The Senior Pastor of Citadel Global Community Church (formerly Latter Rain Assembly), Pastor Tunde Bakare, on Sunday, said that the launch of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) codenamed Operation Amotekun, has shown that the country cannot run away from restructuring along the lines of true federalism.
The clergy stated this in Lagos during a church service, adding that the trend towards regional security outfits is an indication that Nigeria needs to revisit its national foundations and renegotiate them in order to have a more perfect union.
Bakare, a running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2011 presidential election, which the president lost, further said that Nigeria must frankly address its growing contentious national questions of constitutionalism and nationhood at the table of brotherhood rather than continue to sweep them under the carpet.
He said: “The proponents of Amotekun, particularly in the South, justify the move by referencing the Sharia police or Hisbah as a northern version of regional policing. The opponents, on the other hand, particularly from the North, express fears of possible regional political motivations.
“These are clear indications that the issues we swept under the carpet in past decades are still staring us in the face. We cannot continue to hide under the umbrella of one finger. It is time to address the underlying issues of nationhood and reset Nigeria on the path to predictable progress.
“The way forward for these recurring questions of federalism, including that of regional or state policing is to travel downwards to revisit the constitutional foundations while looking upwards with unwavering faith in our divinely ordained destiny as one strong, united nation, with a strong federal government and strong federating units; a nation in which government as an entity is close enough to serve the people and strong enough to protect them.
“We must not lose sight of the main issue in the Operation Amotekun debate, which is that the current mono-level security architecture has proved inadequate to combat the security challenges that confront not just the South-West but every zone in our nation. Security challenges such as kidnapping, herdsmen attacks, cattle rustling, terrorism and the porosity of our borders.”
“Good as the Amotekun Security outfit and similar initiatives across the nation are, we will have fewer security challenges when government at all levels focus urgent attention on job creation for the massive army of jobless youths in our nation.
“Youth joblessness is the breeding ground for the various forms of crime that have bedevilled our land. Evidently, idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Even our present constitution, flawed as it is, stipulates that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
“Consequently, we cannot prioritise the security of the citizens above the welfare of the citizens; the two must go hand in hand. When that happens, the crime rate will drastically drop as our youths across the length and breadth of the federation are gainfully employed or helped to become job creators themselves”, he said.