The six South West governors under the aegis of South West Governors Forum on Thursday agreed with the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu on the security outfit created by the governors in the region, Amotekun.
The agreement on the security outfit is the result of the stakeholders’ summit on community policing involving the IG, the governors, commissioners of Police as well as Commissioner for Justice from the six states in the region, other security agencies in the state, Royal fathers, Community Development Committees (CDCs) and other stakeholders at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Addressing the press after the closed door deliberations, the chairman of the South West Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu and IGP Adamu identified Amatekun as a community policing strategy to tackle crime in the region.
However, they stated the outfit is not a regional but community initiative.
Akeredolu said: “It is clear that community policing which the Nigeria police is anchoring is one that will benefit all of us from the ward up to the state level.”
He added that after the meeting all stakeholders agreed to embrace community policing in its entirety.
He, however, said that Amotekun is not a regional police stating: “We have made things clear to everybody and we want all of us to know now that when we said we are having Amotekun, it is not that we are creating a regional police, Amotekun is not a regional police.
“Amotekun is state based because we don’t have regions in the country anyway. We only have states and all of us have agreed that when you have laws in your respective states backing Amotekun or any security outfit, then you can go ahead for as long as it is within the legal bound.
“So we have come out happy, all of us have agreed and its been a wonderful resolution of few dark areas, which we have put light into but we can’t give you full details because this is a security summit. I can assure you that we are on the same page in respect of this.”
Adamu echoed that every state has one form of security outfit or the other working with security agencies to fight crime, adding community policing is infused into all the existing states’ security structures.
The IGP said: “Amotekun is not a regional security outfit, as it is existing now every state has one form of outfit, whether it is vigilante or neighbourhood watch, that are working with security agencies of the state to fight crimes.
“This area must be clarified. It is not a regional structure, it is a state structure and it must be backed by law for it to be effective so we are saying the same thing, the structure must be in tandem with community policing”, Adamu said.
On whether the police will be involved in the training, deployment and payment of salaries of operatives of Amotekun, Adamu said community policing is nothing but partnership.
He noted that whatever structure is in place must be in partnership with the police to deal with problems that are associated with crimes and criminality.