REGIONAL security outfit Amotekun has received more support today after the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF) distanced itself from opposition to the development saying it supports the creation of the body.
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. Northern elder statesmen, Junaid Mohammed and Balarabe Musa, the former Kaduna State governor, for instance, said that Amotekun was a ploy by Yoruba people to create Oduduwa Republic.
However, AYCF president Yerima Shettima, said there was no evidence to prove that Amotekun was a plot by the Yorubas to create Oduduwa Republic. He then called on northern governors to also establish similar security outfits to help curb the issue of insecurity in the region.
Mr Shettima said: “For me, it’s their opinion if they think that way. I can’t change their mindset or what they are thinking, however, I have no reason to start thinking along that line. If it’s so, I do not think that serving governors would be part and parcel of such, so I don’t want to sit and start imagining things that are not realistic.
“For me, I have not seen anything to make me think in that direction yet, rather I will call on the northern governors to form their own community policing so they can complement the federal government to curb all these security challenges. This is what I expect from them rather than castigate.”