By Ibrahim Sheme
The Amotekun palaver has clearly become an albatross for the Buhari Administration and will, indeed, become an election issue very, very soon. The Southwest is clearly hell-bent on having its way, marshalling its propaganda resources in form of pressure groups such as legal luminaries, academics, civil liberty organisations, politicians, the media, etc. – to muscle its way through the ongoing controversy.
The situation is becoming dicey for the APC-led Federal Government vis-a-vis the 2023 general elections.
If the government sticks to its guns and refuses to let the Southwest have its way, then, the region may use its clout at the polls, switching its allegiance to another political party. Before that happens, political actors in APC at national and local levels will be faced with a painful dilemma: remain with Baba of Aso Rock and become pariahs back home. People like Asiwaju Bola A. Tinubu will now have to work seriously on the government to let the Amotekun be, pointing at the political risks involved.
My guess is that the governnent, by its nature, will eventually cave in and turn tail on the issue. As of those Northerners who don’t like Amotekun, there will be no problem. If Baba says Amotekun is okay, then it is okay; not many of his supporters will disagree.
But that also has inherent risks. Many other Northerners would consider the government as weak in the knees when it comes to the Southwest, which many here regard as already over-pampered by the present government. Indeed, I daresay Baba’s popularity rating in the North is not as impressive as it used to be way back in 2015.
Truth is, the Attorney-General should have tried to abort Amotekun when it was still an embryo. His attempt to kill it after it has been born is backfiring. Having been born, he shouldn’t have declared it an illegal child a few days after the Yorubas have held the naming ceremony with their usual pomp and pageantry. He should have considered the game the Yorubas would play in the run up to the 2023 elections. Amotekun is united them beyond party lines. To them, it is a matter of life and death since it involves security, which the Federal Government is seen to have failed to provide.
Sheme is an author and publisher of a film magazine which is online and hard copy, he is with national open university of Nigeria ( ( noun)