By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi has said the southwest security outfit code named ‘Operation Amotekun’ is a logical end product of President Muhammadu Buhari’s compelling vision on community policing.
Fayemi, who defended establishment of Amotekun, said it is in line with community policing or multi-layered policing, which is very effective in safety and crime prevention.
The governor insisted that the police authorities were involved in the setting up of the outfit.
The vision, he said, was designed to complement efforts of the established security agencies in meeting challenges of insecurity in the region.
According to a statement by his media aide in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday, Fayemi spoke while delivering a paper at the Daily Trust Dialogue titled: Twenty years of Democratisation in Nigeria: Strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in Abuja.
He said that current debate about the legality/ desirability or otherwise of the security outfit is a healthy national conversation about how to make Nigeria safer and more secured.
Other speakers at the one-day dialogue are former Vice President Namadi Sambo, who was chairman of the event; former Borno Governor, Senator Kashim Shettima; Chair, House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Hon Lynda Ikpeazu.
Other dignitaries include: former Jigawa Governor Sule Lamido; former Akwa Ibom Governor, Obong Victor Attah; former Katsina Governor Ibrahim Shema and former National Chairman, All Progressives congress (APC), Chief John Odigie- Oyegun among others.
Fayemi said: “The Amotekun vision is a logical end product of President Buhari’s compelling vision on community policing and bottom-up approach to security sector governance across the length and breadth of the country.
“Far from being a competitor with the existing national security platforms, it aims to complement them in the areas of neighbourhood watch, information and intelligence gathering, detection of early warning signs and engaging in early response in a pro-active manner, apart from acting as liaison between the conventional security outfits and the local population.
“For those who are familiar with the mechanism of security sector reforms and transformation in democratising politics, they will readily appreciate the need for multi-faceted, multi-layered and multi-dimensional approaches to national policing and maintenance of law and order.
“Indeed apart from strengthening the operational and administrative capacity of security institutions and the training and retraining of security agents, the other vital component of this paradigm shift in national security calculus is the direct, logical, coherent and sequential involvement of local population and grassroots governance in national security and crime prevention.
“It is in recognition of the above that the Amotekun model emerged.”
Speaking on the topic of the forum, Fayemi who is Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the country had indeed made some significant progress in the last 20 years.
He disagreed with cynics who are of the opinion that nothing has worked in the country’s 20 years of democracy.
He said: “The notion that nothing has changed since 1999 and that things have in fact grown worse is cynical, misleading and self –defeating.
“They are also discouraging to many conscientious and patriotic Nigerians in public service, private sector and civil society who have committed themselves to rebuilding the Nigerian nation”.
He advocated for a more inclusive political process that would see more women and youth take on more significant roles in the polity.
This, according to him, has to be dealt with at electoral principle level than electoral contest level.