Herdsmen Crisis: Ogun Begins Recruitment Of Amotekun Operatives

A file photo of Amotukn corps during an operation recently.

 

Worried by the worsening herdsmen crisis in parts of the state, the Ogun State Government has commenced the recruitment of Amotekun operatives.

In a notice on Thursday, the government asked qualified individuals interested in joining the State Security Network to submit their applications.

It also called on local vigilantes, hunters, and ex-servicemen to be members of the corps, noting that the security outfit would fortify the existing security architecture.

READ ALSO: NBA Sues Buhari Over Extension Of IGP’s Tenure

“The Ogun State Government welcomes applications from qualified individuals interested in joining the Ogun State Security Network (AMOTEKUN Corps),” the government said on Friday via Twitter.

“Interested applicants are advised to: Apply on the Job Portal http://jobs.ogunstate.gov.ng, Fill both the online and downloaded application forms, and submit two(2) copies of the downloaded form at the Office of the Commander, Ogun State Community, Social Orientation and Safety Corps (So-Safe Corps).

“Alternatively, interested candidates can visit the Office of the Commander, Ogun State Community, Social Orientation and Safety Corps (So-Safe Corps), Former Ministry of Works, Oke Ilewo, Abeokuta to pick up the application form. Multiple applications would be disqualified. Application closes on Friday 19th February 2021.”

Governments of Oyo, Ekiti, Ogun, Lagos, Osun, Ondo had last year agreed to float the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun to address the security challenges confronting the region.

The Amotekun Corps had also got the constitutional backing of the six-state assemblies in the region.

While Ondo, Oyo and Ekiti states have since commenced the operations of the security outfit, governments of Osun, Ogun and Lagos had yet to begin activities.

Suspected Herdsmen Kill Farmer, Vigilante Officer In Ondo Forest

A map of Ondo, a state in south-west Nigeria.

Two persons: a farmer and a Vigilante Officer in Ondo State have been reportedly shot dead by suspected herdsmen at Ago Sanusi along Ute Road in Owo, the headquarters of Owo Local Government Area of the state.

It was gathered that the herdsmen had laid an ambush for the Amotekun men in the forest.

A source disclosed that the attack took place at about 2:00 am on Wednesday, with the suspects fully armed with dangerous weapons, including AK 47 riffles.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Woman For Alleged Murder Of 49-Year-Old Man

A farmer whose name was given as Lanre who had earlier been abducted in the area was found dead in the forest.

Also, a member of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria was also shot dead.

The Commander of Amotekun Corps in Ondo State, Adetunji Adeleye confirmed the death of the two men to Channels Television in a telephone conversation.

He stated that it was the villagers that alerted the Amotekun men of the attacks, adding that the suspects burnt down an Amotekun owned vehicle parked in the village and scared the villagers away.

Adeleye however, debunked the news making the rounds suggesting that the Head of Operations of the corps in Owo Local Government, Oluwasesan Adebayo is missing.

Hoodlums Attack Four Amotekun Operatives, Policeman In Oyo

A file photo of Amotukn corps during an operation recently.

 

Hoodlums have attacked four operatives of the Oyo State Security Network otherwise called Amotekun Corps and a policeman in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The victims were attacked on Friday in another crisis suspected to have culminated from a gang fight at Odeyale area of Ona Ara Local Government Area of the state, leaving them critically injured.

The security operatives were said to be receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

Confirming the incident on Saturday, the Amotekun Commandant in the state, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (rtd), in a statement said the personnel moved to the area following a distress call by Odeyale Community Landlord Association to help dislodge hoodlums perpetrating violence in the community.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: LCC Repossesses Lekki Toll Gate

Also, the Police public relations officer, Gbenga Fadeyi confirmed the incident to Channels Television, noting that some arrests have been made while investigations continue into the cause of the violent attacks.

Fadeyi said that the Amotekun operatives drafted to the area sent a distress call to the police for support and some policemen were drafted to help in restoring peace to the area but some of them ended up being attacked by the hoodlums.

He however said normalcy has been restored to the area as more security operatives have been dispatched to prevent further breach of peace.

We Won’t Allow Anyone Cause Ethnic Crisis In Oyo – Makinde

A file photo of Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde.
A file photo of Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde.

 

The Oyo State Governor ‘Seyi Makinde on Friday said his government will not allow anyone to cause ethnic tension or harass anyone carrying out legitimate businesses in the state.

