Reactions have continued to trail the Federal Government’s stance on the establishment of Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) code named Operation Amotekun.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami on Wednesday declared the security initiative as illegal and stated that the power over security exclusively belonged to the Federal Government. Adding that no part of the federation could “singly or jointly” take security measure.
Reacting to the recent development the Chairman of the Southwest Governors Forum, Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said his colleagues in the region were prepared to pursue Operation Amotekun to a successful end.
Akeredolu who said “Amotekun is not a para-military outfit,” noted that the introduction of the security outfit is merely to complement the efforts of other security agencies.
Similarly, nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka insisted that the establishment of the security outfit is legal.
“Whether they like or not, Amotekun has come to stay, because it is a creation of the people and you cannot deny a people their fundamental right to protect themselves, since government has failed to provide such protection,”
”I refuse to believe that any serious government will condemn the right of a people trying to protect themselves. And now some people who have been sleeping all this time and watching citizens killed, farmers sent away from their land are waking up and telling us this initiative is illegal and unconstitutional. They should go back to sleep. Prof Soyinka said while addressing reporters in Lagos.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyemi Ogunwunsi, in his reaction said the introduction of Amotekun is to compliment the efforts of the police and military in securing the western region.
He said: “The Southwest governors decided to come together to set up Amotekun on complementary basis to support the already established security systems, such as the police and the armed forces, because of existing security realities. The governors, particularly the APC governors, are very close to the Federal Government and are in support of the progress of Nigeria, and the good work of this administration.
“There are some secluded places inside local communities that the armed forces cannot get to. Most breakthroughs in Boko Haram insurgents’ attacks followed results of the tips from the local vigilantes, traditional rulers and district heads.
“They would usually give hints of strange people and movements in their localities. They are the ones furnishing the military with information on where to go during such operations. And this have helped the military to do their job.
“Likewise, Amotekun is established on complementary basis, to give localised intelligent information. And that is the meaning of Amotekun in Yoruba. Like the animal masters its terrain, they have mastered the security intelligence of their terrain.”
It will be recalled that Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti states jointly inaugurated the security outfit on January 9 to secure the zone from criminality.