Operation Amotekun: IGP disagrees with South-West governors

Posted by News Express | 13 January 2020 | 1,459 times

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•  IGP Mohammed Adamu

There are indications that the change in strategy as well as details of Operation Amotekun may have caused the absence of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, from the launch last Thursday in Ibadan.

Operation Amotekun is considered as a deliberate attempt by the South-West states (Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Oyo) to tackle security challenges confronting the region.

The IGP had attended the security summit held sometime last year in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, wherein the governors of the six states had resolved to establish a local security outfit, to complement the crime-fighting mandate of the police and other security agencies.

It was, therefore, curious that the police chief did not attend the launch of the operation.

Investigation showed that Adamu is not comfortable with the change in strategy for the setting up of the security outfit.

It was further gathered that the police chief has issues with the command and control platform, recruitment of personnel, as well as their vetting.

Highly-placed security sources, who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, used the analogy of what happens when a son goes against the directive of his father.

According to them, the immediate reaction of the man will be to “distance” himself from whatever arrangement had been agreed upon, until the right and proper thing was done.

“You know, when your father gives you an idea and tells you how to do it, but when you now do it outside the confines, he will say ‘this is not what I told you’, and he will distance himself.

“So I think that was what happened,” one of the sources said.

Another source added: “The details, strategies, command and control, how to ensure that the right persons are recruited, how will the vetting be conducted to ensure that it doesn’t become a warehouse for persons that will create problem for the system. I think those are the issues.

“Even among themselves (governors) there are indications that suggest that some of them don’t agree. They all agree in principle.

“I think there is a consensus on the need to have a security arrangement, but I think it is in the details and the strategies that is where the problem is.”

When fully operational, personnel of Operation Amotekun will not be allowed to carry AK47 rifles or other automatic weapons.

According to a security source, since the operation is conceived as local, with hunters and others as members, the authorities will only allow the use of Dane guns to prosecute their mandate.

“The relevant authorities (police) will not allow anybody to do anything that is against the laws. If they claim they are hunters and they are supporting local security arrangement; we can allow them to bear Dane guns and similar ones.

“But, nobody is going to allow them carry something like automatic weapons like AK47 and the rest of them. I don’t see that happening,” one of the sources said.

As at the time of filing this report, efforts to get response from the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Mr. Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, were not successful.

Meanwhile, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has declared that his colleagues in the South-West are not contemplating pulling out of the region’s new security outfit, Operation Amotekun.

Abiodun, who spoke in Sagamu on Sunday, said reports that some governors shunned the launch of Operation Amotekun last week were incorrect.

Three governors, including Abiodun, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, were not physically present at the launch held in Ibadan, fuelling speculations that the security outfit kicked off on shaky ground.

There were claims that intrigue among the South-West governors and alleged interference by the Federal Government were threatening the operation of the security outfit.

But Abiodun dismissed the speculations arising from the absence of some of the South-West governors.

He spoke while fielding questions from reporters at the 15th annual New Year thanksgiving and memorial service organised by a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

The governor explained that he was absent at the launch because of other state engagements.

Abiodun said he sent his deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, to represent him, adding that all governors in the South-West geopolitical zone subscribed to the new security outfit.

He said: “The claim that some governors are pulling out of that arrangement is very false; not only false, but incorrect.

“The (Operation) Amotekun was conceived to be a joint patrol initiative of all the six South-West states. That initiative was mooted and the idea was, each state would contribute law enforcement agencies to the Amotekun, meaning Ogun will contribute, Lagos will contribute and this was meant to be controlled and operated by the Nigeria police.

“It was going to be a joint effort – Nigerian Police, Civil Defence, hunters, vigilantes. Those ones actually have access to a lot of intelligence that the police may not have. So, we felt it was important for them to complement the efforts of the police. So, this initiative came up when we had the South-West security meeting. The Inspector-General of Police was in attendance. All of us subscribed to it.

“Now, we decided that we are going to launch it. We donated 20 vehicles each to that initiative. On that particular day, we have a previous date which we were committed to and when that date did not hold and a new date was communicated to us, I already had other plans but I sent my deputy. My deputy did not only attend, she drove one of the vehicles. So, this story going round that I shunned it, I didn’t attend is baseless. It’s not true.”

When asked the number of operatives his state was willing to contribute to the security outfit, Abiodun simply said his special adviser on security would fine-tune the operational details.

Earlier in his remarks at the church, the governor had commended one of his predecessors, Daniel, for sustaining the spirit of thanksgiving and praising God.

He assured that his administration would deliver good governance and pursue initiatives to better the lot of the people.

In his remarks, Daniel said the annual thanksgiving was organised to appreciate God, adding: “When you have the grace of God, you must have the heart of thanksgiving.” (New Telegraph)



Source: News Express

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