Kehinde Adewole, Ado Ekiti
A man of the cloth, hunters as well as men of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) on Tuesday led a solidarity rally in support of the South-West security outfit ‘Operation Amotekun’.
Members of Vigilance Group of Nigeria, Yoruba Koya, Man ‘O War, Oodua Union, Ekiti Council of Elders and Agbekoya also participated in the walk.
The police and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) provided security for the participants, who trekked from the popular Fajuyi park through Okesa junction, Ojumose to the Erekesan market and Ijigbo area of Ado Ekiti, the capital city.
It was the consensus of the stakeholders that the Amotekun regional security initiative had berthed permanently in the South-West and that it was not formed to fight Fulani herdsmen, except the unruly and destructive ones.
Speaking at the rally, the coordinator of the protest, Pastor Praise Ayodele, said: “Amotekun has come to stay in southwest Nigeria. We are not fighting anybody. The security of our people is very important. We are to do this to support our governors that we are happy with Amotekun.
“It is said that our people were being killed and kidnapped and many of these carnages were without arrests. We are daily in fear of being killed and these and many more are the reasons for the formation of Amotekun.
“On the comments on Amotekun by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, we are of the opinion that the Minister only expressed himself as a private citizen who is entitled to his own opinion.
“We charged our governors to remain focused; we advise our leaders to desist from politicising Amotekun and that our security should be of priority.”
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Internal Security and former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Dele Olugbemi, said: “Amotekun is for easy identification of all visitors to Ekiti and the South-West. It is sad that Malami made a pronouncement over an issue he knew nothing about. He spoke as if he didn’t know the level of insecurity in this zone.
“Some of these evildoers besieged even our towns, killed the people and destroyed everything on the farms. Amotekun will work in their localities and it is not about fighting anybody,” he insisted.
The Coordinator of Oodua Union, Hon Femi Robinson, on his part, lamented that the security cover in the country had collapsed, stating that local security had become imperative. “If Amotekun disarms armed robbers, are they not helping the police?” he asked.
The leaders of Agbekoya and Vigilance Group of Nigeria, Chief Sunday Omoyajowo and Mrs Suwebat Aliu, respectively, said Yorubas maintained a united front about Amotekun and that nothing would change this stand, adding that “Amotekun won’t render the police useless, because security is a function of everybody, so we appreciate our governors for this initiative.”
The leader of the delegation of Ekiti Council of Elders, Chief Niyi Ajubulu, regretted that people could no longer move around as a result of the rise in insecurity.
“We have to be vigilant in this zone. Amotekun has landed and we must cooperate with them. Whoever is averse to the formation of this outfit is satanic,” he declared.