Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A solidarity walk in support of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’, took place on Tuesday amid tight security in Ogun State.
The walk organised by the World Yoruba Congress (WYC) and held at the Panseke Park in Abeokuta, the state capital, had in attendance 14 pan-Yoruba groups and associations.
Prior to the kick-off of the walk, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Kenneth Ebrimson, addressed the gathering.
He explained that policemen were deployed to the scene of the rally not to stop the walk, but to prevent it from being hijacked by unscrupulous elements.
Ebrimson said that his men were ready to deal with anybody or group that planned to foment troubles and cause break down of law and order.
Addressing the gathering, the Chairman, Coordinating Committee of Amotekun Solidarity Walks, Ogun State, Jimoh Olawale Taofeek, said the walk across the six states was to agitate for the actualisation of Amotekun.
He argued that if similar security outfits were allowed in the northern part of the country, Amotekun should be allowed to operate in the South-West.
While commending the governors in the region for initiating the security outfit to stem crimes and shore up security, Taofeek declared that “Amotekun is here to stay.”
He criticised the AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for declaring Amotekun illegal, noting that “only a court of competent jurisdiction that can make such pronouncement.”
Taofeek stressed further that the South-West security network was ready to collaborate with other conventional security agencies to protect the lives and property of every Nigerian residing in the region.
In their separate remarks, coordinators of Oduduwa Group and Oodua United People’s Association, Adesina Razaq and Ola Bello, respectively, stated that the walk was to send a message that the South-West was united in its quest to ensure the security of its people.
Also speaking, the National Secretary of Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Yinka Folarin, said Amotekun was designed for the sole purpose of securing the southwestern states in collaboration with federal security agencies.
He said that the security arrangement should be supported by the Federal Government rather than kicking against it.