By Abimbola Abatta, Osogbo
The Osun Government says there is no religious colouration in Amotekun.Amotekun is solely a collective response to curtailing criminal activities in the South West.
In a meeting with pressmen on Monday, the Governor, through his Chief Press Secretary, MrIsmail Omipidan, stated that any religious tintaccorded to the security outfit is nothing but a deliberate propagation of misinformation.
He dissuaded the claims regarding the outfit saying, “As far as Osun state is concerned, there’s no certificate issued by any church for any recruitment for Amotekun Operations.”
The Governor, therefore, urged the public todesist from any attempt aimed at puncturingpeace and unity in Osun and the Southwest region at large.
“The government is yet to start recruitment on Amotekun. Osun is a peaceful state, and the government will not allow anybody to cause disaffection among the people of the state,”
Earlier, some members of an Islamic Organization, the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria, on Monday, expressed dissatisfaction over the process that gave birth to Operation Amotekun.
Addressing a press conference at Osun NUJ Correspondents’Chapel in Osogbo on Monday, the National Vice Chairman of the Council, Sheik Abdur’raheed Hadiyatullah,opined that Governors in the Southwest region should not favourany religion or ethnic group for victimization.
“Provision of effective safety for lives and property of the people at any point in time is a collective responsibility one that is devoid of any iota of elements of religious, ethnic and primitive bigotry; a type of garment that Amotekun presently but unfortunately wears.”
The group contended that the newly-launched Southwest Security outfit has religious colouration, as the promoters exhibited a “constructive display of low understanding of religious tolerance”, by not consulting appropriate channels before unveiling Amotekun.
According to the group, “the isolation of a sizeable number of the concerned people specifically, the Muslims who are the majority in the region and some faithfuls of other religions by these Governors especially the 5 Christians Governors in the deliberation that subsequently produced the planned Amotekun is nothing but a constructive display of low understanding of Religious tolerance on the side of promoters of the security outfit.”
“Apart from the reference to birth certificates from churches and letters of reference from pastors, the choice of nomenclature is another controversial issue because it has a strong Christian identity.”
“Research has revealed the biblical origin of this name and it makes Muslims suspicious. Why Amotekun of all brands? “
“Jeremiah 5:6 says, ‘A leopard shall guard over their city’. Amotekun is mentioned in this verse with particular reference to guarding a city.”
“Any form of the Christian Agenda camouflage as a security outfit, such as the Amotekun, where the Muslims population from the Southwest and in the country at large is viewed asan act of injustice, unfairness, inequality, barbarism, savagery and wickedness taken too far and therefore outright unacceptable and thereby condemned in its entirety.”