Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, has said a similar security outfit like Southwest’s “Operation Amotekun” for the north was already in the works.
This is even as he said the latest gunmen attack that left no fewer than 13 persons dead in Mangu Council Area of the State, has sent him back to the drawing board to find lasting solution.
Lalong said this while fielding questions from State House Correspondents after he had audience with President Muhammadu Buhari, to brief him of the attack in the State House, Abuja.
South West governors, Thursday, formally launched the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), codenamed: ‘Operation Amotekun’, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria.
Asked when the governors in the north central will tow the line of their colleagues in the Southwest to set up a security outfit like Amotekun, the governor said: “When you talk about north central, I am chairman of northern governors forum, we have taken a decision sometime last year. You will recall that at one time we met the president and we told him what we were doing. We set up committees and the committees have worked very hard. You will recall that we started our meeting from the northwest in Katsina, we are going back to have another meeting in north central.
“The situation in the south might not be the same with the north but in the north we are also looking at some ways that will also address these issues. So we have gone ahead to set up committees, those committees have done their work and we are going to meet to address these issues once and for all.
“Two, we have also agreed to key into the community policing and at the level of the committee we have already gone far. Each state is already neck deep in community policing. But I have not read the document, I cannot claim to have read the details of that document, to understand what they mean by Amotekun. I saw various vehicles that were bought but you know if it’s about vehicles, many vehicles have been bought in the north. I bought almost 100 vehicles and gave to the police but that is not what will address the insecurity in my state.
“So, it may vary from south to the north but in the north we are trying to look for comprehensive ways that will help augment what the federal government is doing in respect to insecurity.”
Speaking on the purpose of his visit, he said: “I have just seen Mr. President and there was also an attack early yesterday (Thursday) and up to the afternoon when I got there.
“My seeing the President was to brief him because there are usually briefings from the security agencies, he usually has proper briefings from the chief security officer direct. From my own assessment of what has happened and if we want intervention of what we want to be done in the state to curtail the situation.
“So, as a matter of fact we woke up yesterday early in the morning to get information that people were killing themselves in a village. So I didn’t waste time, I took off to that village. My timely intervention and presence helped a lot. Because, after the first set of killings, the second set was reprisal killings. So when I got there that had to be stopped.
“I spoke to the people, we buried the people and they understood with me and the place has remained calm, peace has been restored to that place.”
The governor said the latest style of killings has sent him back to the drawing board to find lasting solution. Lalong said: “In Plateau state particularly, all of these things had stopped. We were not witnessing cattle rustling again, I knew what I did. We were not witnessing kidnapping again even without the law in my state. But this attempt just happened and it has reawakened me to something else. That is why I am going back to look at another window in respect to cattle rustling.”