#Editorial

Amotekun and Irele Failed Bank Robbery

The priority of any government should be on securing the lives and property of the people. This surely explains the massive solidarity and support from the people for the commendable initiative of the Southwest governors to establish the Western Nigeria Security Network, (WNSN) codenamed Operation Amotekun in January 2020, Before the introduction of Amotekun Corps in the region, the severity of insecurity seemed to have overwhelmed the federal security agencies that are bogged down by poor funding, inadequate equipment and limited personnel. The Operation Amotekun initiative is certainly a timely defensive response to the litany of crime and criminality plaguing the Yorubaland. This self-help gesture was a quick intervention by state governors to enable them act as real chief security officers of their respective jurisdictions.

Few years down the line, the story of Amotekun has been largely successful. The achievements of the neighborhood security outfit have ranged from foiling kidnap attempts to arresting armed robbers and other criminals, and stemming incessant provocative clashes between farmers and herders. Though locally-centered, the security outfit has been helpful in providing needed commendable security for protection. Recently, Amotekun Corps intercepted some trucks loaded with arms and other dangerous weapons and charms from entering the state from the northern part of the country. Another commendable effort of the Corps is the arrest of three suspected jailbirds who escaped from Benin Correctional Centre: Taiwo Adeola, Juwon Olanrewaju and Olajide Olayemi alongside other 64 suspects at the Amotekun’s headquarters in Akure.

What would had been described to be another state tragedy was averted days ago when Amotekun Corps through intelligence gathering foiled an attempted robbery on three commercial banks in Irele local government area of the state and arrested the kingpin identified as Fatai Bani. Parading the leader of the seven-man robbery gang alongside other 36 suspects for their alleged involvements in various offences at its headquarters in Akure, the Commander of the Corps, Akogun Adetunji Adeleye, said  the kingpin also planned to kidnap a businessman in Irele. He said: “The intelligence of the corps led to the arrest of the mastermind, while six other members of the gang are still at large.”

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Attaining this commendable feat by the Amotekun Corps is a pointer to the fact that intelligence gathering is the apex of crime fighting and the fulcrum on which crime prevention, control and investigation revolves. The Hope therefore lauds Amotekun Corps for silencing the doubters. We encourage them to do more on intelligence gathering which is the hallmark of successful security solutions.

Crime prevention is effective when there are sufficient mechanisms put in place to discourage or scare the criminals. Once there is the slightest risk of apprehension, resistance or exposure, the criminal would most likely think twice before executing any operation in the location where these mechanisms exist. In southwest states, the fear of Amotekun is the beginning of wisdom. They mount road blocks in strategic locations in order to assure the people of their safety; they offer security services to the people by way of escorts, vigilante services, surveillance and they display courage to stand up in situations that threaten the peace and security of the people.

To be factual, Amotekun Corps has been known for its swift response, and sagacity to secure the lives and property of the people. Amotekun has done well so far. The outfit has helped to address the gap caused by inadequate manpower in the Nigeria Police, as they complement police personnel in undertaking robust routine patrols in the nook and cranny of the region. The initiative has lived up to expectations by serving as grassroots intelligence network which has been the operation success stories. Most of the officials of the Corps are indigenes of the local community and thus enhance efficiency since the pivot of crime fighting is citizen participation in intelligence gathering.

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While commending the Southwest governors for taking the bull by the horn with the Amotekun initiative, The Hope appeals to them to consolidate on the gains of this laudable network by their continuous support for the Corps as well as providing them with logistics and tools to do more. We equally commend the Amotekun operatives for standing tall to their duties and encourage them to justify the confidence reposed in them at ridding the Southwest of social vices as it validates the call for state policing in the country.

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