Amotekun not regional army or ethnic agenda, says Akeredolu
• Kogi plans against influx of criminals from fleeing South-West states
• Group asks region’s security network to operate on state level
• Inter-agency collaboration, boost to security in Oyo, says Makinde
Chairman of South-West Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has reiterated his commitment towards the controversial Western Security Network, codenamed Operation Amotekun. He said that Amotekun was neither a regional army nor an ethnic agenda aimed at obliterating and undermining national cohesion.
In a statement issued to journalists in Akure yesterday by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Donald Ojogo, the governor said that he was not perturbed about the implication on his re-election bid this year. Akeredolu, therefore, advised the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, alongside others, who declared the initiative as illegal, to desist from divisive statements and utterances that are capable of compromising the genuine intentions of the South-West governors.
“For the records, governor reiterates his earlier position that Amotekun was initiated to complement the efforts of the conventional internal security agencies that appear to have been hampered by the absence of local intelligence gathering architecture,” the statement said.In another development, Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has said that inter-agency collaboration among security services has greatly boosted the security situation in Oyo State.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said that the governor stated this during a reception he organised for the 163 newly-promoted senior officers of security agencies in Oyo State, held at the Lawn Tennis Court, Police Headquarters Eleyele, Ibadan.
Meanwhile, with the launch of the security network by South-West governors, Kogi State government has declared its resolve to strengthen its borders to avoid infiltration by fleeing criminals.Special Adviser to the State Governor on Security, Navy Commander Jerry Omodara (rtd), while speaking on a radio programme in Lokoja at the weekend, said that Kogi State being at the centre of the country might experience some infiltration by fleeing criminals from the South-West.
“What the South-West governors are doing now in terms of Amotekun is nothing different from having vigilante groups. It is only the name that is different. Kogi State is well ahead of them in terms of setting up its vigilante.“We are also aware that Kogi State may experience influx of people, especially now that Operation Amotekun has taken off. You know Kogi State is not only in the centre of the country but also shares borders with nine other states.
“What we plan to do is to strengthen our borders to guide against influx of criminals who may be running away from these South-West states.
Omodara also said the state governor had directed each of the 21 local councils of the state to form vigilante groups at their respective councils.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Private Security Practitioners has urged the South-West governors to allow the security outfit operate at state level and not as a regional group.It also suggested that the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) should supervise the outfit.
The group said that the Amotekun security outfit was created as a result of non-challant attitude of the Federal Government to the security situation in the South-West, saying that going to court may not be right step.The group stated this while addressing newsmen at the weekend after the induction of its newly-elected executives by the National President of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN), Wilson Esangbedo.
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