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Project Topic and Material on Assessment of the Performance of the State Security Network in Selected States of Southwest Nigeria Case Study of Amotekun in Lagos State
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2.1 CONCEPTUAL REVIEW
The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared the paramilitary outfit of Omotekun as illegal as it is not backed by any known law in the land. The Attorney General of the Federation made the feeling of the government known in a statement made available to Vanguard on 9 January, 2020. In the statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr. Umar Gwandu, the government said the issue of defence and security fell under the exclusive list and not with the state.
The statement reads in part: “The setting up of the paramilitary organization called contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (asamended) has established the Army, Navy and Airforce, including the Police and other numerous paramilitary organisations for the a consequence of this, no State Government, whether singly or in a group has the legal right and competence to establish any form of organization or agency for the defence of Nigeria or any of its constituent parts. (Okodolor, 2019) This is sanctioned by the provision of Item 45 of the Second Schedule of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) authorizing the Police and other Federal Government security services established by law to take its natural course in relation to excesses associated with organization, important to put on record that the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice was not consulted on the matter. If it had, proper information and corporate entity are preserved at all times Having stoutly agitated for restructuring and devolution of powers to the region,
the launch of Operation Amotekun was seen in some quarters as a plus for the proponents of restructuring. The launch had elicited responses from several groups in the country, with the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) describing it as a duplication of responsibilities and misplaced priorities. The chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said the 19 northern states were also working on introducing community policing. TheC Chairman of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo in Anambra State, Ichie Damian Okeke-Ogene, said the formation of a South-West security outfit confirmed the position of the group on the need to restructure the country. “There is the need initiative was decided after a security summit as a response to the rising insecurity in the region (Adibe, 2020) These insecurity challenges range from kidnapping to armed robbery, banditry, farmers-herders clashes and other crimes. At the end of the security summit, the six governors in the region – Oyo, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo – under a uniform security outfit. This culminated in the launch of the outfit at an elaborate ceremony at the Government House, Ibadan. The host governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, an engineer, the convener and chairman of the WNGF, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State were present. Governors Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State and Dapo Abiodun of Ogun were represented by their deputies – Mr Benedict
Olugboyega Alabi and Alhaja Naimot Salako-Oyedele respectively, while the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu was neither present nor represented. The chief press secretary to Sanwo-Olu, Mr. Gboyega Akoshile said the governor could not attend because the helicopter he was to board to the venue could not operate due to bad weather. He said the governor was in support of the initiative. Prominent traditional rulers, led by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi were present, while the president of the World Yoruba Forum, Professor Banji Akintoye led other Yoruba self-determination groups to the event. Also present were members of the local vigilante group, Agbekoya, and co.
purpose of the defence of Nigeria.
maintain law and order. “The law will
administration and participation in“Amotekun” or continuous association with it as an association. “Finally, it is
guidance would have been offered to ensure that Nigeria’s defence and
for each zone to have its security outfit and control its resources,” he said. The
the umbrella of Western Nigeria Governors’ Forum (WNGF) – decided to form
the Oo’dua People’s Congress (OPC).
2.1.2 SECURITY NETWORK
Statement of Problem
We can firstly, ask why Amotekun in the South West Region, in Nigeria? Amotekun is a Yoruba word for a leopard. It was chosen as a codename for the operation to rid the South-West of criminal elements. It was learnt that the final pushover for the South-West was the killing of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, daughter Afenifere. The murder of Olakunrin in July 2019 was seen as one crime too many and a death that shook the South-West. Nobody has been prosecuted as of Pa Reuben Fashoranti, a prominent leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, the event and Governor Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said while no state in Nigeria was immune to insecurity; it had become embarrassing that the South-West, with its historical accommodating nature, has become a predict the exactitude where this unfortunate disturbance will take place, hence we felt that a combined effort of all of us would be very necessary. It would save us from all these banditries, terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, herdsmen/farmers clashes, ritual killings and cybercrime. (Ayoola, 2019) adoption of serious countermeasures to stamp out the menace within a short period. We shall not relent until the entire space is secured.” Also, the host governor, Makinde, stressed that Amotekun is to fight a common enemy. That enemy, he said, is not Nigeria but the criminal elements within their midst and afraid, I say, when we assumed office we all took the oath of office and promised to be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria; To follow the dictates of the constitution and protect the sovereignty regional integration, our coming together, should be seen in one light alone: That we are coming together to fight a common enemy. That enemy is not will also learn that everything we have outlined to do with Amotekun is in line with the existing security architecture in Nigeria. All we are doing is creating will Amotekun work?
