The Federal Government has been urged to authorise the use of weaponry by the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun) to fight crime in the southwest of the Osun Masterminds, a collaboration of human rights organisations.
Dr. Wasiu Oyedokun-Alli, the group’s executive director, stressed that Amotekun had complemented efforts made by the Nigeria Police Force in securing lives and property in the area since its founding while speaking during the monthly State-of-the-State address on Thursday in Osogbo.
He said, “We join our voice to the call by several stakeholders in Yoruba land for the Federal Government’s approval of arms for the Amotekun Corps as has been approved for such security outfit in another section of the country.
“In the absence of State Police, Amotekun Corps has aided the activities of the Nigeria Police Force in no small measure, in maintaining the security of lives and property. Allowing them to bear arms, albeit after thorough training, will help them apprehend criminal elements more effectively.
“We do not think that present security challenges should be left to the Nigeria Police Force alone as the Force is not just understaffed, but is also lacking in some critical areas of native intelligence that the Amotekun Corps can easily provide cover for.
The group also issued a directive to the state’s police and other security services, urging them to deal with the growing influx of illegal miners before it results in yet another significant security violation.
“We acknowledge the large extent of illegal mining ongoing in several communities in the State. While this has birthed fearful environmental concerns, it is also birthing grave security concerns in the host communities and the State at large.
“The manpower driving the reckless illegal mining ongoing in those parts of the State have been sourced through fearful migration of questionable characters into the State. These artisans and workmen are known to be armed and violent in most cases, and they can potentially become terrorists in the State.
“While we congratulate the AIG Wale Olokode on his recent promotion to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police, we must also put it before him that the security threats in the areas of the State where illegal mining is ongoing and those other security threats like cultism and political thuggery scattered around the State are tests of his mettle and capacity as a gallant Police Officer.
“The Osun State Command of the Nigeria Police Force must rise to the occasion to ensure that the present threats to our security do not become full-blown problems that may turn the State inside out. We must not fold our arms and watch illegal mining attract Boko Haram and ISWAP members into the State”, he added.