The Governor made this comment while receiving the new police boss in Oyo state, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko who paid a courtesy visit to him in his office.

Tensions escalated on Friday in the Ibarapa axis of the state where an indigene Sunday Igboho had given Fulanis in the area an ultimatum to leave the state over alleged criminality by herdsmen.

READ ALSO: Akeredolu Orders Herdsmen To Vacate Ondo Forest Reserves, Bans Night-Grazing

Videos shared on social media showed Igboho holding a well-attended rally where he swore to drive out Fulani herdsmen from the entire Yorubaland for causing insecurity and banditry.

However, Makinde said his government and security agencies need not wage war against any particular ethnic group but against criminal elements, irrespective of their tribes, religions, or creed.

The governor added that his administration would not allow anyone to threaten the peace of the state by acting unlawfully and saying things that are alien to the Nigerian Constitution, noting that acts that are capable of causing chaos in the state will not be accepted.

He promised that his administration would continue to synergise with all security agencies in the state to fight criminals, hoodlums and bandits irrespective of their tribes, religions, or creed, while urging the police to arrest miscreants causing tension and threatening the peace of the state.

“For people stoking ethnic tension, they are criminals and once you get them, they should be arrested and treated like common criminals,” Makinde said.

“For this administration, the major pillar for us is security, because we know that all the good economic plans we have won’t be possible in an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity.

“So, when people say things that are neither lawful nor within the spirit of Nigeria’s Constitution, it is not acceptable here. And they cannot hide under the guise of protecting Yoruba’s interest to perpetuate chaos in the state.

“I am sure that since you came in, you must have heard about some things happening at Ibarapa axis of the state. I will still say it here that we are not after Hausa-Fulani. We are after criminals.

“We are after hoodlums and bandits irrespective of their tribe, religion, or creed. Those are the people we are after. If you look into the records, when we had the armed robbery incident at Okeho in Kajola Local Government Area of the state, some people were killed, some were arrested and we found out that they were from Ebira, from Kogi State. So, we want to go after the criminals – whether they are Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani or whomever they are.”

Amotekun’s Role

The governor said his administration would continue to synergise with all security agencies in the state to fight criminal elements, adding that his government will continue to place a priority on the welfare of the officers and men of the Police Force in the state.

Governor Makinde, who stated that his government would ensure that all security agencies work together to ensure a secure and peaceful Oyo State, also pointed out that the Oyo State Security Network Agency, codenamed Operation Amotekun, like federal security agencies, is working towards the same objective of securing the state.

“Amotekun here in Oyo State is working with us towards the same objective. We need intelligence to know about criminals before they even strike. It is one of the major reasons why we set up Amotekun; to be able to gather intelligence in all the wards in Oyo State.

“But the same people that demonised Amotekun are the ones now telling us that a certain ethnic nationality should leave this place.

“For us, we will ensure that all the security agencies work together. I will encourage interaction with all other agencies and once we have that synergy, we will ensure that the objective of the people going about their businesses with no fear of being molested will be attained.

“You are welcome home because we believe Oyo State should be home to you and should make you and the team as comfortable as possible. We don’t want this to be a hardship posting for you. So, your welfare and that of your officers and men are of paramount interest to us and of very high importance.

“You and your team are all coming in at a very challenging time. This is a period where false information is almost at its highest, ethnic tension almost at its highest as well. So, I will say you have your job cut out for you. We won’t make the job difficult. We will be sincere and open; we will support you.”

A New Sheriff

The governor commended the new Commissioner of Police for swinging into action immediately she resumed office, pledging that the government would give maximum cooperation and support to the security agency.

Earlier, the new Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Onadeko, said that the visit was to formally inform the governor that she has resumed fully.

She vowed that the Oyo State Police Command will secure the lives and property of the people and ensure that the people go to bed with their two eyes closed.

She said: “We are here to formally tell you that we have resumed duty. As you can see, some of us are here. So, we came with the promise that we want to make the lives and property of the people of Oyo State safe and secure. We want the people to go to bed with their eyes closed.”

She equally noted that the police officers have started the visibility policing in all the nooks and crannies of the state and have returned to their duty posts and are poised to reduce crimes to the barest minimum level in the state.

“Since we came in, we have started with our visibility policing. When I came in, I noticed that there were no policemen on the roads, maybe it was still the aftermath of the #EndSARS issue, but we have been able to talk to them. We have asked them to occupy their space because it is their constitutional duty. We have to reduce crime to its barest minimum in Oyo State,” she added.

