Assessment of the Performance of the State Security Network in Selected States of Southwest Nigeria

Assessment of the Performance of the State Security Network in Selected States of Southwest Nigeria

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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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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).



Statement of Problem

Why Amotekun?

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?



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.

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2.1.4 POLICE

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.



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