Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has warned against bringing ethnic and religious sentiments into Western Nigeria Security Initiative codenamed, Amotekun, saying doing so would be dangerous and counterproductive.
Recall that the Osun Muslim Community in a statement signed by its president and secretary, Alhaji Mustafa Olawuyi and Hashim Olapade respectively, on Monday, rejected Amotekun, alleging that it was sectional and at variance with the constitution.
But the governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Wednesday, said the claim that Amotekun was an agenda against a particular faith or adherents of a particular religion was preposterous and efforts in bad taste.
Oyetola explained that no recruitment for Amotekun had been carried out in the state, adding that rather than constituting themselves into the opposition of the project that residents of states in South-West all clamoured for, people should rally support for it.
The statement read, “The raging debate over the launch of the South-West Security Network, otherwise known as Amotekun, is no doubt healthy and welcome development.
“But to politicise it on the altar of religion and ethnicity will be unhealthy, dangerous and counterproductive. Amotekun is a collective response by the South-West region to the spate of armed banditry, rape, kidnapping, and other violent crimes that suddenly became a past time in the South-West.
“To, therefore, claim that it is an agenda against a particular faith or adherents of a particular religion is not only preposterous but also in bad taste. Kidnapping, rape and armed banditry have no religion and know no tribe or ethnicity.
“For the records, no recruitment has been carried out so far, especially in our dear State of Osun. So, rather than constitute ourselves into opposing a project we all clamoured for in response to existential threats for which some of the governors in the region have been called out and vilified in the past, we should rally support for Amotekun by coming up with strategies to fine-tune it with a view to bridging any communication gap between the Federal Government and the South-West Governors over it.
“Section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is clear that the security of life and property of citizens as well as their welfare is the primary purpose and responsibility of government, be it state or federal.”
He reassured that his administration was committed to protecting its citizens and called for support of every indigene in the collective resolve to ensure the protection of lives and property.