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Miyetti Allah Denies Joint Patrol With Amotekun

Amotekun Must Not Become Another SARS – Soyinka 

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria (MACBAN)

Mon Jan 11 2021

dailytrust.com

Some officials of Miyetti Allah in Oyo State have denied that they carried out a joint operation with Amotekun operatives and raided the settlements of Fulani herders suspected to be kidnappers in the state.

The officials, who spoke in confidence, told Daily Trust on Sunday that they were not part of the operation and wondered why a settlement that existed for over 45 years, with all the people living there known to relevant authorities, would be raided and some people killed.

One of the offcials said they discussed with the leadership of Amotekun and “agreed to meet at a certain place and time and we waited for them but sadly they didn’t come”.

Three Fulani herders including one Alhaji Usman Okebi and two of his sons were reportedly killed by Amotekun operatives during a raid at Okebi in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of the state.

A section of media reported that there was a clash between some herders and Amotekun in the community.

But at a press conference on Sunday, the Commandant of Oyo State Security Network Agency, Operation Amotekun, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (rtd), said there were no clashes between his men and Fulani herdsmen in Ibarapa land and Oke Ogun axis of Oyo State.

Six operations

The commandant, who addressed newsmen in Ibadan, said that his men launched six operations in four local government areas, but that the team in Aiyete was attacked inside the forest by suspected bandits, three of whom were killed.

According to him, the operations were fully supported by Fulani leaders living in the areas, and a number of Miyetti Allah members were part of the operations.

“Contrary to any report you might have come across, there was no clash whatsoever between Fulani herdsmen and Amotekun in Ibarapa or Oke Ogun axis of Oyo State.

“What happened was that we launched clearance operations in different locations around the thick forests of the four local governments that have suffered kidnapping and wanton killings in recent times.

“When our men entered the forests at Aiyede, they were attacked and a gun battle ensued, which led to the death of three of the attackers. One of our men sustained injuries.

“It was not a clash with the Fulani, because Fulanis were part of the planning of the operation and we raided the forests together. Amotekun worked closely with Miyetti Allah,” he said.

‘Innocent herders killed’

But one of the Miyetti Allah leaders who spoke to Daily Trust on phone countered Col. Olayanju, insisting that they were not part of the operations.

“Of course we had a meeting with the Amotekun leadership and agreed to carry out a joint operation.

“They told us some people have been abducted and they needed to go out for an operation to rescue them.

“We said it was okay to carry out the operation but there was the need for us to be fully involved because people in some of the locations they wanted to visit didn’t speak Yoruba and some of the Amotekun personnel didn’t speak Fulfulde or Hausa.

“We said they had to be careful so that they would not mistake innocent herders as kidnappers,” he said.

Another official said they only received a distress call after the damage had been done at one of the Fulani settlements.

“We were called that the Amotekun operatives had killed some of our people and we called the relevant authorities,” he said.

Amotekun Must Not Become Another SARS – Soyinka 

Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, restated on Saturday that the Western Nigeria Security Network code-named Amotekun has come to stay.

He, however, warned that the security outfit must not become another Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the recently disbanded police unit ‘notorious for extrajudicial killings’.

Daily Trust reports that the security outfit has come under criticism in recent times over alleged high-handedness and extrajudicial killings.

The outfit was particularly accused of killing two people in Ibadan, Oyo State including a student of the University of Ibadan.But Soyinka stated that ethical training must be prioritized for the Amotekun operatives so that they don’t become another SARS.

The Nobel Laureate stated this during an interview session on Arise Television in Lagos.He however described the advent of Amotekun as a community policing initiative in response to the seeming breakdown of the national security architecture.

He said other states where the Amotekun corps has not taken off should quickly put machineries in place to commence the initiative.

Our correspondent reports that Amotekun is yet to commence operation in Lagos and Ogun states, while it has commenced operation in other South-West states.

“Community policing like Amotekun is a recognition of the fact that the civic part of the entire national polity has got to wake up in not just its own defense but survival,” he stated.

He reiterated that training is key in experimenting with Amotekun, saying, “As you are training them to defend us, we are also training their minds so that Amotekun does not become another SARS, very important. We must do everything together.

“It is about time the public examined itself; what are we made up of?“

“Are there those among us who, if they got into power, will behave exactly as those kinds of agencies which we are repudiating and against which we are protesting,” he queried.

Soyinka also stated that “there is absolutely no excuse for the brutality that occurred in the wake of the noise, rumour, reality of people being shot at the Lekki tollgate.

”He expressed concern over the turn of events after the #EndSARS protest.

He said, “This is what makes our own responsibilities for ourselves as citizens even more difficult because when drama like that happens we go to the very heart of our existence as human beings to see our children have been swept up not for the first time and we cannot have a clear sequence of events articulated by the security agencies, by the government so that we can even take on our own against such events happening in the nation.”

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