The Special Adviser to Oyo State Governor on Security Matters, Fatai Owoseni, has explained that vigilante groups have been adopted and recruited into the ‘Operation Amotekun’.
The South-West security outfit, Operation Amotekun, was launched by the governors of South-western states on Thursday in a bid to have an integrated approach in fighting crimes in the region.
Speaking on Channels Television Sunrise Daily, Mr Owoseni said that before the narratives came out properly from the governors, so many people had corrupted what ‘Amotekun’ means, and it was only right to set the records straight.
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He described the personnel who will be working with the Police as ‘vigilante’, and Southwest is a network formalising them.
The security expert used Oyo state as a point of reference, intimating that the police command has been working with the vigilante groups, and they are registered at each area commands.
“People decided to corrupt the interpretation of what it is, people were just jittery. The summary of it is that it is an enlargement of what Lagos is doing, the Neighbourhood watch. We have enlarged the scope and integrated in the southwest, so call it Neighbourhood watch Southwest Vigilante.
“The problem had always been that they have supported security activities and government don’t bother or know about their existence, so they are now formalizing them, making them officially recognised and providing those tools with which they will work with.
“So what the Southwest is doing is that they have recognised them formally, captured them into the security architecture and provide for them by buying equipment and pep talk because they are already trained,” he added.
The former police commissioner in Lagos and Benue state stated that it is not cast on a stone that the Vigilante’s will carry guns, but if necessary, such an approach will be adopted.
“Nobody has said that they will be armed and even in our different areas, we have the vigilantes who carry Dane guns and if it is necessary for the Amotekun personnel to carry Dane guns because the hunters do so with their dogs, those are their tools and it is not illegal; they are not going after anyone, in security architecture, they are local human intelligence, they work with the conventional security groups.
“With the guidelines, the DFID had written for the police, part of it is that each of the locality, the DPO must have their register but before it wasn’t formalised and now it has been formalised, not only have their names and addresses, you can capture them biometrically, so each of them will have identity cards.”