Nigeria’s South-West Security Outfit ‘Amotekun’ Takes Off On Shaky Ground
The South-West security outfit, Operation Amotekun, started on shaky ground on Thursday with the absence of three governors of the zone from the launch of the event.
Governors, who were not present at the event, were Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State and their Osun State counterpart, Gboyega Oyetola.
But the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, explained that Abiodun and Sanwo-Olu did not attend the event because of bad weather.
“I must convey the apologies of two of our governors, his excellencies, governors Sanwo-Olu and Dapo Abiodun. They wanted to be here but the problem is associated with bad weather. That is one of the problems that are associated with governing rich states. Those of us from poor states used an alternative, like arriving in Ibadan since yesterday,” Akeredolu said.
However, Abiodun and Oyetola were represented by their deputies. The Lagos State governor was not represented on the occasion.
Also, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu was not present neither was he represented by any of his subordinates.
Following serial killings and kidnapping by the Fulani herdsmen last year, the South-West governors, at a summit convened by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria in June, agreed to set up Operation Amotekun.
But The PUNCH had on Thursday exclusively reported that intrigues among the South-West governors and interference by the Federal Government were threatening the operation of the security outfit.
According to the report, some elements within the Presidency and the police high command, are not favourably disposed to the regional outfit because they consider it as part of restructuring agenda, the South-West has been clamouring for.
It was gathered that ‘the body language’ of the Federal Government had created a division among the governors, with some of them developing cold feet.
When The PUNCH contacted the governors on Thursday evening, they gave reasons for their absence from the launch.
When asked why Abiodun was not at the event, his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, said, “Every politics is local.” He said the governor was inaugurating the state elders’ council in Abeokuta.
Somorin, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Thursday evening, said the governor asked his deputy, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, to represent him at the launch so as to attend the state elders’ consultative forum, which he considered as local politics.
The inauguration was held at the Obas complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta on Thursday.
When asked why the governor was absent from the launch, Somorin said, “He (governor) held another programme; Elder consultative forum.”
When asked if the inauguration of the consultative forum was more important to the governor than Amotekun, he said, “What I know is that deputy governor can represent the governor anywhere. It is not about rating one higher than the other. Every politics is local now.”