Home » Yoruba Leaders Seek to Boost Regional Security Force

Yoruba Leaders Seek to Boost Regional Security Force

Nigeria News and Analysis

by Motoni Olodun

Yoruba leaders have called for the strengthening of the regional security outfit, Amotekun, as a way of tackling the security challenges facing the southwest zone of Nigeria. The leaders made the call at a security summit held in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, on Saturday.

The summit, which was organized by the Yoruba World Congress (YWC), a socio-cultural group, brought together traditional rulers, political leaders, civil society groups, and security experts from the six states of the southwest region. The aim of the summit was to discuss the security situation in the region and to devise strategies to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Amotekun.

Amotekun, which means “leopard” in Yoruba, is a security network that was launched in January 2020 by the governors of the southwest states, in response to the rising cases of kidnapping, banditry, and farmer-herder clashes in the region. The network, which operates as a community policing initiative, comprises of local vigilantes, hunters, and ex-military personnel, who work in collaboration with the conventional security agencies.

The summit commended the governors for establishing Amotekun, and praised the personnel for their courage and sacrifice in protecting the lives and properties of the people. The summit, however, noted that Amotekun faced some challenges and limitations, such as inadequate funding, equipment, training, and legal backing. The summit therefore urged the governors to address these issues and to provide more support and resources to Amotekun.

The summit also called for the harmonization and integration of the operations and command structures of Amotekun across the six states, and for the involvement and participation of the local communities and stakeholders in the security network. The summit further called for the promotion of peace and dialogue among the various ethnic and religious groups in the region, and for the respect of the rights and interests of the indigenous people.

The summit was attended by prominent Yoruba leaders, such as the leader of the YWC, Professor Banji Akintoye, the chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams.

The leaders expressed their commitment and determination to ensure the security and development of the southwest region, and to uphold the unity and diversity of Nigeria. They also appealed to the federal government and the other regions to support and cooperate with them in their efforts to secure and improve the region.

The southwest region, which comprises of Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti, and Lagos states, is one of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, and is home to about 40 million people, mostly of the Yoruba ethnic group. The region is known for its rich cultural heritage, its vibrant economy, and its progressive politics.

Despite the challenges, some analysts say there is still hope for the southwest region to achieve its security and development goals, and to contribute to the stability and prosperity of Nigeria, if the leaders and the people work together and leverage the opportunities and the advantages that the region has. They also say that the region has the potential and the resources to become a model and a leader in the country and the continent, in terms of security, governance, and innovation.


Source: Nigerian Tribune

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