She promised that the Police will be professional in the discharge of the duties and also work with the Makinde administration’s vision for the security of the state, even as she appreciated the governor for the provision of the SRS vehicles and the repairs the government has made on the vehicles.

Amotekun Should Operate Within The Law – Owoseni

The Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor, Fatai Owoseni has asked operatives of the State Security Network, codenamed Operation Amotekun, to operate within the ambit of the law.

Owoseni made this call on Friday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“The Oyo State Security Network, Amotekun started its operations about six weeks ago. Something gets back to it; it’s a creation of the law. They are supposed to operate within the ambit of the law that created them,” he said.

The governor’s aide, who is also a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos, said the creation of the security outfit was set up to handle security issues.

READ ALSO: ‘Weaker Boko Haram, New Equipment’: Presidency Lists Security Achievements

“You have places where you will receive distress calls that some people are operating. By the time you get there, the hoodlums you want to go and stop will start stoning you.

“It is that bad that in Oyo State, the police, the state security outfit (Operation Burst), jointly with Amotekun will have to retreat. But when those things persist and you still have confrontation from these criminal elements (the hoodlums), in the process things will happen.

“Most of the operations carried out by Amotekun weren’t done alone by that outfit. Some of the operations were carried out together with the conventional security outfit and some of the non-state actors,” he added.

The Special Adviser to Oyo Governor on Security Matters, Fatai Owoseni, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on January 15, 2021.

Owoseni’s remarks come two days after operatives of Amotekun reportedly killed a man in Oyo State identified as Tosin Thomas.

Thomas was killed by an operative named Afolabi Kazeem, on Wednesday evening at Total Filling Station, Mokola, in Ibadan, the state capital.

Amotekun Speaks On Killing Of Bandits In Oyo

File photo of Amotekun Operatives

 

The Oyo State Security Network Agency, also known as Operation Amotekun, has spoken on the killing of some bandits at Okebi village, Aiyede area in the Ibarapa North Local Government Area of the state.

The commandant of Amotekun, Olayinka Olayanju in a statement on Sunday titled, ‘No Clash Between Amotekun, Fulani In Ibarapa, Oke Ogun,’ said the operatives went on a raid in four local governments.

He explained that his men launched six operations in four local government areas, but that the team in Aiyete was attacked inside the forest by suspected bandits.

READ ALSO: Oyo Govt Probes Allegation Of High-Handedness Against Amotekun Corps

Olayanju said three of the bandits were killed by the Amotekun Operatives during the operation.

He explained further that the operations “were fully supported by Fulani leaders living in the areas and a number of Miyetti Allah members were part of the operations.”

The Amotekun Commandant said Amotekun operatives raided the forests of Ibarapa and Oke Ogun areas of the state in the early hours of Saturday to rid the areas of kidnappers and criminal elements.

He also indicated that the operation around the forests was embarked upon following incessant reports of killings and kidnapping in the area.

The statement read: “Contrary to any report you might have come across, there was no clash whatsoever between Fulani herdsmen and Amotekun in Ibarapa or Oke Ogun axis of Oyo State.

“What happened was that we launched clearance operations in different locations around the thick forests of the four local governments that have suffered kidnapping and wanton killings in recent times.

“When our men entered the forests at Aiyede, they were attacked and a gun battle ensued, which led to the death of three of the attackers. One of our men sustained injuries.

“It was not a clash with the Fulani, because Fulanis were part of the planning of the operation and we raided the forests together,” he added.

Oyo Govt Probes Allegation Of High-Handedness Against Amotekun Corps

A file photo of Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde.
A file photo of Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde.

 

The Oyo State Government says it is probing the alleged high-handedness of some members of the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun.

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde disclosed this on Friday via Twitter, noting that his administration will not sit back and watch security operatives harass members of the public.

While promising to address the issue, Makinde reiterated his government’s commitment to protecting the lives and properties of the people of the state.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: FG May Consider Another Lockdown As Cases Continue To Rise

“Following the recent events in Tapa, Ibarapa North Local Government Area, it becomes imperative that I once again reassure the good people of Oyo State that our administration is doing everything in its power to address security issues in our state,” he said.

“One of the strategies we are using to check insecurity in the state is the recently introduced Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun). I am fully aware of the alleged high-handedness by some members of the corps. We are investigating these issues to address them promptly.”

“The welfare and security of the good people of Oyo State remain our top priority. We will not sit back and watch any harassment or intimidation of members of the public or our security officers.

