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Akeredolu tells IGP to stay away from S’west’s ‘Operation Amotekun’, says governors will not pay community policemen

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Rotimi Akeredolu
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Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has urged the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to wash off his hands from the State’s security outfit, ‘Operation Amotekun’, saying that the State Security Network Agency, will not be subsumed under the community policing arrangement of the Nigeria Police Force.

The governor stressed that Nigerian governors will not pay salaries of community policemen being organised by the government.

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Operation Amotekun is a local security outfit and a brainchild of the six Southwest states of Nigeria who are currently paid by their respective States following the State House of Assembly legislations backing them.

Akeredolu on Wednesday reacted to the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Research and Planning, Adeleye Oyebade’s
statement that all other security arrangements in the country would fall under the community policing set-up of the federal government. push({});

The sum of N13.3 billion has been approved for the take-off of community policemen in Nigeria.

Oyebade said: “I am going to tell you straight away. By the time the community policing strategy and implementation come fully into operation, everybody will follow suit. Everybody will join us and follow what we are preaching and what we practice,”.

Reacting on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, Akeredolu said, “It will never be accepted, it is not our thinking. We have a law that sets this up.

“If the DIG feels otherwise, there is always a place for us to ventilate it. We are not afraid of this. The law said Amotekun will operate under its own law; it is not going to be subsumed under any setup. No.

“We will not collapse Amotekun for community policing. It will stand on its own. There is no intimidation. We are not people that can be intimidated that the IG will give orders to. We will not. Amotekun is different. Community policing is different. If the IG does not understand, he will leave one day and other people will understand.

“We will work together, it is collaboration, not that it will be subsumed. The law is there and if anybody finds a fault in that law, we can go to court and ventilate whatever position in it. The DIG is totally wrong, Amotekun will not be subsumed under the community policing.”

Akeredolu explained that Amotekun Corps have not been allowed to bear firearms, adding that discussion to that effect was still ongoing.

“There are some ammunition that are non-prohibited. But we know it can look suicidal trying to confront these criminals with non-prohibited ammunition but we are looking at other means.

“These are disciplined people and if they carry arms, it will be for protection. We will keep having this discussion with the police and at the national level. But if the Nigerian Police find it difficult to prevent herders who carry weapons with their cows, some of them have prohibited arms like AK-47 and you have not been able to prevent that. So, now, what stops disciplined people like Amotekun to carry arms for protection?

“We will continue to discuss this. At least when civil defence started they were not carrying arms, they didn’t allow them carry arms but a case is made and they now carry arms.

He insisted that governors won’t be responsible for payment of.salaries and allowances of community policemen.

He further revealed that governors are struggling to meet up with commitments under the existing federal arrangement, noting that if the suggestion was forwarded to them, they would write to say no.

He said, “I am sure that they are taking this thing too far. Governors will have to pay? We have discussed this thing before and we told them it is not going to possible. Are you increasing their allocations? Which state governors will accept that? Other states might say yes, we will pay but we will not pay.

“Nobody has ever come to us to say we will pay salaries anyway and if they come, we will write to say, no, we don’t have extra money to do that.”

The governor further explained the need for multi-level policing to effectively confront the security challenges of the country.

He said, “No state takes pride in insecurity and the governors will be committed to that because most governors are elected to secure the lives and property of within their domain. So, which state will now have the police of its won and not deploy it to good use.

“Multi-level policing is the best for this country. I am one of those who believe we cannot have a central police and the security will continue to suffer until we devolve multi-level policing.

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