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Tribune Online
Amotekun: More regional security outfits to follow

Fayemi, Amotekun

Many Nigerians, at the weekend, praised the establishment of the regional security outfit, Operation Amotekun, by governors of the six states of the South-West region, calling for creation of similar outfits in other regions of the nation.

Some of them also said the development had moved the country closer to realisation of state police for which many citizens have been clamouring.

Among those who spoke with Sunday Tribune on the development at the weekend are The Middle Belt Forum (MBF), some pan-Benue sociocultural groups and political leaders from various regions of the nation.


We are getting closer to state police –Benue groups

Spokesman for pan-Benue sociocultural groups, Chief Edward Ujege, on Saturday, said the Operation Amotekun was a step towards actualising state police.

The leader of the groups, comprising Mdzough U Tiv, Ochetoha K’Idoma and Omi Ny’Igede, said there was no way the country could be adequately secured with the central police presently operating in Nigeria.

While throwing his weight behind the step taken by the South-West in tackling the security problem in the region, Ujege said centralising security network would not produce the desired security in the country.

According to him, while the creation of regional security is a welcome development, state police should be the utmost desire of everyone.

“For instance, you bring a police officer from Sokoto to Edo State. On getting to his new station, he has problem with the culture and language of his new area and while trying to settle down, he is transferred again. There is no way someone will sit in Abuja like the Inspector General of Police and say he will be able to police a large country like Nigeria even with his array of lieutenants.

“That is the reason we are advocating for state police as it is done in other countries like the United States (USA), Britain and others.

“With the launch of regional security operations in the South-West, we are getting closer to state police. I think we should do the right thing so that coming generations will appreciate us,” Ujege said.


Critics of Amotekun are behind insecurity in Nigeria –MBF

Also, the MBF descended on critics of the new security initiative, saying those criticising it are behind the insecurity in the country.

Speaking with Sunday Tribune at the weekend, the national president of the forum, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, said those behind the condemnations, especially from the North, were merchants of crises and insecurity who were jittery that such initiative could frustrate their evil enterprises.

“Those condemning the security initiative by the South-West governors have hand in the insecurity in the country. People are insecure and they want to be secure. This is a better way of doing it, rather than depending on some organs that will see some people being attacked and fold their arms.

“By criticising the initiative, it means they are part of those sponsoring insecurity. Let them not pretend; we are not fools. They better change so that Nigeria will be a better place for everybody.

“We commended the South-West for seeing the need for this. They realised that our security, as being handled by the federal institutions, is not capable of protecting the local people. So, they thought wisely to compliment the efforts of these federal institutions by assisting to provide intelligence gathering. They have done a good job. We commend them,” he said.

He enjoined governors in the Middle Belt to study the model and work out modalities to ensure that such security initiative is established in the geopolitical zone to curb the prevailing insecurity.

“Those of us in the MBF will study the model. We want such to exist in our areas so that our people would be better protected. The challenge, of course, is that as a pressure group, we don’t control the government. But we are appealing to our governors to embrace this laudable initiative.

“In some states, they have vigilance groups, though they are not well organised; they carry local arms and state governments provide pick up vans for them to patrol to secure the people. Many of them are rendering good job in this regard. These vigilance groups can be improved upon for better service delivery to protect our people.

“On the long run, we believe this is good for Nigeria. Sentiments have to be taken away from this. From all indications, some of our security forces are being manipulated. Rather than combing the forests for criminals and Boko Haram, they end up doing propaganda thereby prolonging the suffering of our people. With this initiative, they have to re-jig their strategies and do the needful so that we can have one united Nigeria where everyone is protected,” he said.


Governors need to show more boldness –Ralph Nwosu

An Igbo leader and national chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Ralph Nwosu, said the operation was worthy of emulation, commending the governors of the South-West over the move and advised governors across the states of the federation to take more bold actions.

“We need to see more boldness aimed at public good from our state governments. So, the initiative the South-West governors took to secure their territory is a welcome development and worthy to be emulated. I am glad.

