GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has revealed that recruitment forms for members of the public interested in serving in the regional security operation Amotekun will be available as from next week.
Over recent years, heavily-armed herdsmen have been running riot across southwestern Nigeria, engaging in kidnapping, armed robbery and banditry. To address the problem, the governors from across the southwest geo-political zone decided to launch a regional security outfit named Amotekun, which translates to leopard in the local Yoruba language.
Within the last month, the six governors have supplied Operation Amotekun with vehicles and equipment. Under the arrangements drawn up, the governments of the six states will train vigilantes, hunters and members of the Oodua Peoples Congress to provide security to provide intelligence for the official security services like the police, military and civil defence corps.
Governor Akeredolu, who is the chairman of the South West Governors Forum, said: “We are yet to issue out forms and if there is any form that is out now in Ondo State, it is illegal. We have drafted the forms but have not issued them but the forms would be out next week.
“What we want to do is to first recruit and after the recruitment, we will issue out the forms. All the traditional rulers and community leaders in the state would be made to sign as guarantors of whoever we want to recruit in their communities.”
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Umohinyang, the convener of the 2019 Re-elect Buhari Movement has advised the government of the six states to work closely with the police to ensure that the Amotekun operatives were not used against opponents during elections. He proposed that the operational arm of Amotekun should rest with the police, while the administrative arm should be with the state governments.
Mr Umohinyang also advised Amotekun operatives not to wear uniforms so that they could successfully carry out the role of information gathering. He added: “Let the commissioner of police take care of the operations arm in terms of deployment and supervising them.
“I do not also see the need to put them in uniforms if they are to be an intelligence-gathering unit. They are to live with the people and share information with the police, so if you put them in uniforms, they will be easily identified.”