A scheduled meeting between the Presidency and the South-West governors on the Western Nigeria Security Network, Operation Amotekun, was called off on Tuesday. It is now rescheduled for Thursday (tomorrow). While the South-West governors could not meet the Presidency on Tuesday, various groups in the zone held rallies in state capitals in support of Amotekun. In Lagos, the police barricaded the venue of a pro-Amotekun rally.
The South-West had launched the operation on January 9 in Ibadan to help address rising security challenges, particularly kidnapping and banditry, in Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Lagos, Ekiti and Ondo states. The South-West governors, who made 120 patrol vehicles available to the security outfit, had said it would complement the police and the military in terms of intelligence gathering. But on Tuesday last week, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said Operation Amotekun was “illegal.”
He stated, “The setting up of the paramilitary organisation called Amotekun is illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian law.” A few days later, the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, said the South-West would go ahead with the security outfit. Akeredolu, who is also the Ondo State governor, said the South-West would first seek a political solution to the problem, then go to court if the first step failed.