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Governors in the six states of the South West have told the Federal Government not to see the launch of the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun as an agenda to undermine the integrity of the country.
Instead, the initiative was meant to discharge their constitutional responsibilities to the people who elected them into office.
The governors said this at the launch of the security outfit which held at the Oyo state governor’s office, Secretariat, Ibadan.

The epochal event was well attended by prominent Yoruba leaders including traditional rulers and politicians. Governors Seyi Makinde, Rotimi Akeredolu and Kayode Fayemi of Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti States respectively attended the event while Governors of Ogun, Lagos and Osun sent their representatives.
The governors who spoke separately reiterated that initiative was occasioned by the need to protect their people from any aggression.
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti who is also the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum made it succinctly clear that the killing of the daughter of the leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, put more pressure on the governors in the zone to find a means to address the security challenges.
He said: “The genesis of this initiative was when we were being assaulted by a spate of kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery across the length and breadth of Western Nigeria. We obviously sought succour in all the right places and the mainstream security agencies did their best to arrest the situation.

“It was in the context of this unfortunate development that we lost a daughter of our leader in Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti and that further put and rightfully, a lot of pressure on the political leadership of the South West to do something about the fear our community and constituencies were in.
“They were not sleeping with their eyes closed and as elected leaders of the south of various states, our primary responsibilities according to Section 14(2) of the Nigerian Constitution as amended is the security and welfare of our citizens and that’s what informed the coming together of my colleagues and I to fashion a way that we can utilise to complement the work of our security agencies that are quite overstretched in their efforts to arrest the menace that had afflicted not just our zone but the entire country at a time.
“But having been a relatively peaceful zone, we were now witnessing the problem, our people became agitated. So, six months ago, we held a security summit in Ibadan and I’m pleased that this idea has been embraced by the leadership of the police because the IGP announced the commitment of the police to community policing.
“Amotekun is nothing but a community policing response to problems that our people wanted to see the back of. Pending the time that the community policing being put together by the police come to fruition, it is clearly important that we give confidence our people confidence boosting strategy.
” If you ask me, Amotekun is nothing but a confidence-building strategy for our people in the six states. The personnel that would work in the security outfit would do the work with the knowledge of the terrain, language and history of where they are going to work.
“Amotekun is not a duplication or a replacement but gives our people confidence that they are being looked after by the people they elected into office.”
“We have seen all sorts in social media. What has proliferated the social media is an attempt to sabotage what we are doing. We are not creating a regional police force neither are we oblivious of steps to take in order to have state police. Yes, some of us are an apologetic, inveterate advocate of state police, but we are also law-abiding citizens of Nigeria. We know the process and procedure to undergo to get to that point.
Don’t misrepresent our motive ”
We don’t want anybody to misrepresent what we are doing here. Amotekun is going to operate in Oyo. However, we share boundaries and there may be a situation that would warrant a handshake between one or the other of our Amotekun formation.
Most importantly, it is not an agenda to undermine the integrity of our country.
“Just as some of us are unapologetic Yoruba indigenes, we are very proud citizens of Nigeria and we will do everything to protect the integrity of our people,”
The host governor, Engr Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, said traditionally, human beings are afraid of what they do not understand.
“The security of their lives and properties should be of paramount importance. When we discuss the economic potentials of our states, and talk of investment opportunities, and growing our internally generated revenue, by exploring areas of comparative advantage, we remain fully aware that we cannot achieve anything in a state of insecurity. And so, we are here.
“To those who are afraid, I say, when we assumed office, we all took the oath of office and promised to be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. To follow the dictates of the Constitution and protect the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“That enemy is not Nigeria, but bad elements among us who are threatening our co-existence. We shall ensure that Amotekun is in line with the security architecture of the Constitution.”
We’ll defend southwest against aggression ― Professor Akintoye
Professor Adebanji Akintoye, Yoruba World Congress Leader who leads other 28 different organizations, said the zone would not fold its arms while its indigenes are being overrun.
He said this while granting an interview with Vanguard before the commencement of the programme.
While giving his goodwill message, he said, “I don’t think anybody is in doubt that our nation is in danger today. Our farmers are being driven from their lands. And we know that large numbers of our farmers out of the fear for their lives and families have fled their abodes.
“The foundation of our economic well being is fearfully being eroded. And we cannot just watch. And the Yoruba people have not just watched. When we first started, we did not know how to take it because we Yoruba are peaceful people.

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BREAKING: Edo Assembly: Bola Tinubu attacks Obaseki, makes fresh claims against Governor

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has reacted to recent events at the Edo State House of Assembly, describing Governor Godwin Obaseki’s actions as “the gravest possible assault on constitutional democracy and the rule of law and escalation of violence and tension in the state he purports to govern.”

Tinubu said this in a statement he personally signed and made available to DAILY POST on Friday.

The former Lagos State Governor berated Obaseki, accusing him of making a mockery of Nigeria’s constitution by blocking the timely inauguration of two-thirds of the elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly, and now resorting to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.

According to Tinubu, Obaseki had sponsors hoodlums to deface, indeed destroy, parts of the House of Assembly Building in Benin while feigning the building is undergoing renovation.

“Then, he imports sand and gravels to prevent access to the assembly complex,” Tinubu said.

He noted that by this singular act, Obaseki spent state “funds to thwart the very apparatus of the state government he was sworn to uphold.”

Tinubu said that the Governor squandered “public money to defeat the very will of the public. This is tragic beyond words.”

The statement added, “As a pretext for his refusal to allow the Edo House of Assembly to function, Governor Obaseki’s actions are perverse. This is a cowardly act and a move to thwart representative democracy in Edo.

