By Adekola Afolabi
The much anticipated security arrangement code named ‘Operation Amotekun’ kicked off in Ondo State yesterday as it was inaugurated by the state Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
Operation Amotekun is one of the efforts taken to tackle security challenges facing South-West Nigeria.
At the inauguration of the agency, the Governor expressed his administration’s determination to rid the state of all forms of crime and criminally-minded elements and provide a safer environment, conducive enough to encourage foreign investors.
The governor who expressed confidence in the capacity of the pioneer Corps Commander of the security agency in the state to ensure that the objectives and targets of establishing the Corps are achieved, said with the Amotekun in operation, there would be no more room for all kinds criminalities in the state.
He explained that those of them of the progressive political ideology must continue to set the pace and raise the stakes for others to follow.
The Chairman, South-West Governors’ Forum said there was no going back defending the people of the state and South-West region in general through the protection of their lives and property.
“In an era where the state of nature as theorised by Thomas Hobbes is fast gaining precedence in human interactions and statecraft, the skillful management of State affairs, must continue to adapt and evolve ingenious and sometimes, unorthodox solutions to ensure the maintenance of law and order. Otherwise Man’s inhumanity to man will become the other of the day,” he said.
The colourful ceremony which was held at the Gani Fawehinmi Arcade in Akure was attended by dignitaries including Chief Olu Falae, Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun; Secretary to the state government, Tayo Oluwatuyi; Chief of Staff to the governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale; heads of security agencies; traditional rulers such as the Chairman, Ondo state Council of Obas and Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, Oba Frederick Akinruntan; the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo; the Olowo of Owo,Oba Ajibade Ogunleye; Representatives of DAWN; Amotekun Corps Commanders from Ekiti, Osun and Oyo states, among others.
The governor also commissioned operation vehicles, motorcycles and other equipment of the Corps.
He noted that he and his colleagues within the South-West geopolitical zone, are poised to champion the course of a better, safer and prosperous society and country, adding that they are determined not to pay lip service to the constitutional role of government which is to seek the welfare and protection of the lives and property of the residents of the zone.
The governor, however, emphasised that Amotekun Corps is not a parallel security structure to any of the existing security agencies, but complement what is on ground for a safer environment for all to live in.
Earlier, in his address, the Corps Commander, Ondo state Amotekun Corps, Chief Ade Adeleye, revealed that the ceremony climaxed the training programme organized for the new recruits by the agency in collaboration with some experienced hands drawn from the various security agencies in the state.
He applauded Governor Akeredolu and other South-West Governors for establishing Amotekun security outfit, saying the initiative would put an end to gory killings, kidnap for ransom along highways and farmlands, armed robberies, banditry and other criminal activities in the region.
According to him, the threats and trends of insecurity, if unabated, would culminate in total loss of confidence in government of the day not only by the citizens but by investors in the economy.
Adeleye listed the objective of the agency to include systematic gather, document, evaluate and analyse data and information to convert to actionable intelligence for tactical operational and strategic goals.
Others objectives are to protect lives and property within the state; ensure that all persons traveling along the highways, major roads, remote areas, hinterland, forests, inland waterways and sea are free to carry out their normal social and economic activities without fear of hindrance.
He added that the ceremony climaxed the training programme organized for the new recruits by the agency in collaboration with some experienced hands drawn from the various security agencies in the state.
He equally appreciated the governor for his unparalleled commitment to the Amotekun Corps, and for approving the release of sufficient funds as take- off grant, promising to achieve the purpose for which it was set up and complement the efforts of the existing security agencies in the state and South-West in general.
The Corps Commander stressed that the agency has zero tolerance to crime, adding that through robust intelligence sharing with the existing security agencies in the state, the spate of criminality would reduce across the state.
Other who spoke at the ceremony included the Corps Commander of Ekiti Amotekun Corps, retired Brig.Gen. Komolafe; the Chairman, Ondo state Council of Obas and Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, Oba Frederick Akinruntan; the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo; Representative of DAWN Commission and others.