Report: Police, Army reject joint patrol with regional outfit in South-West

The police and army have reportedly refused to carry out joint patrols with “Operation Amotekun”, the security outfit that governors of south-west states put together to tackle crime in the region.

According to PUNCH, lack of proper training was one of the reasons the security agencies cited for the unwillingness to move along with the outfit comprising members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), vigilante, hunters and local guards.

Worried by the high rate of banditry and kidnapping, the governors of Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos had come up with the idea which was facilitated by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN).

In his New Year message, Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti, had announced that the outfit would be launched on January 9.

But quoting a source, the newspaper said after the police and army agencies made their concern known, an agreement was reached that the local guards would be restricted to their local government areas where they are expected to gather intelligence and share with the government security agencies.

“Their knowledge will be useful in the operation. The police and other government agencies said they could not be in the same patrol vehicles with hunters, vigilantes and other local groups. They said members of the groups were untrained in security matters and they rejected their inclusion in the patrol teams,” the source was quoted as saying.

“But those people will gather intelligence and pass it to the police and other security groups. The inauguration of the outfit was delayed because that had to be sorted out and we had to ensure that everyone knows their scope of work.

“All the state governors will be in Ibadan for the inauguration this week. After this, each state will inaugurate the operation in its domain. Each state will pay salaries to those recruited into the outfit. The states are still coming up with their arrangements on how to pay and how much among other things.

“The hunters, OPC members and other groups who will be part of the outfit will operate from their local government areas. They will gather intelligence for the government security outfit.

“We are involving the police, army, NSCDC and air force in Osun State. There will be toll-free lines which the hunters and others can call whenever they have information to pass.”

No region in the country has such a group tackling insecurity.

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