The Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has hailed the idea of the Western Nigeria Security Network, which has been code-named ‘Operation Amotekun’, describing it as “a desirable New Year gift”.
Soyinka who spoke at the “Never Again” conference that took place in Lagos on Monday to commemorate 50 years of the end of the Nigerian civil war said he had earlier given up on the political leadership of the region until the launch of the security outfit.
Commending the governors of the region for listening to the yearning of the people, he said: “My second remark is to say thank you a number of public-spirited, humanity-considering governors in this nation, who finally responded to the demand and yearnings of the citizens and produced one organization called Amotekun.
“This is most unexpected. I had given up on them. It was the most unexpected, but desirable New Year present this nation has ever received. Whether you agree or disagree, the point is, the yearning of the people has been fulfilled.”
The Nobel Laureate also called for the release of the incarcerated activist, Agba Jalingo.
Soyinka who is very fussy about his choice of words said: “There are many ways of saying never again; some of them direct, some of them not so direct. Among the indirect ones for instance it seems I would recount an exercise that we had many years ago entitled PRONACO (the Pro-National Conference Organisation), which is one of the efforts made to try and suggest ways to prevent the kind of tragedy that we have witnessed before.
“Among the participants, I remember one young man called Agba Jalingo. I’ve always asked myself, was he the one that was kidnapped recently by the police? Nobody seems to know his whereabouts up till now. The civil society tiers very quickly here. One we managed to get (Omoyele) Sowore away from the mad dogs, we quickly forget Agba Jalingo.
“So, let me use this podium to ask or call on the security boss to produce him.”
The conference was organized by Ndigbo Lagos, the umbrella body of all Igbo organisations, Nzuko Umunna, a think-tank of Igbo professionals in Nigeria and the Diaspora and a number of other civil society organisations.