Amotekun Not Substitute for Police, Military, Says Fayemi

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Kayode Fayemi

By Victor Ogunje

Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday inaugurated the Ekiti State Security Network Agency, codenamed ‘Amotekun Corps’ with a clarification that the outfit is not meant to supplant or discredit other traditional security agencies such as the police and the military but to collaborate with and strengthen their operations.

The governor explained that the establishment of the security outfit was a child of necessity aimed at solving and addressing the various security challenges bedevilling the state and the South-west zone in particular and Nigeria in general.

Fayemi, at the event in Ado-Ekiti, which also featured the passing out parade of the newly-recruited personnel of the outfit, noted that fighting crime was a collective responsibility, which requires input and the collaboration of every citizen.

He said the agency, in carrying out its duty, would safeguard human rights as enshrined in the constitution, adding that all citizens are expected to go about their normal businesses without any fear of intimidation.

The governor, who had earlier carried out an inspection of the quarter guard and parade, was accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Bisi Egbeyemi; Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Biodun Oyebanji; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Biodun Omoleye; and the Chairman, Traditional Rulers Council in the state and the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Ajibade Alabi, among others.

According to Fayemi, “The precarious security situation we are contending with nationwide has created palpable fear in the minds of our people, the current challenges of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, kidnapping, assassination, cattle rustling, ritual killing, armed robbery, cultism and youth restiveness are daunting but surmountable.

“For the umpteenth time, I hereby reiterate that Amotekun is not a substitute for any of the existing security agency. Amotekun is here to strengthen our general security architecture by collaborating and synergising with all existing security agencies to ensure security and safety of lives and properties of Ekiti kete using local knowledge and native intelligence.

“As a government, we are determined to put an end to this worrisome development of insecurity, we are encouraged and strengthened by the sense of responsibility and collective support that our people at home and in the diasporas give the Amotekun initiative.

“Amotekun is established to ensure the safety and freedom of not only Ekiti indigene or Yoruba people but everyone resident within and around Ekiti State. It is to protect and safeguard all within our state and indeed within our zone.”

Fayemi, who explained that the impact of COVID-19 had caused the delay in the launch, charged the people to be vigilant and be wary of shielding criminals in their communities, adding that cooperation of all is important for the outfit to succeed.

He said: “It is also noteworthy that Ekiti State Security Network Agency will collaborate with similar security network agency in other states, including but not limited to Ogun, Lagos, Osun, Ondo and Oyo states to deter kidnapping, terrorism, destruction of lives and properties, highway robberies and any other criminal activities and to assist the police and other security institutions in apprehending such criminals.

“Crime fighting is a collective responsibility, all hands must be on deck in our quest to restore peace and stop criminality in our state and region, those who engage in criminal activities live within and around us. Let us be vigilant and be sensitive to new faces in our midst.”

While congratulating the corps officers, the governor urged them to shun any act that could tarnish the image and purpose of the outfit. He further charged them to live above board and respect the oath they swore to.

Earlier, the Corps Commander, Brig-Gen. Joe Akomolafe (rtd), had warned all criminally-minded people in Ekiti State to leave as the state was no longer safe for criminals, adding that the mandate revolves around protection of lives and property of the people.

The commander urged them to promptly report any situation for further directives.