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Soyinka warns Ogun Amotekun corps against abuse of power

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Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka (left); Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun and Corps’ Commander, David Akinremi at the presentation of Staff of Office to Soyinka as the Super Marshall of the state’s Amotekun corps during the inauguration of the outfit in Abeokuta…yesterday.

•‘Before Ogun, god of iron, strikes you, we would have dealt with you’
• Gov Abiodun declares war on criminals, collaborators

Noble Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday, warned operatives of the South West Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, in Ogun State against abusing their power.

“If you (Amotekun) abuse your uniform, before Ogun (god of iron) strikes you, we would have dealt with you,” Soyinka said.

He gave the warning at the inauguration of the state Amotekun corps held at the Arcade Ground, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

The popular playwright and poet charged the corps to be different from other security agencies and not abuse their uniform by trampling on the rights of the people.

Soyinka, who was decorated as “Super Marshall of Amotekun Corps” by Governor Dapo Abiodun, also warned other security agencies not to engage in “silly” rivalry with the corps, but rather “welcome them within your ranks and work with them.”

“What I want the security agencies to understand is that, it is not a replacement for you, you are too jealous of your position, of your uniforms and everything and where there should be cooperation, there is competition, that is silly.

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“Let us now go beyond that and recognise that this unit is simply to complement what you are already doing adequately, that is, to the best of your ability, inadequately as far as we that you are supposed to protect are concerned, the way we feel it.

“You (Amotekun) have been created to assist them (security agencies), to protect them, to be part of them, to live inside them, to gather information, to say to the police, the military, we cannot handle this, but we have seen this, would like to take a look and assist?

“You (Amotekun corps) are not here, because you now have a uniform, to start behaving like some other security agencies who shall be doing less…..You have to set an example to say that you are a civic unit.

“So, Amotekun, we are watching you. If you abuse your uniform, before ogun strikes you, we would have dealt with you”.

Governor Abiodun, in his speech, disclosed that the delay in the establishment of the outfit in the state was caused by the need to be meticulous and inclusive by allowing the people to participate in the decision-making process that affects them.

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He noted that the security challenges facing the state and the nation as a whole, needed the cooperation of all Nigerians, particularly security agencies who should work in harmony and not in unnecessary competition.

Abiodun said the operatives had been carefully selected, trained and equipped with necessary logistics, technical backstopping and political will for effective take off and operation. He said the state expected nothing but the best performance from them.

While urging the corps to operate within the ambit of the law establishing it, the governor charged them to make their impact felt by cooperating with other security agencies to protect life and property.
Abiodun, who expressed regret that insecurity rising from farmer/herders clashes led to loss of lives in some parts of the state, said no part of Ogun State would be a safe-haven for criminals and criminality in whatever form.

He declared: “Any property found to be serving as hideout to criminals will not only be taken over by government, such facility will also be demolished. Whoever is found to be harbouring kidnappers, ritualists, amned robbers or any other criminal will be arrested and handed over to appropriate authorities for prosecution.”

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