By Samuel Adegoke
Following weeks of planning and strategising, recruitment into the South West regional security outfit, Amotekun Corps, has begun in three states, The Nation reports.
This is coming after the successful passage and signing into law, the bill backing the establishment of Amotekun i the six South West states- Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Lagos, Ekiti and Ondo. The bills were passed by the Houses of Assembly and assented to by the governors early March.
According to reports, recruitment into Amotekun Corps has begun in Ekiti, Ondo and Osun States. The exercise is in stages to guarantee thoroughness.
But while Ondo and Ekiti States are giving specific slots to hunters, farmers and local vigilante groups, Osun has thrown the process open to all interested qualified candidates. They must, however, apply at the local government level. It was also learnt Osun is not giving any group the privilege to supply personnel to the security outfit.
“If you want to join, go and apply at your local government. Every applicant must be well known at the local government,” a source said.
The model, it was learnt, would ensure that only well-known people with good reputation were recruited. It will also make it easy for locals and community leaders to cooperate with the personnel.
But Ekiti State embraced a different model. Certain slots are reserved for hunters, farmers and vigilante groups. The state believes they have basic experience from their quasi-security activities.
A reliable source said: “In Ekiti, we gave slots to existing groups, such as vigilante, Agbekoya and hunters’ association because they are experienced. Some slots are also given to local governments while about 20 percent of the slots have been reserved for administrative staff. That percentage is open to all qualified candidates.”
In a slightly different approach, Ondo State is reserving slots to members of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Agbekoya and local hunters, among others. They are likely to make up 80 percent of the corps, while 20 percent will be open to the public.
The government believes members of the quasi-security groups are more familiar with the terrain and their experience will be an asset.
“We believe that those people know the terrain so well that there is no need to ignore them and bring people that will start to learn the ropes. Our terrains in Ondo are peculiar, so we prefer people who are already very familiar with them and our people in local communities.
“All we need do is to employ them, train and empower them to do the work officially. That is why we are giving them preference,” a source said.
In Ogun State, preference is not given to any group; interested persons are to apply through the state’s job portal, a section of which will be dedicated to Amotekun recruitment. The portal will make the procedure simple for all applicants, and will be opened soon according to a reliable source.
In Lagos, members of the Neighbourhood Watch will be drafted into Amotekun Corps. No recruitment is being planned, but those drafted will be given uniform training in Lagos and Ondo states.
Oyo is yet to decide on the mode of recruitment because its board of management is yet to be inaugurated. The state will allow the board determine the model to adopt while working with the governor and the House of Assembly.