By Kayode Fasua
Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, and Nobel Laureate, Professor ‘Wole Soyinka, yesterday warned operatives of the state’s chapter of the South Western Security Network (SWSN), code-named Amotekun Corps, against trampling on the rights of the citizens in the course of fighting criminality.
Abiodun has also decorated Soyinka as the Super Marshall of the Amotekun.
The governor specifically charged operatives of the Amotekun Corps to operate within the ambit of the law and diligently add value to efforts aimed at safeguarding lives and properties in the state.
Abiodun and Soyinka spoke yesterday during the official inauguration of Amotekun, which held at the Arcade Ground of the state secretariat complex, Oke -Mosan in Abeokuta, the state capital.
While decorating the Nobel Laureate, the governor said, “this outfit is very close to his (Soyinka’s) heart and issues of security particularly in the South-West.
“On that note, I have a singular honour and privilege to present Prof some of the Amotekun insignias being the Super Marshall of Amotekun in Ogun State.”
Recalling the circumstances which led to the establishment of the Corps, Abiodun explained that governors and leaders of the six South-western states at a security summit held on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, unanimously consented to establishing the security.
The inauguration of the Amotekun Corps came barely 24 hours after two Chinese expatriates were kidnapped from their work place at Oba town in the Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of the
Abiodun however said the establishment of the security outfit was part of a holistic approach, geared at tackling the rising wave of insecurity in the South-West region.
“Its establishment is to complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police and other security agencies in the different states, especially with a truly indigenous security agency that understands the terrains, language and lingo of the people in the area”.
“You are also subject to the law, not above the law. Let the rule of law be your watchword and ensure that you respect the rights of citizens and residents of the state.
“Let me be clear: your role is primarily to prevent crime. You are to do this through systematic intelligence gathering and collaboration with other law enforcement agencies: the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NAPTIP, NDLEA, Customs, Immigration, DSS and others”.
Earlier in his goodwill message, Soyinka, who was decorated as the Super Amotekun Marshal, declared that he would not hesitate to invoke the spirit of Ogun, Yoruba’s god of iron, to deal decisively with any erring Amotekun operative.
“You should be aware that we will be watching you to ensure that you do not trample upon the rights if the citizens, but you must set a good example of how community policing should be at its best,” he prodded.
Earlier in his goodwill message, the Director General of the Development Agenda For Western Nigeria (DAWN), Mr. ‘Seye Oyeleye, appealed to all the security agencies in the state to cooperate with operatives of the Amotekun Corps, which he said are not meant to engage in rivalry with any of the security agencies, but to complement them in the efforts towards providing community policing “at its best” for the state.
Also speaking at the inauguration, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Edward Ajogun, said his command would work with the Amotekun Corps towards stemming the tide of insecurity across the state.