given your opposition to some of his actions in the last few days. Do you have anything personal against Malami? 

I want to advise the gentleman not to personalise issues of public interests. The position of Attorney-General is a very important one and its authority affects all of us. So, when he as a lawyer makes a statement or takes any decision that one considers wrong, there is nothing wrong in expressing a contrary view. That is what a debate is all about in a democratic society. It is not personal. Personally, I like Malami as a person. It is just unfortunate that he issued statements one after the other within a short period and the media wanted me to express my views on the issues and I don’t agree with the steps Malami took on the two occasions. I have nothing against him; in fact, I’m favorably disposed towards him because in a sense, we are all working together in the same theatre. So, it’s not correct for anyone to say I am having any personal scores to settle with him and it is wrong for anyone to interpret my objective views on statements issued by Malami in that light. It is not right. I can call Malami now and chat with him on issues of interests to the country. I have nothing personal against him.

Source: City News

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Rivers: Tensions Grow As Wike, Fubara’s Supporters Clash, Baby Hurt

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A baby was reportedly tear-gassed and became unconscious on Wednesday as supporters of the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, clashed with the loyalists of ex-governor Nyesom Wike in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

It was gathered that the clash happened during a government medical outreach in the Eliozu community, Obio/Akpor LGA.

Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that trouble started when officials of the state Ministry of Health were carrying out a medical outreach for women at the Eliozu Health Centre.

It was gathered that no sooner had the programme started than some supporters allegedly loyal to the factional Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, arrived at the venue to find out the reason for the gathering.

The venue is said to be near the residence of Amaewhule, who is the leader of the 27 lawmakers loyal to Wike.

But supporters of the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Obio/Akpor LGA, Chijioke Ihunwo, loyal to Fubara, who were at the venue allegedly stopped them from accessing the venue, leading to a heated argument and subsequent clash.

Following the fisticuffs, stones were pelted from several directions, as the medical outreach was disrupted abruptly.

A few minutes later, a team of anti-riot policemen arrived at the scene, firing teargas to disperse the opposing groups and quell the situation from getting out of hand.

It was gathered that a child was tear-gassed during the mayhem and became unconscious.

The situation led to the relocation of the medical outreach to a state-owned medical facility at the Waterlines axis of Port Harcourt where the programme was launched.

Reacting to the incident, the Obio/Akpor CTC Chairman, Chijioke Ihunwo, accused Amaewhule, of leading policemen to disrupt the outreach.

Ihunwo stated, “This morning there was an incident at the Eliozu Health Centre where the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, led some security men to disrupt a programme by the Ministry of Health.

“A few minutes later, some policemen came and started beating up our women, shooting tear gas at pregnant women who were at the Health Centre.

“We want to say that Obio/Akpor Local Government Area will not be under siege. We want to call on the President, Bola Tinubu that the Inspector General of Police and the Minister of the FCT are tarnishing the image of your government.

“We are calling on you to rein them in so that Rivers State can have peace. Let the FCT Minister concentrate on his job in Abuja and leave our dear governor alone.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident.

Iringe-Koko, in a short message to our correspondent, said the police responded to a distress call over the scenario, adding that the investigation was ongoing.

She stated, “A distress call was received from the health centre in the Eliozu community today, 24th July 2024, where supporters of two separate political factions were engaged in a fight.

“The police responded by sending operatives to the scene to restore law and order.

“The police deployed anti-riot tactics, including the use of canisters, to disperse the crowds. An investigation into the matter has been initiated.”

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Protest: Nnamdi Kanu, Diaspora Voting Make List As Organizers Unveil 15 Demands

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Organizers of the planned nationwide protest, scheduled for August 1 to August 10, have unveiled their key demands from President Bola Tinubu’s government.

The nation’s economic situation has propelled citizens, particularly the youths, to plan a mass protest nationwide.

Despite efforts by the government to quell the move, the youths are insisting on embarking on the protest in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.

Former presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore, who is one of the organizers of the movement, forwarded the demands to our correspondent on Wednesday.

The looming protest titled, “Days of Rage”, “EndBadGovernance” is aimed at drawing the attention of the Federal Government to the economic situation of the country.

Among other things, the intending protesters want the FG to return the fuel subsidy, address issues in the power sector, release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu from the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, and allow for diaspora voting during general elections

According to Sowore, Nigerians are asking the FG to “Scrap the 1999 constitution and replace it with a people-made Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a sovereign National Conference followed by a National Referendum.

“Toss the Senate arm of the Nigerian legislative system. Keep the House of Representatives and make lawmaking a part-time endeavour.

“Pay Nigerian workers a minimum wage of nothing less than N250,000 monthly.

“Invest heavily in education and give Nigerian students grants not loans. Aggressively pursue free and compulsory education for children across Nigeria.

“Release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally and demilitarize the South East. All ENDSARS and political detainees must also be released and compensated.

“Rationalize public owned enterprises sold to government officials and cronies.

“Reinstate a corruption-free subsidy regime to reduce hunger, starvation and multidimensional poverty.

“Probe past and present Nigerian leaders, who have looted the treasury, recover their loot and deposit it in a special account to fund education, healthcare and infrastructure.

They are also demanding the “Restructuring of Nigeria to accommodate Nigeria’s diversity, resources control, decentralization and regional development.

“End banditry, terrorism and violent crimes. Reform security agencies to stop continuous human rights violations.

“Establishment of a special energy immediately to drive massive corruption-free power sector development.

“Immediate reconstitution of the electoral body, INEC to remove corrupt individuals and partisan hacks appointed to manipulate elections.

“Massive investment in public works and industrialization will help employ Nigeria’s teaming youths.

“Massive shake-ups in the Nigerian judiciary to remove cabals of corrupt generations of judges and judicial officers that continue denying citizens access to real justice.

“Diaspora voting”.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday appealed to Nigerians to shelve the planned protest, urging youths to keep faith and believe in the ability of his administration to transform Nigeria.

 

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Stop Demarketing Dangote Refinery, Indigenous Companies – MAN Cautions FG

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has cautioned the Federal Government from demarketing local industries.

The Association also called for caution from major actors, government agencies, and regulators in the oil and gas sector of the economy regarding the Federal Government-Dangote Refinery saga.

MAN Director General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said government agencies that provide regulatory oversight functions should promote an enabling business environment for local investments to thrive.

He said no regulatory agency should cast a shadow over a homegrown investment like the Dangote Refinery.

According to him, the allegations of poor quality, and monopolistic tendencies levelled against Dangote Refinery by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) were unsubstantiated.

Ajayi-Kadir stressed that local investors in Nigeria, particularly the Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) play a vital role in driving economic growth, paying taxes, creating jobs and fostering development within the country. As such, these investors must be protected and given the necessary support to thrive in this business environment.

He said a business colossus like Alhaji Aliko Dangote, with investments in diverse sectors of the economy and across the Continent of Africa, should be accorded all needed support to grow and invest in more sectors and positively impact the well-being of the people.

 

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