The Presidency has allegedly called off a meeting with South-west governors on the Western Nigeria Security Network, code-named Operation Amotekun.
mNaija learnt that the meeting has been rescheduled for Tomorrow Thursday January 23.
The south-west governors were scheduled to meet President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve issues raised by the establishment of Amotekun.
However, in a scheduled sighted at the Presidential Villa by The Punch, the Tuesday meeting was scheduled to hold by 12noon and to be presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in the absence of the President. But, by 12pm when none of the governors was in the Villa, the meeting was later shifted to 2 pm.
Despite Vice President Osinbajo being in his office, the meeting was eventually rescheduled for Thursday.
It was gathered that two south-west governors – Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun – were out of the country attending the United Kingdom-Africa Summit alongside President Buhari.
A source who spoke to The Punch said the meeting was moved to Thursday when most of the 36 state governors would be in Abuja for the National Economic Council meeting.
“Thursday seems convenient for everyone; all the governors are coming for their monthly NEC meeting,” the source said.
“The South-West governors’ meeting with the Presidency too can take place on Thursday. It’s more convenient that way. Besides, two of the South-West governors are not in the country now.”
Further findings revealed that the meeting might have been postponed in other to afford the governors the chance to speak directly to President Buhari.
“It’s a delicate issue, which the VP too may be trying to handle with caution because of possible political backlash at his home base”, another source claimed.
Another source claimed that the statement by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, describing Amotekun as illegal may not have emanated from Buhari.
“I think what is happening is that the AGF gave his own opinion. It is not like it is Buhari that is against Amotekun since he has already approved community policing.
“But the idea of the governors coming for a meeting is to try and discuss to resolve issues like the modus Operandi, or to bring Amotekun to fall in line completely with the government’s community policing concept”, the source stated.
It would be recalled that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had asked south-west governors to disband the security outfit.
He said that no other authority at the state level, whether the executive or legislature has the legal authority over defence.
“The setting up of the paramilitary organization called “Amotekun” is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) has established the Army, Navy and Airforce, including the Police and other numerous paramilitary organisations for the purpose of the defence of Nigeria.
“As a consequence of this, no State Government, whether singly or in a group has the legal right and competence to establish any form of organization or agency for the defence of Nigeria or any of its constituent parts,” Malami said.