Amotekun: Osinbajo, South-West govs, security officials may meet this week
•VP not against initiative – Source
BARRING any last-minute development, a tripartite meeting involving Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, governors from the six states in the South-West and top security chiefs may hold this week, to resolve perceived grey areas in the formation of the security outfit, Amotekun, in Yorubaland.
The meeting is believed to be at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari, with the primary goal of evolving a template that suits all concerned interests within the nation’s legal framework.
According to feelers, the Presidency was keen in having a template that aligns with Federal Government’s initiative of community policing, as part of measures aimed at boosting the security of lives and property across the country.
This urge was said to have informed the move by the Presidency to bring the South-West governors together in a meeting with relevant Federal Government officials to come up with a workable solution to the misconception about Amotekun in certain quarters.
There were reports at press time on Monday that President Buhari had asked Vice-President Osinbajo to meet this week with the governors and the top security officials of the Federal Government to develop a model that bring Amotekun under a legal framework.
Some analysts told the Nigerian Tribune last night that the success of the latest effort by the government could, in one stroke, address security concerns in the South-West, as well as allay the fears of those who wanted such a security arrangement to operate within the limits of the Nigerian constitution.
One of the sources, which confirmed the planned meeting, said: “It appears that another key purpose of the meeting to be presided over by the VP later this week in Abuja will be to have Amotekun operate effectively in the local communities, including leveraging the active support of the traditional institutions.”
The source said: “What is happening now is that the president wants the vice president, a renowned advocate for community policing models and state police, to take another look at the Amotekun initiative alongside the six governors with a view to resolving all the grey areas and coming up with a model that suits all concerned interests.
“The president’s choice of the vice-president to oversee the review of the Amotekun structure is said to reflect Professor Osinbajo’s perceived support of the original idea that was later developed by the South-West governors into the Amotekun outfit.
“It is widely believed that Professor Osinbajo is a staunch advocate of state policing and the Buhari presidency has already given directives that the Nigeria Police embark on the ongoing implementation of the Community Policing model.
“This is why Osinbajo’s support for the Amotekun initiative is not a surprise to close watchers of government business and in government circles.”
The source explained that the president was desirous of all the issues pertaining to the regional security outfit were carefully addressed and amicably resolved, especially against the backdrop of misrepresentations by a few individuals.
According to the source, “because President Buhari is concerned that the matter be managed carefully in a way that addresses security fears that necessitated the Amotekun initiative in the first, instance while carrying along Federal Government’s security agencies, the vice president is said to be working out a template that will bring concerned federal agencies and the South-West states together and propose a way to keep the initiative and secure the support and understanding of the Federal Government.”
There were said to be concerned in official circles that if the Amotekun initiative was not properly managed, it could generate regional reactions capable of undermining other Federal Government agencies and degenerate into a needless political crisis.
It was, however, learnt that while the government “wants to ensure that such initiatives like Amotekun are within the constitutional framework,” the authorities did not “want to be seen as sabotaging the efforts of state governments to provide supplemental security efforts working with the existing security agencies in the land.”