ATTORNEY-general of the federation Abubakar Malami is set to backtrack on his opposition to the formation of the regional security outfit Amotekun after joined the governors of the six southwestern states for a meeting in Abuja today.
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 geo-political zone decided to launch a regional security outfit named Amotekun, which translates to leopard in the local Yoruba language.
Within the last fortnight, 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.
However, government supporters have opposed Operation Amotekun, with the Northern Youth Council of Nigeria saying that the creation of the body is a threat to national security. Also, Mr Malami opposed the creation of the outfit, saying the federal government considers Operation Amotekun as an illegal police force.
However, Mr Malami’s comments have been widely condemned, forcing the federal government to backtrack on its opposition to Amotekun. Given the popularity of the outfit, the federal government has been under pressure to accept Amotekun as a reality and this morning, vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo held a meeting with the six governors from the southwest.
At the meeting which took place at the presidential villa in Abuja, Mr Malami and the inspector-general of police Mohammed Adamu were in attendance. It is expected that the meeting will thrash out the modus operandi for Amotekun and come up with guidelines on how it will work.