GOVERNORS of Nigeria’s six states in the southwest geo-political zone have agreed to each donate 20 vehicles to a regional security pool set up to combat the growing menace of Fulani cattle herdsmen who have been rampaging the region of late.
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 decided to launch a regional security outfit named Amotekun, which means leopard in the local Yoruba language and have now agreed to supply it with vehicles and equipment.
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, who spoke during a stakeholders’ dinner/fundraiser organised by the Ogun State Security Trust Fund Board, said the measure should address the menace. It is believed that Ogun State raised about N1bn to fight insecurity during the fundraiser in Abeokuta.
“In conjunction with the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission, the southwest states have agreed to set up a joint patrol team that will be called Amotekun. Each of the states is required to donate at least 20 patrol vehicles, communication equipment and personnel to the task force will be recruited from the police, army, vigilante groups and hunters,” Governor Abiodun said.
He added that as part of measures to check insecurity, Ogun State would soon start a residents’ registration programme to enable the government plan properly. Governor Abiodun decried the lack of communication systems for security agencies in the state, noting that it was bad that the lack of a proper communication system had stalled proper communication between security chiefs in the state.
Governor Abiodun said: “It is shameful that our security agencies do not have a communications system or equipment within the state, meaning that the commissioner of police cannot speak with his counterparts in the military, Department of State Services or worse still, he cannot speak with his area commander or divisional police officers across the state. Their vehicles are not functioning very well, they have no tracking devices and not enough finance, so, we are looking at correcting those anomalies with our security trust fund.”