“We need more innovations, courage and mindfulness in public policy framing. I may have more to say when I see the entire document. But I know that creative public policies crafted for public goods and a more dynamic and safe ecosystem will give privilege to the the states and Nigeria.

“Our states and local government areas were without security for a long time and they suffered kidnapping, armed robbery, communal clashes and various vices. The Federal Government seems overwhelmed by insurgency in the North-East. So, it will be irresponsible of state and local political leaders to stay aloof. However, I advocate caution and proper legislation backing such initiatives. Cooperation and collaboration is good for states and zones with common interests,” he said.


Days of herdsmen killing in South-West over –Fani-Kayode

Former Minster of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, also warned killer herdsmen to steer clear of the South-West, as it will no longer be business as usual.

Chief Fani-Kayode, in a tweet on his verified handle @realFFK, apparently reacting to a newsheadline, “herdsmen won’t accept injustice from Amotekun –Miyetti Allah,” warned that continued subjection of Yoruba people to mass murder would, henceforth, have consequences.

“Hear me well: Your murderous days are over. If you continue to subject children of Oduduwa to mass murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide, the sword of justice will be unleashed against you with power and precision,” he said.


Nothing stops other regions from adopting it –South-South leader

A political leaders in the South-South region also praised governors of the South-West for the establishment of Amotekun.

He praised the governors for what he described as “a bold step to secure their region from increasing insecurity in the area.”

Speaking with Sunday Tribune in Port Harcourt, River State, at the weekend, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said he supported establishment of Amotekun by the governors.

He said “considering the inability of our current security agencies, including the police and Army, to cope with the rate of kidnapping, armed robbery, assassinations and ritual killings all over the country and with the failure of government to carry out primary duty of protecting lives and properties of Nigerians, any group or section of Nigeria that still loves its citizens is free to adopt any security strategy to safeguard the lives of the people.”

Eze added that “in supporting this, I will suggest that adequate steps should be taken to avoid using this outfit to victimise political opponents of those currently in power or perceived enemies of those in power. To enhance this agency to achieve the purpose for which it was set up, I will suggest that those to be recruited must be trained by the army on how to be proactive and handle guns and nip criminality in the bud.

“If this agency succeeds in the Western region, nothing stops other regions from adopting it. The problem of insecurity in the South-South region is well known to most of us. As you and I know, the insecurity in the region is, most of the time, perpetrated by those empowered by those in government to enhance their electoral fortune. Until these arms and ammunition given to these bad boys are retrieved, it may be a mirage to think of restoring peace in the region.”


Arewa youth leader encourages North-West govs to follow suit

Leader of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima, also expressed support for Amotekun, saying he was happy that governors in the North-West were also contemplating similar move.

He also said he had always been an advocate of community policing.

Shettima said this in a statement he personally signed, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Lagos.

The AYCF leader, while commending the initiative, enjoined citizens to cooperate with the system to ensure effective operation which he said would certainly bring about a secure society.

Shettima, who also distanced himself from a Northern group that earlier condemned the South-West governors’ move, urged Nigerians to disregard social media reports that he and his group were against the inauguration of Operation Amotekun.

It will be recalled that a Northern group, Northern Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN) had opposed the inauguration of the security outfit, describing it as a military wing of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC).

Shettima said if the Federal Government could not put measures in place to secure lives and properties of Nigerians, state or regional efforts to secure citizens should not be opposed.

“I am an advocate of community policing. If I now come out to condemn the inauguration of Amotekun in the South-West, that is counter-productive.

“So, I commend the initiative and I will encourage the citizens to cooperate with the system to ensure effective operation which certainly will bring about a secure society,” Shettima stated.

While urging the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) to come up with a similar programme to protect the North, Shettima added that “it is a good thing that even the North-West governors are already thinking along that direction.”

Amotekun: More regional security outfits to follow
Tribune Online

source https://tribuneonlineng.com/amotekun-more-regional-security-outfits-to-follow/

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