By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Thursday inaugurated the state’s wing of the South-West Joint Security Outfit known as ‘Amotekun’.
He also declared that the outfit was not created to compete with other security agencies, but to further strengthen the security apparatus of the State.
Abiodun while speaking at the inauguration ceremony held at the arcade ground, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, stressed that the security challenges facing the State and the nation as a whole, needed the cooperation of all security agencies.
He recalled that the establishment of the Outfit was agreed on by leaders and governments of the six South-West states in June, 2019, as part of holistic approach towards tackling the rising wave of insecurity in the region.
His words: “Let me note that the inauguration of the ‘Amotekun’ in Ogun State is not to create unnecessary competition with other security agencies, this is why everybody must work together to further strengthen security of lives and property in the State”, the Governor said.
Abiodun who explained the reasons for the delay in the establishment of the Outfit, said it was borne out of the need to be meticulous and allow the people participate in the decision-making process.
He said the ‘Amotekun’ operatives were carefully selected, trained and equipped with necessary logistics, technical backstopping, as well as political will for effective take-off and operation, urging them to operate within the ambit of the law establishing it.
Abiodun called on the people to cooperate and give needed information to the Outfit to serve them better, saying, “any property found to be serving as hideouts to criminals will not only be taken over by government, but such facility will also be demolished. Whoever is found to be harbouring kidnappers, ritualists, robbers or criminals will be arrested and handed over for prosecution”.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, affirmed that the state is one of the safest States in the country, calling on security agencies to share intelligence report to rid the State of crime.
On his part, the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, urged the operatives to always respect people’s rights, assist and protect them, saying their activities would be closely monitored.
Contributing, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Edward Ajogun maintained that a lot are needed to be done in combacting crimes and criminalities.
According to the Director-General, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Mr. Seye Oyeleye, pointed out that the ‘Amotekun’ was a child of necessity and not a regional army, saying, “it is a community policing at its best”.