Governors of the six southwest states of Nigeria today have launched the anticipated security outfit known as Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) Operation Amotekun
The launch took take place in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.
The states, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos, tagged the security network AMOTEKUN – a Yoruba word for leopard.
The network is expected to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Police Force in combating kidnapping, armed robbery, and other security challenges in the region.
The security network agreement was reached in Ibadan, Oyo State in June 2019, at a regional security summit. The summit was a reaction to the worsening security situation in the region.
In reaching the decision to put together a security outfit not completely independent of the existing security structure, the regional governments claimed they had secured a green light from President Muhammadu Buhari with inputs from the IGP to go ahead with the plan.
All of the States, except Oyo State, is governed by the ruling All Progressives Congress. Oyo State governor is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The governors believe the regional security force would complement the efforts of the police and ensure safety in all the states of the regions, particularly in crannies where the Nigeria Police Force were not hitherto effective.
Some of the 120 red security patrol vehicles of Operation Amotekun were parked at the car park of the Governor’s Office.
Local security personnel, with some dressed in a brown uniform and others in a grey uniform with caps to match, were on the ground at the inauguration.
The Director-General of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, Seye Oyeleye, and delegates from Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Lagos States were at the event.
Also present were men of the State security services, police officers and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Traditional drummers and singers were also seen treating the gathering to Yoruba solidarity and cultural songs.