Southwest’s “Amotekun’’: Buhari’s ally, Sagay says it’s legal
…“I’m positively disposed to it’’
Amid controversy trailing the inauguration of “Operation Amotekun’’ by Southwest governors, an ally of President Muhammadu Buhari and Chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, says the outfit is legal and within the purview of the governors as chief security officers of their respective states.
“I am positively disposed towards it. I think it is a good beginning not to depend completely on the Federal Government for our security.
“We should begin to rely more and more on ourselves so that those who feel the pain are those who try to take control of the security situation.
“We know that the Police are few; they are stretched; we have about 250,000 policemen in a country of almost 200 million.
“So, I think these regional security institutions are necessary,’’ the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said in a reaction to the floating of the regional outfit.
Recall that governors from Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, and Lagos States had last week Thursday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital launched a security outfit called Amotekun.
Persecondnews recalls Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, and Lagos States had on January 9 launched the security outfit codenamed Amotekun (Leopard) in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
Some Northern youths and opinion leaders in the North had criticized it, saying it will divide the country.
But Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong had immediately thrown his weight behind it, saying it is nothing to worry about.
Lalong, who announced that a similar security outfit for the North was in the offing, said: “I am chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum, we have taken a decision sometime last year.’’
According to the governor, the latest gunmen attack that left no fewer than 13 persons dead in Mangu Council Area of the state necessitates going back to the drawing board to find a lasting solution to insecurity.
Sagay while commenting on Amotekun said the Police lacked adequate manpower to effectively secure a country of about 200 million people, and therefore, Amotekun is in order.
He suggested:“I believe the police should cooperate with them and help with their training. And I believe eventually, they should even be armed so that we can have a lot more hands and local people involved in security.
“Perhaps that can lead to other benefits, such as economic cooperation and wealth creation; and gradually, we will begin to regain what we lost when we lost the regions in the 60s. So, yes, I support it.
“It is not state police. I think the people who created it have been careful. Yes, there is a security outfit, but there is nothing in the Constitution that precludes either states or association of states from taking care of their security.’’
On the tag of chief security officer pinned on governors, Sagay said they are actually in charge since they appropriate a lot of money for security under “Security Vote,’’
“There is this popular saying that the governor is the chief security officer of a state. That is not an empty statement.
“They get a lot of money for security, and I look at this as part of the responsibility of the governors acting jointly to provide greater security in the Southwest,” Sagay said.