- Atiku backs Amotekun, community, state, zonal policing
Chuks Okocha in Abuja and James Sowole in Akure
Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwaroyimi Akeredolu yesterday declared that he is not perturbed by the possible consequences of leading the governors of the South-west in the formation of regional security outfit, Amotekun.
This is coming as former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has thrown his weight behind community policing and Amotekun, insisting that when the federal government fails to meet up with challenges of securing lives and property, the states have a right to compliment the federal efforts.
The declaration was made in a statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Donald Ojogo against the insinuation that Aketedolu’s forefront position in the formation of the security outfit may threaten his second term ambition as the people of the state go to poll later this year.
Ojogo said: “In particular, fears and apprehensions have been expressed in many quarters that his role in the formation of Amotekun could mar his second term chances.
“This is far from the truth because Governor Akeredolu is on the path of national cohesion through collaborative internal security.
“The decision taken in respect of Amotekun was in the interest of the entire Nation but not the South-west alone. The political insinuations and blackmail are the required ingredients needed to make it credible. But such will not discourage the governor in any manner.”
The commissioner said it was expected that there are possibly, political vultures waiting to reap from an imaginary scenario, especially as the state approaches the 2020 Ondo State governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“In words and in deeds, Governor Akeredolu will not sacrifice the compelling need to make lives safer in the South-west on the altar of political convenience, comfort and partisanship. The welfare of the people must come first.
“It, therefore, suffices that Governor Akeredolu considers more compelling, the need to institutionalise an acceptably complimentary and more enduring security framework in the South-west.
“For those who have chosen to impose deceitful contentment on themselves for sake of political ambitions, especially towards Ondo 2020, the choice is free for them to make.
“The people are conscious and enlightened enough to discern the undercurrents; and more importantly, the consequences of those choices are lurking in the corners of our collective psyche, waiting to unleash on all of us.
“Of all vices, deception is dangerous. It becomes most lethal when it graduates to hypocritical humility and pretentious cooperation. It must be stated that Governor Akeredolu, not oblivious of human imperfections that are not peculiar to him, prefers to live life accepting who he is and loving it rather than pretending to be what he is not,” Ojogo said.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has thrown his weight behind community policing and Amotekun, insisting that when the federal government fails to meet up with challenges of securing lives and property, the states have a right to compliment the federal efforts.
Atiku in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Paul Ibe said that as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution that the primary responsibility of government, at any level, is the protection of lives and property of the citizens.
Accordingly, Atiku said that in carrying out this function, the state employs different layers of measures to ensure effective and efficient policing.
He said that “it is without doubt that in the past decade particularly, the current policing administration in our dear country had been stretched to its limits and it is obvious that the reality of our domestic security upheaval will demand of us to recalibrate our police systems”.
Atiku who was the presidential candidate of the PDP in the last election said that “in the First Republic, before we gravitated too much to the centre, policing was done federally with each native authority and region having some mechanisms to deal with little upsets that were the security concerns of those times.
“In the present day Nigeria, there is hardly any state of the federation that does not contend with some type of security challenges. Because our security challenges are diverse in forms and impacts, it is thus incumbent that centrally controlled police architecture cannot exclusively deal with those challenges”.
“There is need for the creation of additional policing structures in the country to address the rapidly growing challenges of insecurity and crime. The time is ripe to seriously confront the reality of insecurity in the country by addressing the urgency of introducing state police, zonal police and community policing to complement the efforts of the current federal police.
“It is obvious that current levels of insecurity in the country are giving rise to major initiatives such as Amotekun and the issue need not be controversial in the first place.
“The police are likely to be more effective if they constantly operate in the same local community or local government because such closeness might create a bond with the local people, thereby enabling community cooperation and participation that would engender proactive outcomes in crime prevention,” Atiku stated
“The issue of security shouldn’t be politicised and monopolised in the face of our current alarming security challenges characterised by the fear of even travelling on our highways by the citizens who might be intercepted by kidnappers and taken hostage for ransom”, he said.
He explained that local policing shouldn’t be mistaken for an effort to hijack the role of the federal police or a competition with the federal government, adding that the obvious inadequacies of the federal police to effectively deal with these rapidly growing security challenges make local policing not only desirable, but also necessary.