IG can’t determine Amotekun structure, Afenifere replies presidency
• States to control Amotekun operations ― Ekiti govt
The Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere has told the presidency that the structure of Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’ cannot be determined by the Inspector General of Police.
Amotekun was launched in February this year by state governors in the south West in response to the scourge of killings, kidnappings, banditry and other heinous crimes in the region.
The Presidency through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu had on Tuesday said the regional security outfit will be run in accordance with the structure defined by the IGP.
Shehu while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme said, “Whatever name they go by, Amotekun or whatever, will be streamlined and they will be run in accordance with the structure as defined by the Inspector-General of Police. They will be localised, they will be owned by local communities, they will be managed by them.”
However, speaking with Tribune Online via telephone on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital, the Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin said the comments from the presidential aide was misplaced, explaining that the law establishing Amotekun did not arrogate the power to the police hierarchy.
Odumakin who noted that the creation of Amotekun was in response to the waves of security challenges including kidnappings, killings, banditry and other crimes in the south-west states, said the police should rather focus on in its responsibility of securing lives and property.
According to him, ” Amotekun cannot be under the control of IGP in any way because as you know the law backing the regional security outfit did not give such power to the police head.
” Let the IGP run its own outfit and run it well for the benefit of Nigerians in securing the people and their property and let Amotekun work well for the people as well.
” The comments from Garba Shehu is not correct and it won’t happen unless they want to kill the Amotekun concept put together to protect the people from criminalities.”
In a related development, the Ekiti government has responded to the comments by the presidential aide, saying the operations of the security outfit will be solely controlled by the state governments.
The Special Adviser on Security to Governor Kayode Fayemi, Brig-Gen. Ebenezer Ogundana(rtd) said the law establishing the Amotekun corps gave states in the south-west the express power to own and control the outfit.
Reacting to the statement, Ogundana countered the position canvassed by Shehu, saying only the community policing being proposed by the federal government will be controlled by IG.
He said, “Going by the law that established Amotekun, all the states have the legal powers to control the outfit. The recruitments and operations are under the states. Even those to be recruited into Amotekun in Ekiti had been contacted about the date of the recruitment exercise.
” The states that established Amotekun will control the Amotekun security network.”
Ogundana added that only the community policing being proposed by the federal government will be controlled by the IG.