Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has warned that mischaracterisation of the Western Nigerian security initiative, codenamed Amotekun as an ethnic militia fomed for the purpose of seceeding from the country is capable of provoking actions that with possible tragic consequences.
The Nobel laureate said this in a statement he issued in reaction to interview granted a national newspaper by second republic governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa over the weekend.
Balarabe had in an interview said the Amotekun security initiative was an ethnic militia formed to actualize the agenda of the people of the Southwest to break away from the Nigerian federation for the formation Oduduwa Republic.
But Soyinka warned that there could be tragic consequences for the country if governments or some special interest groups begin to take action on the basis of postulation by Balarabe on the security initiative.
The Nobel laureate noted that since the promoters of Amotekun have repeatedly said the initiative is complementary to the existing security arrangements, such fears should not be entertained.
“Raising the spectre of secession is a facile approach to the dangerous, self-evident lapses in governance which Balarabe himself acknowledges in his response to the Amotekun principle made flesh,” Prof Soyinka said in the statement he released on Tuesday morning.
Read the full statement by Prof. Soyinka below.
Balarabe is sadly, but I hope not tragically wrong. I invoke the tragic dimension here because the making of tragedy, especially for nations, often begins when fears are mistaken, or promoted as facts, and governments either by themselves, or together with interest groups, are enticed by fears into embarking on precipitate, irrational, and irreversible acts.
Such acts turn out in the end to be based on nothing but fears, sometimes generated by guilt over past injustices, such as inequitable dealing. That is the basis of tragedy, towards which nations are propelled by a partial, or wrongful reading of socio-political realities and – history.
I would like to see this nation avoid such a blunder. So, I am certain, would Balarabe Musa. Raising the spectre of secession is a facile approach to the dangerous, self-evident lapses in governance which Balarabe himself acknowledges in his response to the Amotekun principle made flesh.
The midwives of Amotekun have repeatedly acknowledged that theirs is only a contribution towards a crisis of escalating proportions. Other states should be encouraged to emulate, not misread such initiatives, then demonize them by false attributions. That is the certain recipe for tragedy.