Governor of Oyo State, Engr Seyi Makinde, has said the State Security Network Agency, codenamed ‘Amotekun’ Corps, is the State’s local response to crime and criminality.
The Governor also stated that the States of the South-West are ready to combat crimes through the security Agency, which was initially launched in January 2020 as a South-West regional security outfit to combat crimes in collaboration with the Police and other Federal Security Agencies.
Engr Makinde noted these on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, while speaking at the Passing-Out Parade of the 1,500 pioneer Amotekun Corps, held at the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo.
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Governor added that the six States of the region would fight a common enemy- elements who appear determined to cause commotion and perpetuate crimes.
He highlighted the efforts of his Government in improving the security sector by supporting the Federal Security Agencies in the State with the provision of patrol vehicles, communication gadgets and other logistic support.
He added that the approval and establishment of a Police Mobile Force 72 Squadron at Ago-Are, Oke Ogun area of the State by the Inspector-General of Police, as well as provision of vehicles and logistic support for the squadron was another step taken by his administration to boost security, revealing that his Government has equally requested for another Police Mobile Force base in Oyo town.
Governor Makinde, who noted that State policing is the way forward to tackle insecurity in the nooks and crannies of the Country, said the Amotekun initiative by the South-West remained the next best thing in the absence of State Police, as, according to him, it would help to fight crimes in the nooks and crannies of the society.
He, however, expressed confidence that advocates of State Police would, one day, get enough support at the National level to achieve the constitutional review.
The Governor also stated that the Agency will also be involved in routine day and night patrols on major roads and remote areas, as its members will be drafted to all the 351 wards in Oyo State.
He warned members of the corps to be of good conduct and display excellent behaviour at all times; He charged the Corps to exhibit the highest level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties, adding that none of them must be seen harassing individuals.
The governor said: “As I said during the official launch of this outfit in January 2020, our regional integration, through Amotekun, should be seen in one light. We are coming together to fight a common enemy. That enemy is not Nigeria; the enemies are the elements among us and their affiliates, who are determined to cause commotion within our states’ borders and threaten our peaceful coexistence. When the story of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun is told, it will be on record that it was officially launched on January 9, 2020. However, the Amotekun journey began earlier. In July 2019, the six states of the South-West, namely Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Oyo States, agreed to set up this outfit.
Governor Makinde also noted that Amotekun is, indeed, a first of its kind Security Agency, because it is a regional security outfit initiated by one of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones, adding that “history will also state that the headquarters is here in Ibadan, Oyo State”.
The State Governor said: “Since its founding, we have been taking steps to ensure that the security outfit commences operations. In March 2020, the Oyo State House of Assembly passed the Oyo State Security Network Agency Bill 2020, which I signed into law a few days later. Although COVID-19 and other logistic issues delayed the recruitment process, we ran an open and transparent recruitment process that culminated in announcing the 1,500 successful candidates’ names in October 2020. “
Earlier, in his remarks, the Commandant of the Amotekun, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (rtd ), promised to work effectively to secure the lives and properties of the people in the state.