Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka has described the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) that was last week inaugurated by states in the Southwest as a fulfillment of the yearnings of the people.
Speaking at the “Never Again” Conference to commemorate 50 years of the end of the Nigerian civil war, Prof Soyinka said the security network codenamed Operation Amotekun is “a desirable New Year gift.”
Soyinka said: “My second remark is to say thank you to a number of public-spirited, humanity-considering governors in this nation, who finally responded to the demand and yearnings of the citizens and produced one organisation called Amotekun.
“This is most unexpected. I had given up on them. It was the most unexpected, but desirable New Year present this nation has ever received. Whether you agree or disagree, the point is, the yearning of the people has been fulfilled.”
Also on Monday, Director-General of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Seye Oyeleye, the organisation driving the process, said no operative of Amotekun would earn less than the national minimum wage of N30,000. .
Oyeleye, who spoke against the backdrop of reports that the operatives would earn N15, 300 monthly, explained that each state in the Southwest would recruit and remunerate the personnel according to its financial capacity and security needs.
“The way the Amotekun is operating is that individual states are responsible for the recruitment and no state will pay below the minimum wage to whoever it recruits,” he added.
He spoke while contributing via telephone to a Television Continental breakdown programme Your View in Lagos on Monday. A former Lagos State Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni was guest of the programme.