2.1.3 STATE SECURITY NETWORK
At the launch of the security outfit were over 100 patrol vehicles, with the inscription, ‘WNSN, Zero Tolerance to Crime,’ procured by the state governments for the purpose. While Oyo State procured 33 vehicles, it was learnt that other states procured over 20 each, making it over 130 vehicles to be deployed for the operation. However, the personnel of Amotekun were not on ground as the recruitment process are said to be ongoing. Those who were at the launch were local vigilantes and hunters. It was, however, learnt that a great proportion of the vigilantes and local hunters would be absorbed into the security outfit. Though the recruitment process would be handled by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, each state is expected to decide on the operational modalities to be adopted. Also, the states are yet to decide on the uniform for the personnel. “This is expected to be decided on a state-by-state basis. The Osun Amotekun is going to be different anyone to misconstrue or misinterpret what is happening here. The conception of Amotekun is that we will operate on a state-by- state basis.” Akeredolu also hinted that the conventional security agencies would participate in the recruitment of the personnel in the aspect of conducting background checks on that some states that already have a local security network would shed some of them into the newly created regional outfit while the DAWN commission expected to coordinate their training, especially with regard to relating with the conventional security agencies. For instance, Lagos has a semblance of the outfit called the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps (Balagun, 2019). The LNSC, according to the state government, was established to assist the Police and other security agencies to maintain law and order in the state. They operate in all the 57 Local Government areas and Local Council Development Areas in Lagos and the officers are indigenous locals from the various LGA/LCDA where they operate, which is a deliberate policy in order to make use of their local knowledge to achieve maximum grass root intelligence gathering and community policing. The Ekiti governor further clarified that the outfit is not tantamount to a state or regional police, stressing that the governors are not oblivious of the steps to take in achieving a state or regional police. Amotekun vehicles at the official launch of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun), held at the Oyo State Governor’s Office, Amotekun vehicles at the official launch of the Western Nigeria Security Network Public Reactions on the Establishment of Amotekun Security Outfit Jeremiah Oke A Yoruba leader, Professor Banji Akintoye, gave an insight into the kind of partnership and collaboration that would exist between the personnel of Amotekun and the conventional police, noting that they would be trained that we are being led by highly educated people who are going to fashion out their relationship properly so that Amotekun and the police would work without the region supported the initiative. He recalled how he spoke with President commendable as it occasionally occurs in Yoruba land. The unity of purpose brings about progress. So we must praise all the six governors of the South- peace. It will bring more peace to the people of our region. There cannot be any conflict between the conventional security relationship agencies and our men because we have been working together over the years. We have a very good with other security agencies in the country. Therefore, I can assure you that staff, but the new intakes will be trained based on the modalities of Amotekun, men. If there is a need for new men, the directive will come from the governors, Yoruba land, Chief Gani Adams, gave his nod to the initiative, saying it would complement the efforts of the governors and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) in their plan to make the South-West safe for the people. Adams, who coordinates the South-West Stakeholders Security Group, however, said the group was yet to be briefed properly on the modus operandi, especially, of lives and property remains the top priority of every government.
It is when the country is safe and secure that we can think of other necessities.(Tydon, 2019) The security situation in the South-West is nothing to write home about. For instance, people cannot travel during festive periods because of the fear of the traditional ruler in Akure, Ondo State, was kidnapped and asked to pay a huge amount of money as ransom before he was released, as well as that of a Catholic another group that has expressed misgivings with the initiative is that of Fulani herdsmen who are in the hinterlands of states in the South-West. One of the Fulani groups, Jamu Nati Fulbe Association, said while they welcome the initiative, it should not be targeted at the Fulani in the region. The president of the State, on 7 January, 2020 told News Papers correspondent that Amotekun should not be a platform to persecute Fulani herdsmen in the region. Herders and farmers have been at loggerheads for years, with both groups suffering casualties. Recently, the Oyo State Government passed an anti-open grazing bill, which the herders have challenged in court. It is amidst this tension that the Amotekun initiative came on stream, and it has further deepened the fears among the Fulani of an agenda to persecute them. Salihu told correspondents of Newspapers that Amotekun is a great initiative if it would be deployed to fight crime justly and fairly, without making the herders the sole target. “Yes, there are criminals everywhere, and you cannot say all the Fulani herders are criminals. This is an initiative which, if well managed, would help in the criminals. This is an initiative which, if well managed, would help in the security of the region. We are not against any initiative aimed at protecting the lives and property of residents and settlers in the South-West. We support it, but like I said, a particular ethnic group should not be stigmatized in the course of The views of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has seen the security initiative as a duplication of responsibilities and misplaced of priorities as cited by the National Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, in interviews on 10 January, 2020 has cautioned the South Western State Governors against using it to intimidate political opponents. He said no amount of assurances given by the state’s governors to the contrary would assuage the fears of the people living within the South-West or any other region, particularly non-indigenes. He said establishing a regional security outfit like Operation Amotekun was a duplication of effort and over the Operation Amotekun security outfit, that it may be used as a political tool to intimidate political opponents, thereby heightening the insecurity situation is genuine, considering past experiences. He advised the states to collaborate with federal authorities to fashion out a constitutional means of the political undertones of setting up such regional security outfits like the ACF has a serious concern with likely conflict that may arise in operational hereby cautions against establishing regional security forces that may serve as a political tool and a drain on the lean resources of the states. Most states at the educational, health and other vital infrastructure that are begging for their insecurity situation in the region and other parts of the country, he noted that it is evident that the military and other security agencies are overstretched by the security challenges nationwide and all efforts aimed at taming the situation is the sense that it may enhance better intelligence gathering and rapid response to criminality, considering that most of the personnel are indigenes of the state police to deal with the security challenges bedeviling the country. In establishing such security outfits, due process must be followed and backed by Government.