Facts have emerged why the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and other statutory security agencies did not embrace the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun.’
Newspeakonline reliably gathered that the refusal of the governors and other stakeholders in the project to hand over the branded vehicles and total leadership of Amotekun’s operation to the police were the reason NPF refused to embrace the novel outfit.
This is in spite of the key role crafted for the police in its operations. For instance, the Commissioner of Police in each state is to oversee the outfit in the state. Each state police command is to clear every personnel to be recruited into the outfit while police are also to handle major arrests and prosecution of criminals.
The police, it was gathered, reasoned that since Amotekun’s personnel are not members of the statutory security agencies who have been properly trained and have legal backing to carry out public security operations, they should rather operate as supporters of police by way of gathering intelligence in their local communities. Police bosses were said to have requested that the vehicles be handed over to them but the governors and other stakeholders refused, stressing that the idea of Amotekun was not meant to be another investment in the Nigerian police which the governors are doing regularly.
The stakeholders bluntly told the police that inability of statutory security agencies to tackle cronies and criminals in the region forces the governors to look inward. They argued that it would be another wasted effort to create Amotekun and hand it over to police again.
While preparing for the official launch of the outfit on Thursday, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Idris, had reportedly invited Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State to his office in Abuja on Wednesday evening where he questioned him on the rationale behind the Amotekun project. He was said to have explained to Fayemi why Amotekun should be handled by the police but that the governor, who is the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum, also explained that Amotekun was not conceived as an outfit to be managed by the police.
Some of the governors had been under pressure by Abuja on the need to back down on Operation Amotekun. They insisted that the outfit will operate as a parallel security outfit, adding that except it operates under the full control of the NPF, it could transmute to an ethnic militia or state police which southerners have been clamoring for as an integral part of the call for restructuring.
Though some of them would have loved to back down from the idea, the massive support which Amotekun has garnered among Yorubas since it hit the public space created fear in their heart. They had to find the courage to go ahead with the inauguration as a way of standing by their people. Besides, Yoruba leaders bought into the idea right from the start when the governors directed the
Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) to fashion a solution to acts of criminality that reached a crescendo in the region in June, 2019.
The governors of Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti states came together to seek a unique way to tackle the high waves of crime in the region having realized that the conventional security looked helpless.