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Amotekun, others not ripe for bearing arms — Group

The Centre for Leadership and Justice has said that the South-West Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun and other regional securi...


The Centre for Leadership and Justice has said that the South-West Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun and other regional security outfits in the country were not ripe to bear arms.

The President of the group, Emmanuel Umohinyang, who made this remark on Saturday while speaking with The Punch, said the regional security outfits should undergo intensive training before considering carrying arms.

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), had argued that if a private citizen can apply for a licence to bear arms for self-defence, the Amotekun Corps are also entitled to the same benefit.

But Umohinyang, who spoke on the heels of the security challenges facing the country, said giving arms to the newly formed Amotekun and other non-conventional security could cause havoc to the society.

According to him, “We have complained about the Amotekun in the South-West and you have also seen how Amotekun has descended to the arena. They ought to have been a solution but they have become a problem now.

“The same thing is applicable to the South-East. Thank God we opposed the idea by some governors that some of these states security outfit should be armed.

“One can only imagine what would have happened now. Even when they are not legally armed, the havoc they have caused with other weapons is there for everyone to see.”

On some of the kidnappings and killings in some parts of the country, the legal practitioner called on Nigerians to avoid the temptation of branding a particular ethnic group as kidnappers, rapists and killers.

He explained that while victims of such violent crimes must report to the police, accusing a particular ethnic group without investigation was unfair.

He stated that the police would take issues bordering on insecurity seriously and added that Nigerians should not lose faith in the Nigeria Police Force.

Umohinyang said, “Nobody should label a particular ethnic group as criminals; that is like painting everybody with the same brush. Let us fish out those who are criminals, those undesirable elements. There are deviants in every society, let us fish those ones out and deal with them.

“But trying to create an impression that a particular ethnic group is responsible for the entire insecurity challenges would be erroneous. Nigerians should always report and do a follow-up to ensure that those culprits are arrested and prosecuted.

“When we try to locate crime within a particular ethnic group or religion, we are setting our country on fire; we should identify criminals even if they are Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, Ibibio or Efik. It is necessary to do so according to the law of the land.”

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