The honourable governor of Oyo state his excellency Seyi Makinde, has reportedly claimed that majority of the negativity surrounding the activities of the state chapter of the Western Nigeria Security Network, Amotekun, as well as lots of the media reports with regards to them are purely false. and unfounded.
The state governor insisted that criticisms and accusations levied against
officials of the outfit such as unjust harassment and extra-judicial killing are not correct but are pure propaganda and carefully orchestrated agenda to smear the good name and work of the security outfit.
Meanwhile, Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, had earlier warned that Amotekun, despite all the good knobs they have been previously renowned for, should not be allowed to degenerate into the defunct special anti-robbery squad (SARS), following reports of killings involving its operatives.
Furthermore, Addressing journalists at the government house, Agodi, on Wednesday, M his excellency Makinde disclosed that there are any persons who are out to sabotage the excellent job of amotekun as such, they want Amotekun to fail by all means and they are those spreading lies against the security outfit.
The governor, also while claiming responsibility for the actions and inactions of the security corps beckoned on all who had evidences and proofs of any wrongdoing against them to speak out boldly without any form.of fear. According to his words:
“Amotekun is not operating in a vacuum. They are a creation of the law of the state. The Nigerian police is a creation of the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. It is normal that we have inter and intra agency friction where possible, but we will get everybody together and seek alignment towards the same end basically,” Makinde said.
“For the past six weeks that the Amotekun was deployed, we have seen various reports in the news. Most of these reports are good and a few are bad. And of the bad, quite a number are false information and fake news.
“For example, some newspapers carried the news that Amotekun killed seven Fulani herdsmen in Ibarapa. Such a story was circulated to stoke ethnic tension. Whereas, the real story was that Amotekun worked with the community members, including genuine herdsmen, to flush out bad elements in that zone.
“I have to tell you that there are people among us that don’t want Amotekun to succeed and they will use lies and disinformation to push their agenda. We must realise where we are coming from and where we really want to be.”
Speaking further, Makinde, noted that it is very important for Amotekun to work in a capacity of community policing, adding that it is the best solution to present challenges of insecurity in the country.
“Community policing is the way forward and we have to make it work. If somebody says he is abused by Amotekun and cannot pinpoint the Amotekun personnel in such an area, you are probably not from that neighbourhood and you are a fake news carrier,” he said.
“So, as I always say, I know we do have trust deficit between the people and the authorities, and this makes it easier to think the worst of people in authority. But we should not cut our nose to spite our face. We must find a balance so that we do not turn the people trying to protect us to our enemies.”
It is indeed important to ensure that the problems and dangers posed by the alarming rate of insecurity all over the country and individual states be tackled by all means necessary by all the governors, within their various states especially as responses from the federation seem to be too slow or ineffective at the moment, in the opinion of many citizens within Oyo state.
Meanwhile, quite a vast majority of Nigerians are of the strong opinion that while it is true that no one is in support of incessant kidnappings, robberies attacks and violent killings, however, it has been the bane of the federation woes in the past few years and something needed to be done urgently, to put and effective end to all of these threats to lives and properties.
Gift Joseph Okpakorese