The following is a directive to all members of the Yoruba World Congress who may attend any Public Hearing in any Yoruba state on the issue of Amotekun:
A. We Yoruba are a democratic people and therefore we concede that any person or group from any source, Yoruba or non-Yoruba, may make representations at any Public Hearing over any matter in any state of the Yoruba Nation of the Southwest of Nigeria.
B. But the officials and agents responsible for organizing and managing Amotekun must know, understand and act according to the following:
- Since the year 2014, certain Fulani cattle-herding elements from outside Yorubaland have been coming into Yorubaland in the Nigerian Southwest and in Kwara and Kogi States, with deliberate intent to destroy the farms and the means of livelihood of Yoruba farmers and rural dwellers, and to destroy Yoruba villages and rural communities. These Fulani elements and their sponsors have been acting upon perverse claims that deny Yoruba ownership of the ancestral homeland of the Yoruba nation. They have been claiming that the Yoruba homeland, and indeed the whole of Nigeria, belongs to their small Fulani nation. And they have been encouraging and assisting other Fulani folks from countries outside of Nigeria to come and seize and violently possess land in Yorubaland and other parts of Nigeria. These Fulani elements have been using herds of cows to destroy Yoruba farms. When the farmers protest or resist, these Fulani elements have been employing militias armed with sophisticated assault weapons to attack the Yoruba farmers, kill the farmers and their wives and children, and destroy their villages and other assets of rural life. They have also established hostile settlements and hideouts at many locations in Yorubaland , from which locations they have been sending out gangs of armed men to terrorize neighbouring Yoruba farms and villages, to kill farmers on farms, to attack, rape and kill women on farms or on paths to farms, to kill children on their ways to or from school, and to kidnap people on farms, on rural paths, and on major highways. They have taken kidnapped people into deep forests, viciously brutalized them there, and extorted ransom for their release – and in this way, they have extorted large amounts of money from Yoruba families. These Fulani elements have thus generated enormous insecurity and instability in Yorubaland. They have forced countless Yoruba farmers to abandon farming altogether, and they constitute a very serious threat to the economic well-being of the Yoruba nation. Their terroristic onslaught is a wholesale invasion of Yorubaland.
- As is common with societies under invasion, this Fulani invasion has stimulated various kinds of local crime in Yorubaland. In particular, local criminals have stepped up the crime of kidnapping for ransom and thereby added their own share to the insecurity and instability.
- The natural first reaction of the Yoruba people has been to call on every Yoruba person to defend his farm, his family and his village and other assets, and never surrender any piece of land to the Fulani invaders. But, for a civilized nation like the Yoruba, it soon became obvious that if such self-defence were to become general, the Yoruba farmlands would become an arena where large numbers of people, Yoruba and Fulani, would be regularly killed. To prevent such a bloodbath, the State Governors of the Yoruba Southwest have stepped forth to create a defensive structure named AMOTEKUN under which some Yoruba people will be recruited, trained and properly guided and supervised, to defend their homeland – and to discourage a continuation of the Fulani maraudings. The Yoruba nation is very grateful to its state governors for this wonderful gift.
- Amotekun is an exclusive Yoruba instrument of collective self-defence. Those responsible for organizing Amotekun, for recruiting people into it, for training the recruits, and for commanding and supervising the trained recruits, are, and must be, Yoruba. The persons recruited and trained for service in Amotekun are, and must be, Yoruba. The Yoruba nation does not, and cannot, understand anything different from that. The Yoruba nation is blessed with millions of men and women who are eager to serve Amotekun.
- We Yoruba people cherish, and are holding up, our ancient tradition of hospitality to foreigners on Yoruba soil. But we must do our duty now to make our homeland peaceful for all who live on our land – for ourselves and for all our non-Yoruba compatriots.
- We find it disturbingly presumptuous that some Fulani groups, especially Miyetti Allah, are railing against OPC and others of our civic organizations. The decision to use any Yoruba person or Yoruba organization for Amotekun is a decision for only the Yoruba people to take. No Yoruba person or group has ever asked to be allowed to contribute to the decision how the Fulani people will use Miyetti Allah.
- We Yoruba are confident that the recruitments to Amotekun will be competently, patriotically and wisely carried out by those in charge. But we want to add the following. Since the Amotekun teams will be defending their localities, we urge those charged with the recruitment to recruit Local Government area by Local Government area, and to recruit in each Local Government area the small group that will defend and protect their Local Government area. These should be persons who belong to, and who reside in, the Local Government area. We also urge the recruiters not to forget to recruit some of our local hunters, so as to add their well-known expertise to the defence and protection of their Local Government areas.
PROF (SENATOR) BANJI AKINTOYE