Governors of Nigeria’s southwest states have condemned the alleged role of the attorney-general Abubakar Malami in deploying security operatives to evict residents of Magodo Estate in Lagos State.
The governors said it was ‘disgraceful’ for a security agent to disregard Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who visited the scene to broker a truce in the ongoing issue.
Consequently, Southwest governors have advised Sanwo-Olu to Amotekun, a security outfit launched by states in the Southwest, “to protect the lives and property of the people.”
Sanwo-Olu visited Magodo on Tuesday and ordered an Assistant Superintendent of Police Abimbola Oyewole and other officers to vacate the place.
The officer, who claimed to be acting on the orders of Malami and the inspector general of police, however, disregarded the Lagos State governor’s order.
Rotimi Akeredolu, chairman of the Southwest Governors Forum in a statement said “the utter disrespect and response of the officer to the governor establishes, beyond doubt, the impracticability of the current system, dubiously christened “federalism”.”
“We condemn, in very clear terms, the role of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami SAN in this act of gross moral turpitude,” Akeredolu said. “We condemn, very strongly, this brazen assault on decency.”
The Southwest governors chairman called on the IG to “explain the justification for this intrusion.”
Akeredolu said any expectations of rapprochement between so-called federating units and federal security agencies “are becoming forlorn, progressively, due to deliberate acts which mock our very avowal to ethics and professionalism.”
The governor, an advocate of a state police system in Nigeria questioned the current federal policing structure which compels a governor to “seek clarifications on security issues in his jurisdiction from totally extraneous bodies or persons”, describing it as “a sure recipe for anarchy.”
“We, on our part, will continue to interrogate the current system, which treats elected representatives of the people as mere prefects, while appointed office holders ride roughshod over them as Lords of the Manor,” Akeredolu said.
“If the purported Chief Security Officers of the States of the Federation require clearance from the office of the IG on matters within their areas of jurisdictions, only hypocrites will wonder why the current security crisis deepens and there appears to be no solution in the foreseeable future.”
The Southwest governors called on President Muhammadu Buhari “to rein in the excesses of certain elements bent on acting in a manner capable of eroding the bond of trust existing between the people and the Federal Government.”