“No renovation has been planned for the state house building. No appropriation was made in the state’s budget. The only reason any renovation could be deemed necessary is the destruction wrought by his own goons.

“Governor Obaseki’s governance of Edo State recalls the worst excesses of our military past and represents a direct threat to the democratic order. By his refusal to permit duly elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly to perform their constitutional duties, Governor Obaseki betrayed contempt for the people of his state and, unfortunately, his ignorance of Nigeria’s constitutional order. As a Governor he ought to know better than to obstruct the functioning of his own legislature, but perhaps he is in need of a quick lesson.

“The legislative function is, perhaps, the most foundational obligation of any government. In the UK, the Parliament was famously said to be “that supreme and absolute power, which gives life and motion to the English government”. In most democratic systems, the legislature is the arm of government containing within itself the people’s representatives in government.

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“As such, the legislative arm is critical. It is an important symbol of democratic governance. The voice, will and desires of the people are reposed in their elected representatives sent to the legislature to express and distil their amorphous will into the laws and codes by which the society has agreed to live.

“In the context of a constitutional democracy such as ours, the legislature’s authority stems, in effect, from the recognition that it is the authentic mouthpiece of the people, entrusted with the responsibility of representing their collective will and the power to interpret and mould it into the laws of the land. It is, in short, not to be toyed with as a plaything of an errant and ill-disciplined governor. Undermine the legislature and you imperil democracy and allow governance to descend into anarchy.

“Indeed, it is no coincidence that of the three arms of government, the powers of the legislature are enumerated first, in our Constitution. The legislature is the authority imbued with the power to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the federation and states. Indeed, the Constitution makes clear that a Governor’s role primarily extends to the maintenance and implementation of the laws set down for him by his state’s legislature.

“In placing himself above the legislature, deciding who gets in and who is shut out, Governor Obaseki not only places himself above the nation’s constitutional order, he places himself above the people of Edo State whose representatives he so brazenly tramples upon. One can only wonder, given the desperation with which he has acted and his belligerent refusal to honour the free choice of the people of his own state, what mortal offence the majority members he has shut out have committed to warrant such treatment.

“Although Governor Obaseki’s conduct in the past year is undoubtedly impeachable, these legislators have made no threat to impeach the Governor. Their only desire is to peacefully perform the duties asked of them by the constituents who elected them. What, then, is their offence?

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“By all appearances, the Governor is punishing these legislators for their loyalty to a party that is no longer his own. If every governor behaves as he, obstructing the performance of any legislator who does not pledge to him their undying fealty, the entire edifice of democratic governance in Nigeria would grind to a complete halt.

“In his campaign for re-election, Governor Obaseki promises to represent and defend the interests of all the people of his state. Yet, so blinded is he by his personal ambition, he sees no irony in the fact that his actions have denied two-thirds of the people of his state their right to representation in the state’s only legislative chamber.

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“Governor Obaseki must think the people of his state to be as foolhardy and ignorant as he, for even as he courts their votes, he continues to make a mockery of the institution of democracy in his own House of Assembly. If Governor Obaseki believes the people are not aware of this inherent irony, he will undoubtedly learn the cost of this grave miscalculation in the fullness of time.

“The rule of law and preservation of democracy is too important to sacrifice at the altar of any one man’s ambition. Governor Obaseki’s woeful leadership of Edo State will hopefully be brought to an end soon by the very people whose rights he has so carelessly trampled upon. One can only hope that the damage he is doing to the most important of the state’s democratic institutions can just as easily be repaired.”

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Edo election: Details of Buhari’s meeting with Ize-Iyamu, others emerge

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President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja received the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, urging party leaders and campaign team to do all that is necessary, following legal and constitutional means, to win the election.

President Buhari received the governorship candidate at the State House alongside Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni; Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, as well as APC Campaign Chairman for Edo State elections and Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

The President charged the party leaders to avoid the pitfalls that affected the party’s victory in Rivers, Zamfara and Bayelsa States in the 2019 elections, pointing out that with the resolution of the “acute crisis’’ in the party in Edo State, he was optimistic that the party will regain its pride of place in winning elections, and serving the people.

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President Buhari urged party leaders at the national and state levels to follow the electoral process in an open and transparent manner.

“What I want is a transparent process so that the confidence of the people will be strengthened.’’

The President congratulated Pastor Ize-Iyamu on his emergence as the party’s candidate in Edo State after a “turbulent process’’, assuring him of full support.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, who presented the candidate, told the President that: “Pastor Ize- Iyamu is a seasoned grassroots politician who is loved by his people’’, noting that President Buhari’s blessings on the candidate further validates the party’s confidence.

The Chairman of the APC Edo State gubernatorial campaign, Governor Ganduje, said in line with the principles of the party, the APC will lead a clean campaign, devoid of acrimony, hatred and violence.

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Governor Ganduje said the campaign had started on a good and happy note, with the APC already taking over the state legislature with a majority of 17 out of 24.

In his response, Pastor Ize-Iyamu assured the President of his commitment to ensuring good governance in the state if elected in September elections, recalling that he served as Deputy Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee of the APC at its formation.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu said he was glad to return to the APC, describing his initial exit as that of a “prodigal son’’.

The APC candidate thanked the President for the warm and fatherly reception, saying he was honoured to receive the party’s flag from the President.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu told State House Press Corps that he was fully in charge of his campaign as a popular candidate who served the State as Chief of Staff and Secretary to State Government in previous administrations.

He also said former APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had already explained that his initial unfriendly comments during the 2016 campaigns were purely political aimed at giving another candidate an edge in the elections.

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The Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum said all the APC governors were fully behind the candidature of Pastor Ize-Iyamu.

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