Of recent in Nigeria, there was no issue that had dominated national discourse like the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) codenamed Operation Amotekun.
Amotekun as fondly called was formed by six governors in the South West states to tame the monstrous herdsmen killings and other criminal activities that had pervaded all the states in the region. In fact, Amotekun was so significant in many ways and that necessitated the awkward response of the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who branded the security network an aberration and product of illegality. This was the first time a region, comprising six states would have a joint security to fight crime.
Its formation was like a coalition of forces, which had attracted wide applause. The fact that different groups, with divergent views on issues of national interest could have a convergence and perceived the body from the same prism of coming at a time the nation is being ravaged by criminals added to its credibility and formation. Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ijaw Youth Congress and other interest groups in their reactions lauded the formation and commended the governors for rising above partisanship to conceptualize and established the outfit despite efforts to scuttle its consummation.
Since the advent of democracy in 1999, the South West, considered as a politically versatile and well informed segment of the country have not had a common front on any issue bedeviling their people owing to political differences. But the creation of Amotekun defied all odds and protocols, by making the political players to rise above pettiness, partisanship and religious sentiments.
The spate of criminalities in the fashion of insurgency, suspected herdsmen killings, kidnapping, cattle rustling, banditry and robbery pummeling every section of the country called for concerted and proactive actions to save the country from impending conflagration.
The consummation of this regional network, which some thought was an impossible task came at a time when there was a general perception that the conventional police force has become overstretched and overwhelmed.
A rational thinker who believes in the corporate existence of this nation and the security of lives and property would appreciate the fact that the police and other security formation like Army, Department of State Services (DSS) and others need help and support from the locals.
The critics of Amotekun from parochial and narrow influences of ethnicity and religion vehemently failed to ascertain that the advantages inherent in Amotekun transcend offering of security to the people. Their mindsets and perverse sense of judgment made them glossed over the economic empowerment this security will provide. According to statistics, over 5,000 personnel, who are chiefly locals will be recruited and one can imagine what this would translate to in the local economy.
Before now, there had been harsh and unhealthy rivalry among socio-pressure and cultural groups like Agbekoya, Yoruba Youth Congress, Yoruba Ronu, Oodua Peoples Congress, and many others. There had been cases where clashes among them had caused death and disruption of public peace. But with Amotekun, bridges of unity will be built across all these interest groups, because the operatives will be drawn from their membership. This will go a long way in cultivating culture of peace, unity and oneness in our land.
I disagree vehemently with the fear of the Myettti Allah Kaotal Hore that Amotekun would serve ethnic interest and secession plan. This fear could only come to fore if the operatives will be independent or run by private body.
But under the present arrangement, governments of six states would control the outfit and no governor would close his eyes to anyone fanning the ember of disunity among ethnic groups.
I salute the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his counterparts in other state particularly Governor Kayode Fayemi for midwifing Operation Amotekun. With this, it was evidently clear that the wellbeing of their people matters. To those expressing fears and wanted the populace to take their fears for facts, the network is a regional coalition against criminals, not an ethnic militia with a mindset to wipe out other ethnic groups from the Region.
The viewpoint was written by Dalimore Aluko, Assistant Principal, Ikere High School, Ikere Ekiti. 08032712451, 08066181583