Yoruba History Vol. 8

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09 March 2021

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Operation Amotekun: Real reasons Yoruba leaders created regional security outfit

 

In the beginning, there was relative peace across the six states in the Southwest. People could travel from one part of the region to the other with ease of mind and peace. Some travellers who enjoy night journeys did not have any reason to be afraid, except for occasional armed robbery incidents on the highways. But a time came when the relative peace was shattered. And fear gripped many people over travelling from one part of the region to the other. It started with incessant clashes between local farmers and herdsmen, and aggravated by kidnapping, armed robbery during the day, banditry and other forms of social vices.

 

By the middle of 2019, the menace had become unbearable for the Yoruba, which compelled the six governors in the Southwest to meet in Abuja and elected Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu as their chairman. After the meeting, they mandated the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission to convene a security summit, which was held by the middle of 2019. The summit was held at the Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, and Oyo State and was attended by all the governors in the region, and other strategic stakeholders. The security summit was followed by another security summit a few weeks later, which was convened by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, for southwest geo-political zone. It was held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

 

Pragmatic solutions were reached at the end of the separate security summits. The governors in the region continued to meet and concluded that a regional security outfit would be the panacea to the menace of insecurity and mandated the DAWN Commission to work out the possibility and workability of the security outfit. The commission was said to have worked assiduously with the support of the governors and came up with what is now known as Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’.  Amotekun is Yoruba name for leopard.

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