June 12, 2024

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Amotekun is biblical, its for Christians, MURIC alleged

3 min read

Mojisola Lawal
Following the resolution of governors in the six Southwest States to give a legal backing to Operation Amotekun, the Southwest security initiative, a non-governmental rights organisation, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on the governors to allow the re-branded security agency to embrace all citizens living in the sub-region.

MURIC in a statement issued by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola advised that the regional security outfit should not be a tool in the hands of the governors to victimise any ethnic group or individual in the society.

The statement read,“ No living soul in Yoruba land will oppose the setting up of a security outfit to complement the army, police, NSCDC, DSS and others. We all want lives and properties secured all over Nigeria. That is why people living on every street have security arrangements in place while some individuals also have both day and night guards in their private offices and homes.

“It is therefore mischievous to give the impression that Muslims are against the South West security initiative. No reasonable Nigerian today will frown at attempts to boost internal security in any part of the country but what we oppose is the religious and ethnic tinge which the handlers gave Amotekun.”

It added that, “Nigerians cannot blame Muslims in the country for crying out when you ask them to bring birth certificates from churches before joining Amotekun. Neither can they expect Nigerians to stand akimbo when they asked them to bring letters of recommendation from churches.

Muslims in the Yoruba enclave are not opposing Amotekun as a security initiative but we vehemently oppose is a situation where an apparently anti-Islam security outfit comes into operation in Yoruba land.”

MURIC argued that the choice of nomenclature is a controversial issue because it has a strong Christian identity.

It queried, “Why ‘Amotekun’ as a name for crying out loud? Research has revealed the biblical origin of this name and it makes Muslims suspicious. Why Amotekun of all brands?”

It stated further, “Jeremiah 5:6 says, ‘A leopard shall guard over their city’. Amotekun is mentioned in this verse with particular reference to guarding a city.

Now, we have a sub-region where Muslims have been under persecution for ages coming up with a security outfit under the name of the same leopard mentioned in the bible as a guard over the city. This is not a coincidence.

The handlers of Amotekun picked the name deliberately from the bible in order to score a spiritual point. It is very critical. It calls for serious concern. So why give a security unit a religious name?

“We, therefore, advise initiators of the new security outfit to give it another name in the interest of peace and harmony in the sub-region. This is necessary if they want to carry all stakeholders along.

Amotekun as a name is already controversial. We do not need a Christian security unit. Neither do we need a Muslim security outfit. The security agency in the South West must not only be neutral, it must also be seen to be neutral.

“We affirm that Muslims form the majority in the population of the South West. They Muslims must be carried along in any security network in the zone. We are interested in security. We are security conscious.

We will therefore join a Southwest security initiative if it is not tainted with Christian landmarks. We will have confidence in a security outfit that involves Muslim leaders, not one that parades pastors, bishops and archbishops alone.

“There is no racism or tribalism in Islam (Qur’an 49:13). It is a global brotherhood. Yoruba Muslims love Yoruba land. They also love Nigeria. But they owe their Creator, Allah, an unflinching and undiluted love towards their brothers and sisters in Islam no matter their race, tribe or colour.

From Allah we came and unto Allah we shall return. On that Day, nobody will be judged on the basis of his tribe but on the basis of his deeds on earth. Nonetheless, we believe in a united Nigeria and we will support a security unit that constitutes no threat to any tribe in the country, be it Igbo, Fulani, Ijaw, or Tiv.

“In addition, the organisers of Amotekun must desist from attempts to intimidate perceived opponents of the scheme. Leaders of the group must caution their foot-soldiers against excesses. They must distance themselves from arm-twisting gimmicks like deliberately misinterpreting statements made by people who oppose the Amotekun idea.”

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