The South West has always been the most security-conscious part of the country, proven by the numerous security initiatives ranging from the local vigilante groups to Oodua People’s Congress and even the State-established Neighbourhood Watch. Hence, it does not come as a surprise when the South West Governors of the six states of Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo and Lagos launched the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSW)with the code name: Operation Amotekun.
Amotekun, meaning Leopard, was created as a united front to curb the insecurity and insurgency in the region with “Zero tolerance to Crime” as its motto suggests. The operation stands to serve as a complement to the armed forces in the region, whilst assuring the western populace that their elected officials have the safety of their lives and property as their utmost concern. According to the Ekiti State Governor Fayemi, in as much as the security outfit was created for the defence of the south-west, it does not in any way compromise the security of Nigerians in other geo-political zones of the country. The governors have stated that there are not creating a regional police force but an added measure to fill in for the inadequacies of the overstretched security agencies that are already existing in the region.
Operation Amotekun is approved by the Federal Government and the Office of the Inspector General of Police to begin operations in their various instituted neighbourhoods. According to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi who was present at the launch held in Ibadan, Oyo state, other traditional rulers have also given their approval and blessings to the security agency. All six states have proceeded to contribute 20 trucks and 100 units of motorcycles to facilitate operations. The initiative is design to recruit members from various neighbourhoods in the state, provide professional training and security expertise to ensure that unlike the Oodua People’s Congress, their operations are formal and foster optimal co-operation with the police.
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