• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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South West remains committed to Amotekun – Secretariat

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Nigerians, especially retired senior officers and security experts, are indifferent to the release of N13.3 billion take-off fund for the much-talked-about community policing by the Federal Government through the National Economic Council.

They took turns to comment and assess the fund voted for the institutionalisation of community policing across the country as Nigerians believe that the fund released may not be judiciously used if checks and discipline are not put in place.

Abbey Agyole, former Commissioner of Police in Kaduna, who spoke on Channels Sunrise Daily on Friday, believes that Police suffer from two major challenges which are lack of funds and mistrust from most Nigerians, saying the community policing could only succeed if there were adequate funds, effective trainings and rebuilding of lost confidence within the communities in the country.

“Do we have community policing? In community policing, we must first of all, have trust in community Police, have they been able to build trust between themselves – the Police and Community?” he said.

“Are we sure that this money will be released for the Police? We must look at this issue in two dimensions – The Police and the people. Are the Police trained to meet up with current challenges?

“Over the years, Police have been faced with lots of challenges and finance is a major problem and if this fund released is not judiciously used, it would go same way of the old. Problem of Police Force is training, larger percentage of policemen has not acquired adequate training,” Agyole also said.

Alfred Ononugbo, a security consultant, canvassed for creation of different regional and tribal security outfits and not only the Yorubas with Amotekun, saying: “Let Igbos have their own security outfit, let Arewa have their own too because Yoruba have Amotekun Corps and they employ only South westerners and security has no tribe; so, Federal Government should allow other regions and tribes to have separate security outfits.”

Responding to the fears being expressed by many people as regards sustainability of Amotekun Corps and possible overlapping of functions, Seye Oyeleye, director-general of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission said Amotekun Corps would cohabit with the Community Policing as Nigeria with over 200 million population needs multi-layer policing for effective security of lives and property.

The Head of Southwest Governors’ Forum Secretariat, said: “It has not defeated the purpose for which Amotekun Corps was established in the six Southwest states, this is a federal country. Amotekun is being run by the six states individually; it does not stop Federal Government from doing whatever it wants to do.

“A country that is struggling to run an efficient federal police, ommunity policing cannot stop efforts at state level to adequately secure itself.”

Asked if Amotekun in Osun State is threatened by the Federal Government’s Community Policing, Lateef Agboola, the spokesperson for the corps, declared that the security outfit could not be threatened.

Agboola, who is the Head, Media Team, Osun Amotekun, also expressed concern over the implementation of Community Policing project, saying ‘Nigerian factor’ should not be allowed to mar it.

“We can’t be threatened because Amotekun corps was a product of community policing, if you care to know, our Director-General, Comrade Amitolu Shittu, has been at the helms of affairs of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), Osun command, for years.

“For us, only enemies of progress would kick against what we have been clamouring for since, in the overall interest of the masses of Nigeria. However, our concern is the sincere implementation of the community policing project and shouldn’t allow the Nigerian factor to mar it,” Agboola said.

“We would equally like to appeal to the police authority and other stakeholders to ensure that cordial relationship exists between Amotekun Corps and the community police personnel. After all, we’re all working towards the same goal, and that’s the adequate security of lives and property of the citizens,” he further said.

Meanwhile, the Commander, Ondo State Security Network Agency, operation Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, has described the approval of the N13.3 billion for take-off of Community Policing initiative by the Federal Government as a welcome development.

Speaking with BDSUNDAY in Akure on Friday, the Amotekun boss said this would further boost the police morale in fighting against the crimes across all the states.

Recall that the Federal Government on Thursday approved the N13.3 billion for the take-off of Community Policing initiative.

According to Adeleye, the security outfit needs all the support and credible information it can get to ensure that it makes society a safe place for all to live in.

Besides, the Corp Commander further said that the community policing would not in any way affect the productivity of Amotekun in the state.

“We are just complementing their efforts, releasing the fund is just a way of assisting the security architecture of our country. I think it is a welcome development as far as we are concerned in Ondo State.
“Amotekun was established by the law and since the law is not abrogated whatever aspect of the security agencies input doesn’t have any advance effect on Amotekun.

“The good people of Ondo State can see the success we have recorded since the commencement of this security outfit. How many organisations can afford or provide the equipment we have secured in this state? So, we just started and all these things were showcased during our inauguration,” he said.

According to him, Ondo state government has what it takes to fund the security outfit in order to achieve their aims in fighting against crimes in the state.

“We have succeeded in bursting the kidnappers den in Ikun-Akoko and some other areas of the state with the assistance of Police Force. The area that police cannot penetrate, we will try there because we know all the terrain.

“We are to complement police action, our role is to give them adequate support, there is no conflict or parallel security outfit,” Amotekun boss said.

In Kwara State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has appointed retired Brigadier-General, Saliu Tunde Bello, an ex-Military governor of Kebbi State and Aliyu Muyideen, an intelligence and counterterrorism expert, as Special Adviser and Senior Special Assistant on Security, respectively.

According to the statement signed by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, the assemblage of a crack security team comes as the governor pushes harder for more investments in Kwara State as well as effective security of lives and property in the Yoruba-speaking state.

 

RAZAQ AYINLA; REMI FEYISIPO, Ibadan; SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin; KORETIMI AKINTUNDE, Akure; JOHN OLANIYI, Osogbo