Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, yesterday said that he should be held responsible for the actions of the Amotekun corps in the state.
The governor who made this statement during the inauguration of the Àmòtékún Corps in Oyo Town, asked the 1,500 corps members to exhibit the highest level of professionalism in the discharge of your duties and avoid intimidating or harassing the people they were established to protect.
Makinde noted that for governors to really play the role of Chief Security Officers of their states and also be able to attract investment, whether foreign or local, state policing is the way forward.
In his words, “Security has always been an issue close to my heart. While on the campaign trail, I spoke about how we could tackle insecurity in Oyo State.
“Our actions have been based on the fact that if our state is insecure, we cannot attract investment, whether foreign or local. So far, we have supported our federal security outfits, who do their best to protect our people.
“We provided them with communication gadgets and patrol vehicles. More recently, we requested and established just this past May 2020, the Police Mobile Force 72 Squadron at Ago-Are and presented them with patrol vehicles for the outfit’s operations.
“But as I have argued on various fora, for governors to really play the role of Chief Security Officers of their states, state policing is the way forward. I am confident that someday, we will get enough support at the national level to achieve that constitutional review.
“But, for now, we will settle for the next best thing. The Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, is an independent outfit. Members will answer to the state governors, but they will be working with the federal security agencies.
“As I said during one of my speeches following the End SARS protests, this is one outfit that I can boldly say hold me responsible for the actions of the members.”
The governor highlighted the primary functions of the Amotekun Corps as authorised by law as collaborating with and assisting the Nigeria Police and other security agencies in gathering information.
“They will be also be involved in crime, the investigation of crime, arrest, and prosecution of persons suspected of kidnapping, terrorism, destruction of livelihood, criminal damage to property, cultism, highway robbery, and any other illegal activities.
“They will also be involved in routine day and night patrol on major roads and remote areas. Members of this corps will be drafted to all the 351 wards in Oyo state. They will be our own community police so that their presence will be felt everywhere in the state. This ensures that offenders are quickly identified, arrested and promptly handed over to the nearest police station,” the governor added.