Amotekun: Akeredolu cautions over divisive utterances

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The Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has caution against divisive statements and utterances capable of compromising the genuine intention of the South West governors.

Akeredolu, who is also the chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum, said that the South-west security initiative, Amotekun, is neither a regional army nor an ethnic agenda aimed at undermining national cohesion.

The governor’s statement is coming on the heels of floods of reactions from several leading elements of the south west, who have raised objections to the recent stance of the federal government on Amotekun.

A statement by the Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, on Sunday, said the governor reaffirmed his earlier position that Amotekun was initiated to complement the efforts of the conventional internal security agencies that appeared to have been hampered by the absence of local intelligence gathering architecture.

“Put simply, Amotekun when fully operational would serve the purposes of local information and intelligence gathering for processing and usage by the conventional security agencies,” the statement said.

“Amotekun is therefore, merely supportive and not a replacement for the Nation’s security agencies.

“The concerns expressed by individuals, agencies of government and several stakeholders are noted without bias. Where possible, the inexorable efforts of the South west governors will be deepened through relentless interface.”

Amotekun is the security outfit launched by the six states of the south west to rising insecurity in the region.

The governors launched the security organisation on January 9, but the federal government afterwards declared it illegal and contrary to the provisions of the constitution.

The governor warned that while the interface and engagements continue, the ongoing discourse on the issue of Amotekun “must not be misguidedly used as a platform to ventilate personal or group views aimed at oiling primordial sentiments and grievances.”

He said ethicising the current situation was even more unhelpful, adding that there should be no reason for such.

“This is more so that the Amotekun scheme is not targeted at any non-Southwest ethnic group just as its benefits are to be reaped by all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic or religious placements,” the statement further said.

Akeredolu expressed confidence that the South-west governors will not capitulate to blackmail either from within or outside the region but were ready to pursue the Amotekun security scheme through all permissible political and legal means.

“Under circumstances of the nature of Amotekun, the choices are numerous. They range from prevarication and pretence; partisanship and sycophancy as well as moderate and complimentary steps not inimical to the corporate existence of our Nation Nigeria,” read the statement.

South-West ‘Operation Amotekun’ security outfit
South-West ‘Operation Amotekun’ security outfit

“The South west governors have chosen the later. In unequivocal terms too, each of the choices has a consequence, if not consequences.

“Unfortunately, the steps of South West Governors have unwittingly, had to contend with forces of conspiratorial silence and unpretentious moves of sabotage.

“Each has a right to choices; but certainly, no one individual can circumvent the consequences of whatever choices he or she makes in life.”

Ojogo noted that fears and apprehensions had been expressed in many quarters that Akeredolu’s 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,” he said.

“The decision taken in respect of Amotekun was in the interest of the entire Nation but not the Southwest 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.”

He however said that there were “political vultures” waiting to reap from an imaginary scenario, especially as the 2020 Ondo governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress approached.

“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,” he said.

“It therefore suffices that Governor Akeredolu considers more compelling, the need to institutionalize an acceptably complementary and more enduring security framework in the South west.”

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