Amotekun survives as FG, Southwest governors find middle point

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and governors from the South West on Thursday met at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where they resolved to come up with a framework to provide backing to the regional security outfit called Amotekun recently set up in the region.

Specifically, the meeting held after the National Economic Council (NEC) was to address the controversy after the Federal Government declared the regional security outfit illegal.

Although the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami described Amotekun illegal, the South West Governors and other leaders from the region insist there was no going back in the implementation of the new security outfit.

Addressing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said the meeting resolved to articulate a legal framework that will provide backing for the operations of the security outfit.

“All of us have agreed on the way forward,” Akeredolu said. “The most important one is that we are going to have a legal framework to back this Amotekun. And this legal framework is going to be one which we all are going to look at and will be sure to go without any hindrance.

Fielding question on insinuations that establishment of the outfit will be put on hold until the legal framework is developed, Akeredolu said the security outfit had come to stay.

“What I believe is our resolution is that Amotekan is there, you know the federal government is starting community policing.

“So, we are going to work together to see the community policing and Amotekan work in a way.

He also dismissed reports that there were no consultations before the launch of the outfit.

Akeredolu said: “There were consultations because we held discussions with the IG then and what has developed is what has led to this, not that there were no consultations. We just felt that with all these noises outside it is better for us to sit down.

“Remember that immediately the noise started, I said that we are going to explore political solution and all of us are here. My colleague the deputy governor of Oyo who is of the PDP, all of us are here. So we have looked at this solution to it now, both political and legal solutions to it and all of us will do it.”

A statement signed by Professor Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, later explained that the meeting was convened at the instance of the Governors who had asked to see President Muhammadu Buhari over the controversy the establishment of the security outfit.

However, due to President Buhari’s foreign engagement, he asked the Vice President to host the meeting.

He said: “The meeting was very fruitful and unanimous resolutions were made on the way forward.

“Having regard to the need for all hands to be on deck in addressing the security concerns across the country, it was agreed that the structure of Amotekun should also align with the Community Policing strategy of the Federal Government.

“It was also agreed that necessary legal instruments will be put in place by each of the States to give legal backing to the initiative and address all issues concerning the regulation of the security structure.”

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