An Islamic human rights organization has urged the governors of the South West to change the name of the Amotekun security outfit to ‘Oduduwa Guards’. The governors recently launched the Amotekun security network and gave it legal backing by signing bills on the initiative into laws.
The suggestion to change the name was made in a press statement issued on Friday 20th March, 2020 by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The group said, “People who oppose an idea must suggest the alternative. We are not comfortable with the nomenclature. But the only reason advanced for that was that the name was rooted in a biblical verse. But there are other reasons and there is an alternative name. Amotekun is an animal but those who will protect citizens in the region are complete human beings. So why not give the outfit a human face by giving it the name of a human being, especially the name of the ancestor of all Yoruba people?
“We therefore call for a change of nomenclature. Amotekun as the name of the security outfit does not really reflect Yoruba heritage. A name like ‘Oduduwa Guards’ sounds perfect for the project. Oduduwa is the indisputable progenitor of the Yorubas and this is acknowledged by all historians. The Yorubas are not sons and daughters of an ‘amotekun’ (a leopard) which is an animal. Unless the alleged hidden agenda against Muslims is real, the organisers should adopt ‘Oduduwa Guards’ as the alternate name for Amotekun.
For instance, at the inception of the Amotekun operation, when an amotekun operative in uniform approaches a citizen or speaks to him, is it an animal that is standing before him or a compos mentis homo sapien? Is it an animal that is speaking or a full-fledged son of Oduduwa? The Yoruba must not commit an eternal error of giving other groups the chance to ridicule them.
“Changing ‘Amotekun’ to ‘Oduduwa Guards’ is more honourable, more dignifying and more glamourous. The adoption of ‘Oduduwa Guards’ as the new name of the South West security outfit will further immortalise their great ancestor. The children of Oduduwa are not animals.
“In conclusion, the name of the South West security outfit should be changed to ‘Oduduwa Guards’ to give the security outfit a human face and as a mark of honour for Oduduwa, the great ancestor of the Yoruba.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Pressure Group (MURIC)