Makinde Inaugurates Amotekun Board

…Promises to secure Oyo state

Governor Seyi Makinde today inaugurated the board of the Oyo State Security Network Agency aka “Amotekun” and stated that the people of Oyo State will like the actions the state government is about to take to ensure their security.

In his statement, he vowed that his government will continue to do the necessary work to ensure that the insecurity in Oyo state will soon become a thing of the past.

The governor also addressed the naysayers in Oyo state who use any crisis as a means to further their political agenda and stated that contrary to the negative image of the state that they like to paint, many people and businesses are migrating to Oyo state, drawn by the progressive policies of his administration. He also called on residents of the state to not panic.

In his words; “We know that because of the policies of this administration, a lot of people are coming into Oyo State, and when you have more and more people coming in, it will come with its own set of challenges and with opportunities as well.”

“In the days ahead, we will also let the people of Oyo State know the things we are doing as far as security is concerned. And when they see security operatives all around, they must give them total support.”

“Yes, I can go to Igangan and take responsibility for some of these activities but security is our collective responsibility. It is not just for the government or governor alone. So, everybody needs to come on board and play their own part,” he said.

The Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa released a statement quoting the governor making the above statements. He also confirmed that the inauguration was part of his administration’s commitment to protecting Oyo residents.

At the event, held inside the Executive chamber of Governor Makinde’s office, he indicated that some of the people that make up the board are; the chairman, Brigadier-General Ajibola Kunle Togun (rtd), Amotekun Commandant, Col. Bisiriyu Olayinka Olayanju (rtd), the Commissioner of Police, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Defence Corps, Commandant Adaralewa Michael Akintayo, Special Adviser on Security, COMPOL Fatai Owoseni (rtd) and Mrs Akinbode Iyabode Enitan as secretary.

Other members of the Board include; the representative of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the state, the Executive Secretary, Oyo State Security Trust Fund, Commodore Rasaki Ajani Babalola, representing Oyo South Senatorial District; Mr Ogunlowo Samson, representing Oyo North Senatorial District; Mrs Hamzat Khadijat Ronke, representing Oyo Central Senatorial District; the Onpetu of Ijeru, Oba Sunday Oladapo Oyediran, representing the traditional Institution and the Executive Assistant (Security), CP Sunday Odukoya (rtd).

Governor Makinde stated afterwards that the inauguration of the Amotekun board would pave the way for similar inter-agency relationships in neighbouring states and urged the heads of security agencies in Oyo state to cooperate with each other fully.

He said: “Since the passing out of the 1,500 members of Amotekun Corps in November last year, they have been operating under the leadership of General Togun and the Commandant, Colonel Olayanju.”

“As we continue to expand our security architecture and improve our system, and also in fulfilment of the law setting up the Amotekun Corps, we have to inaugurate the Board, and that is exactly what we are doing here today.”

“The law establishing the Oyo State Security and Network Agency codenamed Amotekun Corps to assist in maintaining law and order in the state and for other matters connected therewith, stipulates the establishment of the Governing board in section 7.”

“The three representatives which were mentioned, we want a representative from each of the senatorial districts in Oyo State. Also, we have to get the buy-in of our traditional institution. So, Kabiyesi Onpetu of Ijeru, Oba Sunday Oladapo Oyediran is on the board.”

“We believe that with the inauguration of this board today, we will see even more visible action in securing Oyo State, especially in the area of fostering relationships between Amotekun of Oyo State and similar security network agencies in our neighbouring states: Ondo, Osun, Ogun and Ekiti States.”

“We also expect more inter-agency cooperation within the state. Remember that one of the reasons we started the Amotekun Corps is to bring security operatives closer to the people. We were asking for state police and we could not get that because it involves amending the constitution of the country and it is a big task. But while we were waiting for that, we believed that we had to move on.”

The governor took the time to praise the Amotekun corps for the way they have filled a major void in the Oyo state security architecture, despite the challenges they face and said; “On many occasions, I have watched videos. The Amotekun Corps are faced with superior fire-power.”

“They are not licensed to carry weapons like AK47 but we see bandits carrying such weapons. But despite the visible challenges that they are faced with, they have been able to fill the gap of local policing successfully. It has been difficult but they have been doing it.”

“So, if things are as they are now, we wonder how things might have been without the Amotekun Corps.”

He appealed to the malcontents in Oyo state who try to discredit Amotekun and politicize the current insecurity to desist from the path and proffer the solutions they think will work instead.

He also called on Oyo state residents and appealed to them to work with the state government to surmount the current security challenges.

He said; “I have been listening and watching people try to politicize the issue of security. Well, I want to appeal to such individuals within the state; it is our state and it is only God that puts people in position. If you want to destroy your state before everybody to gain political power, I wonder what kind of state such an individual or group of people will want to preside over.”

“We have seen cases where they doctored videos to discredit Amotekun. We have seen cases where people go out and lie outright. Now, everybody on the street is an advisor on security. They have all sorts of advice they gave to me and I asked them where they practised their own security. They have not gone beyond their streets, maybe they organized neighbourhood watch and they think that it is the qualification on how to advise us on the issue of security.”

“Well, some of these people are saying insecurity is the major challenge in Oyo State. Yes, the country is going through quite a bit but I challenge them to a debate. I am ready. Let them come and tell us what they will be doing differently. They have nothing to offer the people of Oyo State apart from wanting to ride on the perception of insecurity to gain prominence.”

“They should wait and let us build Oyo State together. If it is God’s will for them to be in power in 2023, God will do it for them easily. But we must not destroy our state. We must not politicize insecurity. Yes, some people did it at the national level and gained power in 2015 but Nigerians are wiser,” he stated.

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