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Islamic group backs Amotekun, calls for professionalisation

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A REPUTABLE Islamic organization, The Muslim Congress (TMC) has expressed support for the ongoing effort at establishing Operation Amotekun in the Southwest region.

The group called for the professionalisation of the security apparatus such that the culture of brutality towards the citizens may be eradicated while also improving the flow of quality information between the people and the security outfits for better security.

The group stated this during the stakeholders’ forum on a bill for a law to amend the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) Agency Law, 2019 aimed at establishing the Amotekun Corps on Monday at the pavilion of the State Assembly.

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The representative of The Muslim Congress (TMC), Engr. AbdulHakeem Ogunbajo, in a statement made available to The Guardian, said: In the context of the prevailing security breaches across the country, it is the furore over the scores of lives that are being lost to preventable insecurity almost on a daily basis that has given birth to the first regional security outfit in our nation’s history, Operation Amotekun. This conception, we believe, is intended as an accompaniment to the extant security architecture and as such it is commendable, after all, the people of Nigeria, regardless of their ethnicity, have a duty to make useful contribution to the well-being of their communities as enshrined in Section 24 of the Constitution.

The group noted that Operation Amotekun is an incontrovertible proofs of the politics of protection and the incapability of the Nigerian Police whose odious inefficiency and servile character has forced the citizens to hold a watered-down opinion of it as a branch of the security apparatus.

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They urged government to caution against potential organisational and functional frailties of the outfit that may portend mortal threat to the very lives it is purposed to protect given the sneaking suspicion that has trailed the creation of the outfit. He urged the government to give lucid account of the selection process in order to assure the citizens that no untrained individual or vagrant is giving fire arms or lethal weapons in which case may be tantamount to feeding further breakdown of law and order.

The group added that for government to gain the confidence of the people, there is a profound need for transparency in every dimension of the security outfit to douse the growing suspicion that Amotekun may just be a transfiguration of the Odua People’s Congress (OPC).

TMC cautioned against fear of brutality and ruthlessness on the part of Amotekun operatives. “against the backdrop of the horrifying experiences of the past the people are wary of overbearing temperament from the operatives of the security outfit with the fear it could lead to a possible rise in victimization. The authorities should know that questions of whether these individuals would be free from police arrest when their actions go ultra vires are part of the concerns for which utmost clarity is required.

The group advised government to be open to the public on the ambiguities surrounding the framework of the operations and rules of engagement “ the government needs to be explicit on the structure and level of collaboration of Amotekun with the mainstream security apparatus and how it will be funded”.

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