South-West governors say ‘Amotekun’ not regional police

The South-West Governors on Thursdsay said that the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed ‘Amotekun’ would only operate as state-based community policing outfit and not as regional police.

Ondo State Governor and Chairman of South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akerodolu, said this after a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Community Policing held in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting, held behind closed doors, was hosted by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and attended by Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

NAN reports that the governors of Oyo, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti states were represented at the meeting by their deputies – Rauf Olaniyan, Noimot Oyedele, Benedict Alabi and Bisi Egbeyemi – respectively.

”We have made things clear when we said we are having Amotekun, it is not that we are creating a regional police.

”Amotekun is not regional police. It is state-based and we have all agreed that if you have laws in your respective state backing any security outfit, then you can go ahead for as long as it is within the legal bounds,” Akeredolu said.

The Ondo State governor said that the community policing being anchored by Nigeria Police would truly benefit the region.

”We have chosen that we will embrace community policing in all its entirety,” Akeredolu said.

On his part, I-G Adamu said that “Operation Amotekun” was not different from what had been existing in terms of ensuring security in the states and across the country.

”So every state is having its own structure and it is agreed that these structures that they are creating, that the community policing strategy is infused into it.

”So that policing the community will be the initiative of the community, the public, as the public is the police and the police is the public. So this area must be clarified.

”It is not a regional structure, it is a state structure and it must be backed by law for it to be effective. The structure will be in tandem with the structure of community policing,” he said.

Adamu said that policing had to also come from the public and not just from the police.

Also present at the meeting were commissioners of police and heads of other security outfits in the six South-West states, Attorney-Generals and Commissioners for Justice, traditional rulers and Community Development Committee representatives.(NAN)