“Therefore, I urge the good people of Oyo State to please remain calm and allow members of the corps to perform their legally authorised duties for our people’s well-being. Let me assure you that if any corps members are abusing their office, they will be dealt with accordingly.”

Amotekun To Kick Off In Ogun January 2021

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun. Photo Credit: Twitter/@dabiodunMFR

 

The Ogun State government has announced that the Southwest Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, will kick off in the state this January.

The government also announced the commencement of the implementation of Residents Identification Cards with a view to providing a reliable database of the people living in the state.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Kunle Somorin, said the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, made these known in his New Year broadcast, on Friday.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Join Rest Of The World To Usher In New Year With Fireworks, Prayers

The governor added that the State Health Insurance Scheme, which had been provided with N100miliion seed fund, will take off in the first quarter of 2021.

According to Abiodun, the Amotekun security outfit, which would complement the efforts of existing security agencies, would be headed by a retired Commissioner of Police.

“Our Amotekun Security Network will also take off this month to complement the efforts of other security agencies including the community policing of the Nigeria Police.

“An experienced and reputable retired Commissioner of Police has been appointed as the Commandant, and the recruitment of personnel is ongoing,” he noted.

He pointed out that the year 2021 Budget named “Budget of Recovery and Sustainability” with a size of N338.6billion which he just signed, will aid his government in ensuring strategic allocation of resources to different sectors of the economy.

Abiodun stated further that contract for the construction of 165.30km of roads across the state had been awarded, while rehabilitation and palliative on 88.60km of roads was on-going as well as building and rehabilitating over 954 classrooms in public schools and the introduction of Virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor also said work was on-going at the various legacy projects including the NNPC- Kuto, Kuto Bridge, Ilaro-Owode and Oluwalogbon-Imowo-Ejirin roads, just as the Osi-Ikole-Navy road in Ota, Ashafa- Oke Fusigboye-Molipa road in Ijebu-Ode, Oba Erinwole road Sagamu and access road around Odo Afa Bridge in Idiroko, Ipokia.

He noted that his government’s efforts on agriculture was yielding positive results as it was number one in rice and cassava production in the south west, declaring Ogun was gradually becoming the nation’s food basket thus guaranteeing food security.

Abiodun appreciated the people for keeping faith with his administration and stressed the need for individual responsibility by observing all non-pharmaceutical guidelines like proper wearing of facemasks, social distancing and regular washing of hands to guide against another lock down.

He also called on traditional rulers, religious, community leaders and the media to help in sensitising the people of the severity of the second wave of COVID-19, adding that his administration remained focused despite the virus as it was deliberate, systematic, methodical, inclusive and structured in responses which helped in confronting the many challenges of last year.

Amotekun Corps Arrests Armed Herdsman, Cattle Rustlers In Ondo

A file photo of Amotukn corps during an operation in Ondo State recently.

 

The Ondo State Security Network Agency, also called Amotekun Corps is not relenting in flushing out criminals from the state, as its men have arrested one-armed herdsman and two cattle rustlers in some parts of the state.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Agency in Akure, the Commander of Amotekun Corps in the state, Adetunji Adeleye said the latest of the crackdown on criminals was in response to a distress call made by farmers at Osi Community in Akure North Local Government Area.

Adeleye disclosed that some herdsmen armed with dangerous weapons were rearing their cows, entering farmlands, eating and destroying planted crops.

He added that the herdsmen turned deaf ears to Amotekun men who told them to move away from the farmlands but launched an attack on them, but the security operatives were able to overpower one of the herdsmen and arrested 16 of the cows.

READ ALSO: Police Begin Search For Kidnapped Taraba Lawmaker Bashir Mohammed

The Corps Commander also said that some suspected cattle rustlers have been arrested by his men upon complaints against them by some herder men in parts of Odigbo Local Government Area of the State.

The cattle rustlers, according to the Amotekun Commander, had earlier ran away but were later arrested following an intense manhunt by his men with the cooperation of the Fulani herdsmen whose cows were stolen.

He said the corps had also recovered a NISSAN Serena Bus marked LAGOS FJ 423 KRD, brought by the suspected rustlers who wanted to steal more cows.

Adeleye noted that the rustlers have been handed over to the Agro Department of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, for detailed investigation.

The commander said the Corps has equally arrested one Lawal Abubakar along the forest near Ago Panu in Area on the way to Ose Local Government while in possession of a gun without a license.

