Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi has justified the need for the creation of the Western Nigeria Security Network, Amotekun.
The governor while speaking in Ibadan, Oyo State noted that there was the need for a security system that is localised and knowledgeable about the culture and security situation of a particular community.
He spoke on the theme: “Security and National Unity in Difficult Times,” stressing that the challenge of insecurity in Nigeria has become frightening.
Fayemi said the Nigerian government must be prepared to declare bandits, terrorists and kidnappers as criminals regardless of their geographical location.
According to him, it has become imperative to amend the constitution to empower the various security initiatives to be able to respond to the current challenges in the country.
He said: “The challenge of insecurity in Nigeria is frightening and is getting all of us concerned. At the dawn of the current democratic dispensation in 1999, the major concern of security experts was the staccato of ethnic and religious violence that was common then, that was before the dawn of the Niger-Delta militancy which took almost a decade.
“A new phenomenon in insecurity however waded in with the violent campaign of Boko Haram activities in many parts of the North.
“Added to this is Nigeria’s extensive and porous borders covering over 4,000 kilometres littered with illegal entry points and routes totalling 1,500 points.
“With the porous borders, criminal gangs and terrorist insurgents could easily stroll in with smuggled weapons into the country which in turn are sold to sea pirates, cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers, bandits and other purveyors of violence in the Nigerian state.
“In fact, the creation of Amotekun can only be a precursor to this. We need a security system that is localised, knowledgeable about the culture and security situation of a particular community.
“But we need to amend the constitution to empower the various security initiatives to be able to respond to the current challenges.
“For example, despite not possessing Ak-47 which the bandits possess, Amotekun operatives have been courageous to confront them in the forest and have successfully rescued victims of kidnapping and arrested the criminals in some instances.
“Yet, these people are at best, volunteer corps with encouragement stipend paid to them. They don’t earn as much as the conventional police, yet they are better motivated to throw themselves to the protection of the community where they have their wives, children and families.”
He further advocated the need for unity in the country.
He said, “They are unsparing and are callous. They have no sympathy for religion, ethnicity or authority and are undiscriminating in the pursuit of their satanic enterprise. We must not be ashamed to call for assistance from wherever we can get it in terms of technology, equipment and personnel.
“In addition, there are two things that we need to address quickly to bring the current wave of insecurity to a halt. We need to have a conversation on how we can recruit a large number of people to join the police and the military even on a short service or otherwise.
“By available statistics, we need a minimum of 200,000 personnel to boost the fighting power of our men. This number is very large and a potential financial and logistic nightmare, yet we cannot delay any further. The ungoverned spaces need to be closed up quickly by motivated men with the singular objective to save the nation.”
In his address, the co-chairman of the event, former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, opined that the Nigerian government should decentralise security apparatus, saying it is in the hands of one ethnic nationality in Nigeria.
He noted that the barrage of bad news in newspapers in recent times can be quite depressing.
He said, “Every morning when I have to open the pages of newspapers or read through posts on the social media, my heart cut at the extent of violence being unleashed on citizens of Nigeria.
“There are stories of killings, kidnapping, banditry, cattle rustling and herders’/farmers brouhaha from the North East, North West and North Central part of the country, the same way we are bombarded with stories of violence, armed robbery, kidnapping and herdsmen infractions from the South West, South-East and South-South. It’s just like, everywhere you go, there is violence and killings.
“Besides, there have been growing agitations for self-determination from the South-East and South-West in recent years. In recent days, the news media was awash with stories credited to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), where he threatened that the Federal Government would declare a state of emergency in Anambra State, in view of the wanton killings taking place there.
“Well, my party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has promptly reacted and told the Federal Government to back off such thoughts. In the same vein, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Afenifere, PANDEF and other nationality groups have spoken.
“Rather than adopting the knee-jerk approach in tackling the myriads of security problems facing the country currently, the government at the centre needs to look deep down and design solutions.”
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Source: Amotekun Operatives In South-West More Motivated To Protect Citizens Than Better-paid Nigeria Policemen—Ekiti Governor, Fayemi