It appears the coast is now clear for the security outfit created by the South West governors, codenamed: Operation Amotekun, as the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu and the six governors in the region, yesterday agreed on the security outfit, but with a proviso.
South West Governors’ Forum Chairman and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and the IGP gave the green light after a day security summit in Lagos, yesterday.
Akeredolu, who spoke on behalf of his counterparts from Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos states, and the IGP, after the meeting, alluded to the need for Amotekun as a community policing strategy to tackle crime in the six states of the region.
However, the parties agreed that the security outfit is not a regional outfit, but rather a state-based meant to protect everyone.
“It is clear that community policing which the Nigeria Police is anchoring is one that will benefit all of us from the ward to the state level. At the meeting, all stakeholders agreed to embrace community policing in its entirety.
“We have made things clear to everybody and we want all of us to know now that when we said we are having Amotekun, it is not that we are creating a regional police, Amotekun is not a regional police.
“Amotekun is state-based, because we don’t have regions in the country anyway, we only have states; and all of us have agreed that when you have laws in your respective states backing Amotekun or any security outfit, then you can go ahead for as long as it is within the legal bound.
“So, we have come out happy, all of us have agreed and its been a wonderful resolution of few dark areas which we have put light into, but we can’t give you full details because this is a security summit, but I can assure you we are on the same page in respect of this,” Akeredolu said.
Also, IGP, who explained the governors’ position, added that Amotekun is not a regional outfit.
The IGP noted that every state now has one form of security outfit or the other working with security agencies to fight crimes and criminality.
‘’Community policing is now infused into all the existing states’ security structures. What we have concluded is what the chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum has explained.
“Amotekun is not a regional security outfit, as it is now, every state has one form of outfit, whether it is vigilante or neighbourhood watch, that are working with security agencies of the state to fight crimes.
“And it is not different from what has been existing before, every state is having its own structure and it is agreed that this structure they are creating, the community policing strategy is infused into it, so policing the community will be the initiative of the community. The public is the police and the police is the public, so everybody must be involved.
“This area must be clarified, it is not a regional structure, it is a state structure and it must be backed by law for it to be effective; so we are saying the same thing, the structure must be in tandem with community policing,” Adamu said.
Asked whether the police will be involved in the training, deployment and payment of salaries of operatives of Amotekun, Adamu said: ‘’Community policing is nothing but partnership. Whatever structure that is in place, it must be in partnership with the police to deal with problems that are associated with crimes and criminality,” he said.