Security Operatives Arrest Suspected Killers Of Ondo Monarch

A file photo of late Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi, who was killed by bandits in Ondo State on November 26, 2020.

 

A combined team of security operatives have arrested some persons suspected to have killed a first-class traditional ruler in Ondo State, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Isreal Adeusi.

The monarch was shot and killed last Thursday by unknown gunmen suspected to be kidnappers near Elegbeka village on a trip from Akure, the state capital where he held a meeting with some other monarchs in the state.

The Commander of the Ondo Security Network Agency, the Amotekun Corps, Adetunji Adeleye disclosed the arrest of the suspects at a media briefing on Wednesday in Akure.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill Ondo Traditional Ruler, Olufon Of Ifon

He noted that four persons kidnapped were rescued during the search in the forest nearby for the killers of the traditional ruler.

He added that the suspects arrested are currently being interrogated.

Oyo Set To Deploy Amotekun Troops

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, attended a passing-out ceremony for Amotekun corp members on November 18, 2020.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, attended a passing-out ceremony for Amotekun corp members on November 18, 2020.

 

Oyo State Governor on Wednesday said he was ready to deploy Amotekun corp members to all the state’s 351 wards.

He said this while attending the passing-out ceremony of the Amotekun Corps in Oyo Town.

Amotekun is a regional security outfit conceived by South-West states.

The outfit is expected to complement federal policing as the country continues to mull over the mechanics of a policing system under the authority of state governments.

“This afternoon, we held the passing-out ceremony of the Àmòtékún Corps in Oyo Town,” Makinde said. “It’s been a long journey to get to this point from July 2019, when the first meeting was held by all six southwest governors to set up a regional security outfit.

Men display guns at an Amotekun passing-out ceremony in Oyo State on November 18, 2020.
Men display guns at an Amotekun passing-out ceremony in Oyo State on November 18, 2020.

 

“The Àmòtékún Corps will collaborate with federal security agencies to secure our state. Members of the corps will be drafted to all the 351 wards in Oyo State. They will be answerable to me and so, I will be responsible for their actions.”

Amotekun Has Come To Stay – Makinde

A file photo of Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde.
A file photo of Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde.

 

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Thursday said community security outfit, Amotekun, will be instrumental in keeping the state safe.

He made the remarks while addressing chairpersons of the 68 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas in the state, at a meeting held inside the House of Chiefs, Secretariat Ibadan, a statement from his spokesman, Taiwo Adisa, said.

The Governor also said Amotekun will not be under the control of the Federal Government.

“We want our people to sleep with their two eyes closed,” Makinde said. “Of course, security is one of the pillars of this administration and we must do everything possible to invest in the security of lives and property. In Okeho the other day, armed robbers went to rob and the community rose against them and apprehended them. They combed the forests and they got them.

“This is why I will continue to say it and I am saying it for the whole world to hear; Amotekun is here to stay with us. And it will not be under the control of the federal establishment. It will be under our control. Security of our people is extremely important, because nothing can take place, as far as we are concerned, in an atmosphere of insecurity,” he said.

Makinde gave marching orders to the caretaker committee chairmen to immediately go back to their domains to set up Security Committees with a view to tackling the security challenges in their localities.

He maintained that the state government would provide all enablements for them to succeed in the task.

“From where we are here, the biggest challenge we have seen so far is in the area of security,” he said. “We are getting close to the ’ember’ months, a period in which some people who have not worked all year and want to have a Merry Christmas, commit all sorts of crimes.

“So, we expect that there will be a spike in criminal activities. I want to, as a matter of urgency, urge you that you all go back to your areas to set up your Security Committees. It must be done almost immediately. And I will be happy to release funds; to give approval for you to spend some money on security within your domains.

“Oyo State is very large; in terms of land size, we are more than all the states of South-East Nigeria put together. So, we have a lot to do to protect the state. We have international borders, so there is smuggling taking place. They killed a Customs Official in Saki a few weeks ago; those things are not acceptable to us.

“As the government that is the closest to the people, you have to take control of the challenges of insecurity in your various domains and you should please, once those committees are set up, any enabler that you need, let us know. We will work with the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, to make sure those enablers are provided.”

The meeting was attended by top state government functionaries including the Deputy Governor, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan; chairman, State Advisory Committee, Senator Hosea Agboola; the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Olawale Mogbonjubola, the Commissioner for Local Government, Chief Lawal and the Special Adviser on Strategy and Political Affairs, Hon. Babatunde Oduyoye, among others.