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Amend Constitution To Recognise Amotekun As State Police —Fayemi

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has called for a constitutional amendment to enable the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, to be recognised as state police.

Fayemi who doubles as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum said this was necessary as the security situation in Nigeria has become frightening.

Fayemi was speaking at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan which hosted the 7th Annual Lecture Series in commemoration of the Birthday of former Minority Whip of the House of Representatives, Babatunde Oduyoye.

The governor said, “The challenge of insecurity in Nigeria is frightening and is getting all of us concerned.

“At the dawn of the current democratic dispensation in 1999, the major concern of security experts was the staccato of ethnic and religious violence that was common then, which was before the dawn of the Niger-Delta militancy which took almost a decade.

“A new phenomenon in insecurity however waded in with the violent campaign of Boko Haram activities in many parts of the north.

“Added to this is Nigeria’s extensive and porous borders covering over 4000 kilometres littered with illegal entry points and routes totalling 1500 points.

“With the porous borders, criminal gangs and terrorist insurgents could easily stroll in with smuggled weapons into the country, which in turn are sold to sea pirates, cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers, bandits and other purveyors of violence in the Nigerian state.

“The creation of Amotekun can only be a precursor to this.

“We need a security system that is localised, knowledgeable about the culture and security situation of a particular community.

“But we need to amend the constitution to empower the various security initiatives to be able to respond to the current challenges.

“For example, despite not possessing Ak47 which the bandits possess, Amotekun operatives have been courageous to confront them in the forest and have successfully rescued victims of kidnapping and arrested the criminals in some instances.

“Yet, these people are at best, volunteer corps with encouragement stipend paid to them. They don’t earn as much as the conventional police, yet they are better motivated to throw themselves to the protection of the community where they have their wives, children and families.”

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