Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State has said that the raging debate over the launch of the South West Security Network, codenamed “Operation Amotekun” is a healthy and welcome development.
Oyetola, however, said politicising the security outfit on the altar of religion and ethnicity would be unhealthy, dangerous and counter-productive.
The governor said this in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Wednesday in Osogbo.
According to him, Amotekun is a collective response by the South-West zone to the spate of armed banditry, rape, kidnappings and other violent crimes that have suddenly become a past time in the zone.
Oyetola noted that for anybody to claim that it was an agenda against a particular faith or adherent of a particular religion was not only preposterous, but also in bad taste.
Besides, the governor said that the state government had not embarked on any recruitment into the security outfit.
“For the records, no recruitment has been carried out so far, especially in our dear Osun State.
“Therefore, we should not constitute ourselves into opposing a project we all clamoured for in response to existential threats for which some of the governors in the region have been called out and vilified in the past.
“Rather, we should rally support for Amotekun by coming up with strategies to fine-tune it with a view to bridging any communication gap between the Federal Government and the South-West governors over the security outfit.
“Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is clear that the security of lives and property of citizens as well as their welfare is the primary purpose and responsibility of government, be it state or federal”, the governor said.
Oyetola expressed his administration’s commitment to protecting the citizens, adding that every reasonable and responsible individual in the state indigene must join government’s collective resolve to protect the lives and property of the citizens.
Tinubu had on Wednesday called for private discussion between the Governors of the South-west and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, over Amotekun.
This is following the controversy stirred by Malami after he declared Amotekun illegal.