Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, on Wednesday asked the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who he said just woke up, to go back to sleep.
Soyinka said this at a press conference, where berated Malami for declaring the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), also known as Amotekun, illegal.
Advising those who were sleeping while Nigerians were being killed to go back to sleep, he said: “Some people, who have been sleeping all this time, taking belated actions, watching the citizenry of this nation being decimated, villages being wiped out, farmers being chased off their lands; not merely in the North-East or North-West but also down South to Ogun State, Bayelsa to the East; Enugu, are telling us that this initiative is illegal, unconstitutional. I think they should go back to sleep.
“There may be criticisms here and there. That’s normal. It’s expected. There will be fears that this might be misused. There are possibilities of correction. But to say that a people don’t have a right to defend their lives, to secure their means of livelihood, to flush out the evil elements among themselves. I am talking about ritual killers, kidnappers, armed robbers and 419ners.’’
Soyinka further said that branding the security initiative as illegal when the people wanted to tackle what the existing security unit had been unable to check is an enemy action, unpatriotic and inhuman.
“I prefer to believe that the government itself has not spoken. I refuse to believe that any serious government which cares for its citizenry will raise an objection to this kind of initiative. Whether they raise it or not, Amotekun has come to stay. Amotekun is a creation of people about humanity not about legalism.
“Amotekun is only a part of the story. We all know the criminality derived from many causes among them poverty, hunger, desperation, sense of alienation. Amotekun should not just be about crime prevention. It should not be the only solution to insecurity and criminality. There have to be initiatives for the amelioration of the impoverished condition of our people. We should move from Amotekun to Arosikun. Both should be complementary. In other words, we should start thinking in terms of how to feed our own people. We must think outside the normal parameters of productivity and distribution. Hunger is real. Poverty is real and it is very much with us…
“Amotekun yes, Arosikun; we think also of the needs of the stomach. I don’t want to use the expression ‘stomach infrastructure.’ That already has a bad odour. And those who promoted it would know very well whose stomachs they were looking after. I prefer just Arosikun. Amotekun and Arosikun both combined to end criminality once and for all in our community”, the Nobel laureate said.