Igbo Youth Leaders blast Northern Youths over Amotekun comments

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Leaders of various Igbo youth groups in Anambra have commended the Amotekun security initiative of the Southwest region as a self-help security effort and not a threat to national peace and security.

The commendation is coming on the heels of comments by some youths under the aegis of Northern Youths Council of Nigeria which described the Amotekun Group as the Military wing of Oodua Peoples Congress, (OPC) in disguise.

The Northern Youths have also urged southwest Governors desist from backing the group which they noted, is no different from the Boko Haram and IPOB movements.

But in a reaction, the Anambra State Chairman, Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth Wing, Comrade Chukwuma has said there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Southwest establishing a working security arrangement for the protection of the lives and property of their people.

He described the initiative as laudable and warranted, considering the spate of insecurity across the country.

“Security of lives and property is a major function of government but we know that government alone cannot undertake this onerous task. It is one that requires inputs from all stakeholders to achieve. Igbo youths are solidly behind the Amotekun initiative and we view it as laudable,” he said.

On the comments of the Northern Youths Council, Okpalaezukwu pointed out that although the nation practices democracy and everyone has the right to air their views and opinions, Nigerians must guard their utterances, to ensure that it does not ignite undue rift and agitations.

For his part, the Deputy President, National Youths Council Of Nigeria (NYCN) Comrade Innocent Nduanya said the development makes it even more imperative for the Federal Government to give approval to the clamor for state Police.

According to him, it is only people of a zone that understands clearly, the intricacies of the security issues in their areas and the State Police in a large way, will make for effective policing of all nooks and crannies of the country.

“The Federal Government is presently not living up to expectation with respect to the security of the lives and property of Nigerians. If the government is really interested in safeguarding the lives of Nigerians, this is time to approve the establishment of state police. The Southwest now has its own. There is the Hizbah Police in the North and soon, the Southeast will come up with theirs. The establishment of State Police will make it a national thing instead of allowing the regions to establish their own security systems and giving them whatever name they like,” Nduanya concluded.

For the Anambra State Chairman of NYCN, Comrade Samuel Egwuatu and a Senior Special Assistant to Anambra State Governor on Legal Matters, Barr Chika Ekwenugo, Nigerians should not see the Amotekun initiative as having secessionist undertone as it does not run contrary to the Central Security System put in place by the Federal Government.

They, however, called on governors of the Southeast region to emulate their Southwest counterpart and pull resources together to provide such additional security architecture that will complement the efforts of the conventional security agencies at addressing the security challenges of the region.

“There is no way you will see the Amotekun prosecuting criminals. They capture these criminals because they understand the terrain better and then hand them over to the Police. The truth is that whichever way one needs to protect his territory, they should do that, as long as they do not contravene extant laws of the country,” they noted.

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