*warns against harassment, intimidating Oyo people
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde on Wednesday said the Western Nigeria Security Network, Amotekun Corps is an independent outfit with its members answerable to the governors.
Speaking at the inauguration of the newly recruited 1,500 Amotekun Corps in Oyo State at their passing out ceremony held at the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education in Oyo, the governor disclosed that Amotekun Corps members will work with other Federal security agencies in the state.
The governor stressed that with the Amotekun corps now becoming operational, it will be difficult for invaders to come to Oyo state, ” without a local response from us,”, saying, “Amotekun is our local response.”
“Amotekun, is an independent outfit.”, with its members answerable to the state governors, they will be working with the federal security agencies. 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”, he said.
The governor added, “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.”
“So far, we have supported our federal security outfits, who do their best to protect our people. We provided them with communication gadgets and patrol vehicles. More recently, we requested for and established just this past May 2020, the Police Mobile Force 72 Squadron at Ago-Are and presented them with patrol vehicles for the outfit’s operations. And we have also requested from the Inspector General of Police another Mobile Police Squadron that will be based in Oyo Town.
“But as I have argued on various fora, for governors to really play the role of Chief Security Officers of their states, state policing is the way forward. I am confident that someday, we will get enough support at the national level to achieve that constitutional review. But, for now, we will settle for the next best thing.”
Governor Makinde while charging the Amotekun Corps members to remain excellent examples in service, warned them against harassing or intimidating the people of Oyo state.
He however highlighted some of the primary functions of the Amotekun Corps as authorised by law to include “collaborating with and assisting the Nigeria Police and other security agencies in gathering information.”
The governor stressed, “they will be involved in crime, the investigation of crime, arrest, and prosecution of persons suspected of kidnapping, terrorism, destruction of livelihood, criminal damage to property, cultism, highway robbery, and any other illegal activities.
“They will also be involved in routine day and night patrols on major roads and remote areas. Members of the corps will be drafted to all the 351 wards in Oyo State. They will be our own community police so that their presence will be felt everywhere. This ensures that offenders are quickly identified, arrested, registered, and promptly handed over to the nearest police station or post.
Speaking further, Governor Makinde added, “as I said during one of my speeches following the End SARS protests, this is one outfit that I can boldly say, hold me responsible for the actions of the members”,
The Chairman and Commandant of Amotekun Corps in Oyo state,n General Ajibola Kunle Togun (rtd) and Colonel Olayanju Olayinka, (rtd) lauded Governor Makinde for the support to the outfit, promising to ensure that the Corps members play their roles accordingly.