Governors of the South-West geopolitical zone have launched the Western Nigeria Security architecture codenamed “Operation Amotekun”, insisting that the security of lives and properties of the people in the zone remained paramount to them.
The Governors also clarified that the new outfit would in no way hinder the Federal Security Agencies from performing their constitutionally-assigned duties.
They noted on Thursday, January 9, 2020, that Operation Amotekun was a community policing response to the security challenges in the South-West and a complementary confidence-boosting strategy to secure the territory.
The launch, which was held at the Car Park of Oyo State Governor’s Office, Agodi Secretariat, Ibadan, had in attendance the host Governor, Engineer Oluseyi Makinde; the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo); Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Deputy Governors of Osun and Ogun States, Mr Benedict Olugboyega Alabi and Mrs. Naimot Salako-Oyedele respectively.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Oyo State Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, Governor Makinde noted that it remained a top priority for the Governors of the South-West States that everyone in the region should be able to go about their legitimate businesses in a secured environment.
He added that the new regional collaborative security architecture was designed to create an appendage of local vigilantes that will feed the existing security structure in the country, insisting that the launch should not be seen in a different light than the need to fight a common enemy: unscrupulous elements hell-bent on threatening law, order and peaceful co-existence in the South-West.
The duo of Governor Fayemi and Arakunrin Akeredolu, in their separate speeches, noted that the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network was not any way meant to rival the efforts of the Nigeria Police and other Security Agencies; declaring that the new structure would be complementary to the efforts of the existing Agencies.
Similarly, Arakunrin Akeredolu, who is the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, assured that the new security outfit would be accountable, even as he appreciated the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigerian Police Force, the State Security Services, the Nigerian Security Civil Defence Corps and other security agencies for their efforts in combating various crimes till date.
Arakunrin Akeredolu, who maintained that the establishment of Operation Amotekun was without prejudice to the mandate of the existing Federal Security Agencies, noted that the South-West region would continue to depend on them, especially the Nigerian Police, to discharge their responsibilities of securing the territory.
In the same vein, the Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Dr Fayemi said: “I am extremely delighted on this historic occasion of the launch of the Western Nigeria Security Network. My brother, the Chief Host has clearly given us the genesis of this initiative, when we were daily assaulted by constraints of kidnapping, armed robbery and other social vices, across the length and breadth of western Nigeria.
He noted that “As elected leaders of our various States, our primary responsibility, according to section 14 (2) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 as amended is the security and welfare of our citizens and that was what we formed, the coming together of my colleagues and I to fashion a way that we can utilize to complement the work of our mainstream Security Agencies that are quite over-stretched in their efforts to arrest the menace that afflicted not just our zones but the entire country at a time. So, from six months ago, when we held our summit here in Ibadan, I am pleased that this idea whose time has come has also been embraced by the leadership of our Security Agencies, because the Inspector-General of Police, IG Mohammed Adamu, has since gone ahead to announce the Police’s commitment to community policing strategy and Amotekun is nothing but a community policing response to a problem that our people would like to see the back of.
Traditional Leaders present include the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja the first; leader of the Yoruba World Congress, Emeritus Professor Bamiji Akintoye and the Director-General of the Development Agenda for South-West Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Mr. Seye Oyeleye, among others.