Afenifere chieftains Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Senator Femi Okurounmu, on Saturday, lambasted the All Progressives Congress leader, Bola Tinubu, for his refusal to speak up on the Western Nigerian Security Network code-named ‘Operation Amotekun’.
Tinubu’s Spokesman, Tunde Rahman, however, said the APC chieftain would speak at the appropriate time.
Tinubu, who is a former Lagos State governor and leading politicians in the South-West, is yet to speak on Amotekun security initiative launched by the six South-West governors 10 days ago.
The initiative ignited a controversy almost as soon as it was launched with the Federal Government and some leaders and interest groups in the North voicing opposition to the scheme while leaders of thought and the populace of the South West have shown overwhelming support for the initiative.
Tinubu’s continued silence on the matter has raised a few eyebrows given the strong support expressed for the initiative by the majority of Yoruba leaders across political divides.
Speaking with Sunday, the 91-year-old Adebanjo said Tinubu shouldn’t have formed an alliance with the North in the first place.
He said, “It was the likes of Tinubu that told us that the South-West would enjoy many privileges but what has the South-West benefitted from the alliance? He shouldn’t have forged an alliance with them in the first place.
“He asked the Yoruba people to vote for him (Buhari) and that things would be better. Now that they are being slaughtered and they don’t want us to have our security, you are keeping quiet all because you are being deceived that you will become the President which you will never be.
“I have continued to tell him that they are just deceiving him and he is deceiving himself. Which promise has Buhari made and fulfilled? In 2015, he said he would be a born again democrat but does he even obey court orders?”
Adebanjo said the silence of the likes of Tinubu would let the Yoruba people know who their real leaders were.
He said the Federal Government had no right to discredit Amotekun when it had failed to provide adequate security.
The Afenifere chieftain added, “I have always told you that the Yoruba people know who their real leaders are. The problems that the Yoruba people are facing today were caused by men like Tinubu. If they had not gone to forge an alliance with Buhari, we wouldn’t be in this problem.
“I told them then that Buhari was only after power. If not, how is it that they neither want to protect us nor allow us to protect ourselves? Why is the North allowed to have security agencies while we are not allowed to protect ourselves against armed persons?
“The police refuse to do anything because of the President’s body language. How could they have killed the daughter of our leader (Pa Reuben Fasoranti) and there has been a single arrest?
Also speaking, Senator Okurounmu said Tinubu’s silence had exposed him for what he is.
Okunrounmu, who represented Ogun-Central senatorial district from 1999 to 2007, said Tinubu did not need any prodding before speaking up.
The former lawmaker said, “Tinubu doesn’t need to be prompted before speaking. We have all been speaking on the matter. Their silence is ominous. This thing was launched by the governors, not Afenifere. And such initiatives should be supported by all Yoruba people.
“Yoruba people are not idiots, we are not fools. If he doesn’t talk now, then we will know how to describe him. Nobody needs to tell us what he is. Nobody needs to call him anything. Even the illiterate man knows what he is.
“If the ordinary man on the street is in support of Amotekun, if all Yoruba people say this is what they want and he is refusing to talk, then his silence has exposed him for what he is. His silence speaks loudly.”
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide said he expected Tinubu to have spoken on the issue of Operation Amotekun before now.
The YCE scribe said, “I expect him to have spoken much earlier. We are in a democracy and he (Tinubu) is the leader of the ruling party, as far as I am concerned, in the country and majority of the states in the South-West.
“But of course he also has the right to keep quiet if he doesn’t want to say anything. However, the general expectation of the Yoruba people is that being a political leader, he should speak on this type of issue.
“The Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation, is challenging the legality of our entrenched constitutional right to protect our lives and property. I expect our political leader (Tinubu) to be in the forefront of rebuking whoever authored the statement. We see him as a leader and we expect him to say something.”
However, Rahman who is Tinubu’s Media Adviser, said, “His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, would not take issue with anybody on the important matter of Amotekun.
“You know he is a deeply reflective person and a deep thinker. I know that at the appropriate time he would speak on the matter. What time is appropriate is his prerogative in my view. And I think we must all grant him that indulgence.”