The National Democratic Front (NDF) says the unmasking of Senator Ibikunle Amosun as gunrunner has vindicated the group’s earlier emphasis that serving and former governors are responsible for the current widespread insecurity in the country.
Barely a week ago, the NDF faulted the speculation that the Nigerian Governors Forum called on President Muhammadu Buhari to overhaul the nation’s security architecture as the perceived ending solution to insecurity.
The group argued that some of the so-called governors or their allies were directly responsible for creating or heightening the situation owing to greed for power.
As rightly envisaged, facts emerged how ex-Governor Amosun reportedly built nondescript armoury inside the Ogun State Government House where he stored truckloads of arms ahead of the elections.
After the polls, Mr Amosun surrendered at least four million rounds of ammunition, 1,000 units of AK47 assault rifles, 1,000 units of bulletproof vests and an armoured personnel carrier (APC).
When queried by the police, the ex-governor claimed he procured the artillery to check the widespread insecurity in his state of 3,751,140 residents.
Amosun thus joins a brazen company of politicians either involved in arms or reportedly sponsoring political thugs, others being Governors Nyesom Wike, Samuel Ortom and Darius Ishaku as well as ex-governors Abdulaziz Yari and Kashim Shettima.
In a press statement issued by Secretary-General Bolaji Abdukadir on Wednesday in Abuja, the group urged the Federal Government to immediately order that Senator Ibikunle Amosun be taken into custody for further investigation.
In the event that the FG lags in taking action, the NDF, however, issued a 7-day ultimatum to the serving senator and others fingered in the insecurity threat of the country.
“ The National Democratic Front (NDF) is eager for the federal government to get to the bottom of the weapon cache found with Amosun. It is pertinent to find out how he was able to ship such large consignment into the country without being found out, which could also suggest that there could be a company secretly manufacturing death in the country.
“ The investigation must unveil the extent of collusion in the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigerian Custom Service, if any. It is not likely that such large consignment could have been ferried around without the knowledge of these law enforcement agents. Where they are able to prove that they were unaware then a case of dereliction of duty must be opened against them.
“ We are concerned that for Amosun to have kept an inventory of 1000 rifles and 4,000,000 bullets, a larger number of the hardware would have fallen into the wrong hands. This explains the proliferation of light weapons that are in part responsible for the security breaches across the country. It is necessary to verify how much of these weapons he originally ordered for shipping into the country and how many of them he lost in transit, how many he has issued out prior to the election and the people he gave the weapons to.
“ Our concern is that Ibikunle Amosun is not alone in perpetrating acts that have put guns and bullets on our streets to make the country unsafe. In the past, Mr. Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state was named by captured militias as the one arming and funding them. His neighbour, Mr. Darius Ishaku of Taraba state named in a similar fashion. Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike has been linked with not only arming militants with deadly weapons but also kitting them in military uniform.
“ Former governor Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari of Zamfara state was linked to the birth of the so called banditry that has turned the state into a killing field while his counterpart in Borno, Kashim Ibrahim Shettima had a relationship that tolerated Boko Haram.
“ NDF is therefore demanding that the Federal Government immediately order that Senator Ibikunle Amosun be taken into custody for further investigation. The federal government must expand the investigation to include other states where the governor or former governor has been named as sponsoring militias or militants while such individuals are asked to surrender all the arms and ammunitions in their warehouses and armouries.
“ In the meantime, we are sending a strong message to all the identified serving and past governors that irrespective of whether the federal government acts or not, we are giving them a 7-day-grace to turn in all the weapons in their custody while also ordering those to whom they have issued weapons to return them for surrender to security agencies like Amosun did.
“ A failure to submit the inventory in their illegal armouries will lead to citizens will declaring civil disobedience against them. We have gotten to the crossroads where we have decided to take our fate into our own hands in the face of these blood sucking demons that we call governors.”