I did not shun ‘Operation Amotekun’ launch, says Abiodun

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has denied insinuations that he shunned the launch of security outfit, codenamed, Operation Amoekun, held last Thursday, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Abiodun disclosed this on Sunday while fielding questions from reporters at the end of the 15th Annual New Year Thanksgiving and memorial service in honour of Most Reverend Adebola Daniel, organised by the former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, held at Abraham’s Tabernacle, Sagamu.

The governor said media reports that he shunned the launch was incorrect, saying he was part of the decision to establish the joint security outfit by governors in the South West.

He explained that the change in the date earlier fixed for the launch was responsible for his absence, submitting that his deputy, Engr (Mrs) Noimot Salako-Oyedele, represented him at the event, while he attended to other state functions already fixed for the day.

The governor said Ogun State donated 20 security vehicles to support the smooth take-off of the laudable initiative.

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He said: “The story making the rounds that I shunned the official launch of ‘Operation Amotekun’ is very false, not only false but incorrect. The Amotekun was conceived to be a joint patrol initiative of all the six SouthWest states. That initiative was mooted and the idea was, each state would contribute law enforcement agencies to the Amotekun, meaning Ogun will contribute, Lagos will contribute and this was meant to be controlled and operated by the Nigeria police. It was going to be a joint effort – Nigerian Police, Civil Defence, hunters, vigilantes; those ones actually have access to a lot of intelligence that the police may not have.

“So, we felt it was important for them to complement the efforts of the police. So, this initiative came up when we had the SouthWest security meeting, the IG was in attendance. All of us subscribed to it. Now, we decided that we are going to launch it. We donated 20 vehicles each to that initiative. On that particular day, we had a previous date which we were committed to and when that date did not hold and a new date was communicated to us, I already had other plans but I sent my deputy. My deputy did not only attend, but she also drove one of the vehicles. So, this story going around that I shunned it, I didn’t attend is baseless. It’s not true.”

In his sermon, the Bishop of Lagos North Diocese, Methodist Church Nigeria, Rt. Revd Gboyega Ohu, appreciated the former governor for sustaining the annual thanksgiving, urging the gathering to cultivate the art of giving thanks to God in any situation.

Ohu who spoke on the theme: “The Power of Praise” believed that the nation’s challenges could be solved, if all Nigerians appreciate God for keeping the entity together.

The celebrant, Daniel, also corroborated Ohu, saying the annual thanksgiving was his own way of thanking God for the gift of life adding “when you have the grace of God, you must have a heart of thanksgiving.”

In attendance at the service were the Odole of Ile-Ife, Sir Kensington Adebukola Adebutu; the Asiwaju Onigbagbo Obinrin of Ogun State, Ambassador (Dr) Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosunmu; former Minister of Finance, Dr Onaolapo Soleye; former deputy governor of the State, Alhaja Salmot Badru; the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon (Mrs) Funmi Efuwape-Akinyebo; Senator Demi Okurounmu; Professor Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) and the former governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Prince Gboyega Nadir Isiaka.

Others were the Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Adewale Ajayi; the Dagburewe of Idowa, Oba Adekoya; the Alaperu of Iperu, Oba Idowu Basibo; the Ogirimadagbo of Ilodo, Oba Isiaka Ajede.

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