The governors of the South-West geopolitical zone have vowed to deploy every legal means to protect the residents of the region.
The Chairman of the South-West Governors Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu SAN disclosed this Tuesday at his second term inauguration lecture in Akure.
He expressed dismay that some Northern governors thought that their South-West colleagues created Amotekun to target some ethnic nationalities.
Akeredolu noted that nothing could be farther from the truth, saying that they were only against criminals.
The Ondo governor called for the support of the other states across the federation and the Federal Government to secure the region.
“What we have set out to do in the South Western States is not targeted at any ethnic nationality or business.
“But we are against criminality and we shall fight criminality with every legal means.
“It is in the interest of our collective wellbeing. All we require is the support and understanding of all Federating Units, including the Federal Government.
“The simple truth is that we have lived in self-denial amid an excruciating pain that is almost cancerous now.
“Notwithstanding our challenges today, my firm belief in the Nigerian Project is strengthened by my own fact of a true Nigerian.
“That I desire a more United Nigeria with every ingredient of freedom, rule of law, patriotism, love, mutual respect and harmony is an understatement.
“I am prepared to fight for it legitimately for the benefit of all,” Akeredolu said.
The South-West Governors Forum chairman described the most potent threat to national cohesion as insecurity.
He noted that most Nigerians have lost faith in the “unity in diversity” slogan because of insecurity.
“And because we have allowed a sustained, non-beneficial stagnation for too long in our approach, the consequences are increasingly becoming more daring.
“The time to act is now, not tomorrow. As leaders, the choices we make create the path to our desires.
“We cannot pretend that all is well when indeed, more things are going wrong.
“Today, rather than our Nation, Nigerians are more inclined to ethnic nationalism.
“We have resorted to clannish satisfaction in place of nation-building.
“We are gradually and unconsciously replacing national patriotism with sectional activism.
“No one, I repeat, no one should be blamed. Our very faulty and twisted federalism is responsible.
“Regrettably, even those with palpable national passion and patriotism are today, gradually tilting to the unintended ethnic nationality cabin,” Akeredolu lamented.