KWARA State’s house of assembly may join the six states of the southwest geo-political zone and pass legislation authorising the creation of the Amotekun security outfit after getting the support of the local All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Afonja Union.
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 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.
Despite being a predominantly Yoruba state with over 75% of its population being Yoruba-speaking, Kwara is not part of the initiative as it is technically in the north central geo-political zone. In the past, Kwarans have objected to being left out of Yoruba affairs, saying they are generally not included in many socio-economic and developmental projects like their kith and kin in the southwest.
Hon Bashir Bolarinwa, the chairman of the Kwara State chapter of the ruling APC, hailed the launch of Amotekun and urged the state government in other regions of the country to replicate it. He counselled other regions in the country to borrow a leaf from the southwest in order to rise up to the occasion of insecurity in the country.
“Amotekun is very good and the federal government has now accepted it. We know that the security system in the country has challenges and every effort that anybody can make, even as an individual, to improve the security situation in the country should be allowed.
“It is good that the federal government has soft-peddled and seen good reasons and is now sitting down with the southwest governors to come out with modalities to make the whole arrangement work out. I will also implore every other region to emulate southwest,” Hon Bolarinwa added.
Also, at the event, Alhaji Kasum, the president of Afonja Descendants Union said: “I was invited to the inauguration of Amotekun by the Oyo State government in Ibadan. We also want it in Kwara State as it is very clear that the current security operations by the federal government is failing and all of us can see and feel it.
“We have our own security challenges in Kwara State. We have had kidnapping cases here and we just heard that some Fulani herdsmen killed though allegedly, a Nollywood actor along the Ilorin/Ogbomosho expressway.
“We must not wait until situation gets out of hands in Kwara before we set up Amotekun here. The state government should do the needful and nip it in the bud.”