Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu’s insistence on the structure of South-West security outfit “Amotekun” being determined by the Inspector General of Police has been countered by the South-West states through the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission.
Recall LIB reported that Garba Shehu in an interview on Channels Television on Tuesday August 25, said “Amotekun will be streamlined and they will be run in accordance with the structure as defined by the Inspector-General of Police.”
DAWN’s Director-General, Dr Seye Oyeleye however countered the presidential aide’s comment which he said insinuated that the order of the Inspector-General of Police supersedes the states’ laws.
“The houses of assembly in the six states in the South-West have passed laws to guide the operations of Amotekun in their states. I don’t know what he (Shehu) meant except he is saying that the order of the Inspector-General of Police supersedes the states’ laws.
“Amotekun is guided by the states’ laws. The setting up of community policing should not in any way disturb the operations of Amotekun. In any federal system, there are multi-layers of policing and the more the merrier; Nigeria needs policing at different layers.
“The operations of Amotekun are guided by the laws duly passed by the houses of Assembly in the six states in the region and the bills were assented to by the governors.
“When I read what was credited to Garba Shehu, I found it strange. The Ondo State Amotekun is fully operational. Even Garba Shehu contradicted himself while saying this. He said on the one hand, the IG would supervise Amotekun, and on the other hand, he said Amotekun was guided by individual state laws.
“If the states have passed the laws to guide the operations of Amotekun in their states, then there is no issue. Nigeria is not a unitary state, it runs a federal system. The states are allowed in law to have their security outfits as long as they are backed by law.
“But I find it a bit strange that he is saying that one superman will sit in Abuja and control security outfits in the states. I am sure that the lawmakers in the states would have read what he said and would just laugh it off. What is the point in the states passing the bills and their governors assenting them if the IG will run the outfit?
“Community policing is the way to go and it cannot be controlled by a single person in Abuja. We are operating a federal structure and Abuja should concentrate on its own community policing. I don’t want to believe that they are setting up their community policing structure to undermine what any state is doing. That shouldn’t be.”
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s Special Adviser on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo also disclosed that “everything about Amotekun is in the law that set it up.” He added that he knows Garba Shehu might deny his statement in days to come.
“I believe that Shehu was not well quoted because the setting up Operation Amotekun passed through all legal and legislative process.
“We passed the bill and it was signed into law by the governor. Everything about Amotekun is in the law that set it up.
“So I wonder why Shehu is saying this now but I believe he will deny the statement.”