Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
The Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, on Saturday said that the idea behind the establishment of security outfit ‘Amotekun’ by South-west Governors might have been misconstrued by the public.
The outfit, the minister said, was established to complement the police and other security forces, rather than, as is popularly perceived, as an independent regional security outfit.
Dingyadi spoke in Sokoto during an interview with reporters. He added that it will not be legally right for any region or state to have a security outfit, as security is an exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government.
He reasoned that those behind the Amotekun idea may have been intercepted in the middle of their journey. “I believe the intention of the governors was a good one, but many people, including some leaders of the region, gave it a different meaning,” the minister noted.
“If it is the meaning we are being made to understand, I will want to believe that it is not legally right for any region to have a security outfit that is intended to protect that region alone.
“Even if it is not legally wrong, one will want to ask how are we going to manage its regional security structures. There are security outfit, particularly the police overall in the federation, and we feel if anybody is not satisfied with what the police and other security agencies are doing, the state equally has the opportunity to support them with their resources.
“As it is now in our laws, it is the Federal Government that is controlling the police and other security agencies, but it must be everybody’s business,” Dingyadi stated.
“In a nutshell, I want to advise or note that what some people have misconstrued to be a region security outfit is just one of those contributions that the state government has been giving to the security agencies in this country.”
The minister, however, said his office will not support a security initiative that is unconstitutional and urged all stakeholders to do things in the right way.
“But if it is something different then I will support other people who have viewed the initiative as unconstitutional. I want to appeal to all concerned in the matter to please do things in the most appropriate manner.”
He commended all state governors for their invaluable support and contributions rendered to the police and other security agencies.
The minister also hinted that the police are ready to take over areas hitherto ravaged by Boko Haram insurgents as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, in bid to further maintain peace and stability in the country.
Dingyadi said: “Arrangements are ongoing and the police are ready to do this task as soon as we work out the necessary arrangements with the Army. Nigerians will get to know all the details.”