In view of the reported infractions of operatives of the South-West Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, has warned that any officer of the outfit who breaches the law would be sanctioned. Don’t allow criminals to rubbish Amotekun, Markinde warned.
Speaking in an interview, the governor said: “Any killing by any Amotekun corps is regrettable especially when it happens in error. The case of the 23-year-old Tosin Thomas in Mokola area of Ibadan is condemnable. As a government, we have made it abundantly clear that we do not want any life to be lost to any avoidable circumstance and that is why we won’t look back imposing punishment on any Amotekun that is caught doing things against the law that set up the organisation.” (Read full interview here).
Similarly, Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, has cautioned that criminal elements within the land must not be allowed to rubbish the good sides of Operation Amotekun, declaring that the challenges being faced by the security outfit at its teething stage were normal and understandable.
Iba Adams said this while speaking with the Sunday Tribune in reaction to criticisms trailing the operations of the security outfit put together by the South-West governors to secure the region from criminals, positing that even the conventional police that had been in existence for long have bad eggs and challenges.
This was just as the Yoruba generalissimo, while calling on the media to focus more on the good side of the operations of the security outfit, pointedly declared that the country was replete with criminal activities, saying that besides the presence of criminal herdsmen in the South-West, some bad people of the region were also into criminality, such as cultism, rituals, robbery, among others.
“Well, the new security outfit, Amotekun, just came in a few months ago. Even the Oyo State outfit started operations not too long ago, so there is bound to be some challenges.
“I want the media to understand that the country is replete with different criminal activities and no security outfit will start operations in any country with such level of criminality that would not have challenges in its earlier operations. I want the press to have an understanding of that.
“It is not all the negative things that happened within the security outfit that should be published. I think they should lay more emphasis on the good side of the operations of the security outfit.
“From the reports we have got so far, the Amotekun corps operation are trying their best from their starting point in various states,” he said.
“You know the level of criminal activities we have in Nigeria, even in South-West in particular. Not only do we have the criminal herdsmen, but the criminal elements within the Yoruba people are also about 60 and 65 per cent, including the cultists, even the university undergraduates, the artisans, political thugs, land agents thugs, who have constituted themselves into various cultists organisations. We have those who are ritualists and those who are into robbery, among others,” Adams said.
“So we are talking of different crimes in Yoruba land that members of the public to know that Amotekun would have challenges. They would have physical attacks; they would have spiritual attacks.
“So I want the public to have the understanding that no new security organization would, in its earlier operations, get its bearing. I believe that within the period of one year, they would get their bearing.
Iba Adams, however, enjoined the state governments to ensure that Amotekun operations were backed by strong media teams to be able to portray the positive sides of the security outfit, saying this was necessary to avoid enemies of progress from working against the group based on little mistakes.
“They (state governments) should have media team to report good sides of what they are doing so that the good sides would suppress the negative sides of Amotekun. This is because if you don’t allow the people to know the good sides of what you are doing, the enemies would work against the group (Amotekun) based on little mistakes.
“I envisaged there would be antagonism from the criminal elements within the Yoruba land that want to portray Amotekun in bad light and as a group that takes law into its own hands,” he said.
Don’t allow criminals to rubbish Amotekun, Makinde says.