By Gbenro Adesina & dejoke Adeleye
Governor Oluseyi Makinde of Oyo State on Wednesday visited former Nigeria’s President, Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State behind closed doors and he adduced the reason for his visit.
Makinde refused to disclose details of the meeting with Obasanjo, but said it was a New Year visit.
He said: “As you all know, it is a New Year and traditionally, one should go out to greet elders to wish them a happy and rewarding year. So, I came here to greet Baba and wish him the best for this year 2020”.
Speaking with newsmen, he took a swipe at the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Abubakar Malami for declaring the Operation Amotekun outfit illegal, saying that the outfit was established to complement the work of the security agencies and bridge the gaps in the security of the geopolitical zone.
The Governor claimed that the Minister’s comment was misguided, stressing that the Minister lacked the moral and constitutional power to make such declaration.
He added that since the Attorney-General’s position has not been conveyed through any official correspondence, it should be taken with a pinch of salt.
According to him, government cannot be run on the pages of newspapers or through the social media.
Makinde stated that Operation Amotekun has not in any way violated the nation’s constitution, but rather, it was an intervention to narrow the gaps in security in the South-West.
He added that given the centrality of security to governance, the Governors of the South-West designed the Operation to complement efforts of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies.
He said that the Operation was designed to help in combating insecurity in all the nooks and crannies of the South-West states of Nigeria.
Governor Makinde said: “You don’t run a government on social media. If I see a letter or receive a call from the Attorney-General of the Federation saying that Amotekun is illegal, it will be a different reaction. For now, I have been reading on social media just like you and I have not seen anything official to that effect. Besides, I don’t think that in a country like Nigeria, the Attorney-General should just wake up and make his own law.
“He may interpret and advise the President about legal issues but I have not seen anything that gave his office the power to make such declaration. This outfit is complementary to the effort of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies. In Oyo State, the government has four pillars; namely education, health, security and expansion of our economy through agribusiness. So, security is a major pillar for us and we believe we cannot have any development in an atmosphere that is not secure.
“If you look at investments, the money coming into an economy is like a coward; if such money sees anywhere that is not secure, it will fly. So, security is key and security agencies are doing their best but there is still a gap. Just like in most sectors of our body polity, we do have gaps; in education, health care delivery and the rest. We believe playing complementary roles will help to narrow those gaps.”
Makinde, who stated that his administration had been recording successes and peace because the people were supporting its programmes and policies, promised not to take the people for granted.