Western Nigeria Security Network (Operation Amotekun)
By Jude Chukwuemeka
Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin - Spokesperson of Oodua People’s Congress
Dr. Jide Emodi - Social Commentator)
In August 2019, it was reported that the South-Western state governors had begun the planning of a regional-security group called the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) which in line with the Approval in Principle given by the Office of the National Security Adviser for the zone to establish a Joint Task Force (JTF) so as to tackle killings, banditry and kidnapping.
According to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, the essence of the creation of the WNSN is a collective effort by the western-region governors to tackle the numerous security challenges that plague the country, particularly the south western region.
Notably, this decision to create a regional security outfit was born out of the security summit South-Western governors had in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital in July 2019.
According to a report by Vanguard newspaper, members of Operation Amotekun are to be paid a paltry sum of N13, 500 every month.
There seem to be strong indications suggesting that the South-West states will train vigilantes, hunters and other members of the Oodua People’s Congress who will take part of the WNSN code-named Operation Amotekun, which will be launched on 9th January 2020.
The main focus of the training, according to Punch news, is to enhance the relationship between the groups and security agencies, particularly the police and soldiers, that would be directly involved in the operation exercise.
How does the Development Agency for Western Nigeria (DAWN) hope to set standards for the regional security outfit?
Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin who calls in as a guest during the show today, commends the governors of the South-West states of Nigeria for setting up the Operation Amotekun. According to him, Amotekun is a Yoruba word for leopard.
“In a situation where we have kidnapping, rape, and other securities, the actions or steps taken by the governors is highly commended as their paramount duty is to ensure the safety of citizens,” the barrister says. Furthermore, Olayinka responds on how it works.
“The blueprint is being commissioned by the Development Agency for Western Nigeria (DAWN). OPC as an organization is very close to the grassroots as we know the territory very well. Several cultural groups have already formed a new security group called South-West Stakeholders Security Group (SSSG). OPC members will be involved in information gathering. Secondly, we are meant to compliment the role of the security forces.
“Every other information will later be revealed. Also, our men may be trained to join the security forces. Our main goal is to ensure that security is ensured. There is no reason why this will not work because set-up like this has always worked.”
At this moment, majority of states have reached out to the OPC and the group is hoping that more governors from the South-West.
Is the formulation of Operation Amotekun not a duplication of the core functions of the Nigerian Police Force?
Play the video above and listen to what Nigerians have to say.