ALL Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain Chief Bankole Oluwajana has advised other geo-political zones to emulate the recent security arrangement in the southwest whereby state governors got together to launch a regional security scheme called Operation Amotekun.
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 over the last week have supplied it with vehicles and equipment.
Under the arrangements being planned, the governments of Nigeria’s six southwest states will train vigilantes, hunters and members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) to provide security. Although members of the Yoruba groups, including the OPC, hunters and vigilantes, would not join the patrols by security agencies, they had been slated for intelligence gathering, which will be made available to the police and military.
Members of the police, army and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps rejected the planned inclusion of members of the OPC, Agbekoyas, hunters and vigilantes in their patrols, so all they will do is provide intelligence as they know the terrain well. OPC leader and the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams, said the Southwest Stakeholders Security Group consisted of the OPC, the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, the South West Hunters Association, the South West Agbekoya Group, Agbekoya Farmers Society Group, Yoruba Youth Council and the Community Security Awareness Initiative Corps of Nigeria.
Chief Oluwajana, the APC’s national vice chairman, southwest, has advised other geo-political zones to replicate Amotekun in a bid to eradicate crime. He lauded the efforts of the six governors of the zone at securing the Yoruba nation through the establishment of Operation Amotekun billed for formal inauguration tomorrow.
According to Chief Oluwajana, the security outfit would have far-reaching effects if other zones replicate it. He further described Operation Amotekun as a laudable initiative to flush out criminals from the zone.
Chief Oluwajana said: “The Western Region has always been a pacesetter in developmental initiatives. We therefore urge the neighbouring zones of the south-south, southeast and north-central parts of Nigeria to replicate this security approach in their zones.
“This will ensure that the criminals, flushed out in the southwest zone will not see their states as safe havens where they can hide and launch attacks on our border towns. The ultimate goal is to make our people sleep with their two eyes closed, move from one place to the other without fear of abduction and make the southwest zone, a destination of choice for investors.
“The APC leadership urges the people of the southwest to cooperate with the personnel of Amotekun and provide them credible intelligence to enable them to perform optimally. The party is particularly impressed that the governors hearkened to the call of the party at the height of kidnapping activities in July, 2019, asking the governors to rise up to the challenge of kidnapping and other forms of criminality in the zone.”
He added that the strategic approach of the governors to deliver their mandates of securing the lives and properties of the Yoruba people was responsible for the purchase of security vehicles, motorcycles, communication gadgets and the coordination of the conventional security agencies and unconventional security outfits. Chief Oluwajana said the prompt actions taken by the governors and other critical stakeholders brought the number of abductions to the barest minimum across the zone.