The planned rally in support of the Western Nigeria Security Network code named “Operation Amotekun” in Ogun State took place as planned.
The rally, which was held at Panseke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital was monitored by policemen and other security agencies in the State.
Addressing the protesters, the Coordinator of Amotekun Solidarity Rally in Ogun State, Chief Jimoh Olawale Taofeek, said the walk was to agitate for the recognition of the security outfit.
He said, “We are here to reach out to the larger public. We want to tell the federal government and the entire Nigerian populace to know that we want Amotekun in Southwest”.
” If Hisbah can be in the Northern States. If there can be Azaru, there can be Civilian JTF, if there can be Vigilance groups, some of them even carry arms, arresting even legitimate police officers and been prosecuted, so there is no reason why we should not consider Amotekun in SouthWest”.
“I want make it very clear that Amotekun is not to witch hunt anybody. I think one of the major responsibilities of Amotekun is to protect the masses. The safety of lives and properties is the major responsibility of the government”.
“Rather than looking for ways to outlaw the security outfit, federal government should give kudos to our governors for complementing security efforts in the region with the creation of operation Amotekun”.
While positing that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami lacks power to declare Amotekun as illegal and unconstitutional, Taofeek said it is the only the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu who has the power to do so, even recognized and supported the outfit.
He called on Malami to have rethink on his pronouncement.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Oodua United People’s Association, Ola Bello said “Amotekun was launched to check the excesses of criminals in the region.
He noted that the Constitution quoted by Malami is anti people, calling on the National Assembly to expedite action and review the nation’s Constitution to accommodate Amotekun and other regional security outfits.
Bello declared that the entire Yoruba race is in support of the governors of the region, saying that Amotekun has come to stay.
He added that the governors should not be discouraged by the pronouncement of Malami.
The National Secretary of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Yinka Folarin said it is the duty of the federal government to provide security of lives and property of all citizens.
He noted that since the Federal government has failed in its responsibility of protecting lives and property of the citizens, the Southwest governors now find means of protecting their people by launching Operation Amotekun.
He added that Amotekun is not to compete with any security outfits, but to complement their efforts, adding that “whoever that is against Amotekun is enemy of the region, calling on all people living in the region, irrespective of their ethnic background to support the noble course of Amotekun.
” Amotekun is to checkmate the excesses of criminals in the region “.
On his part, the State Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson said his men were on ground to maintain peace during the rally, saying that the police do not want miscreants to hijack the rally.
He said, “I am on routine visit, everyday, I go round the metro to ensure that every where is calm but I got intelligence reports that some groups yet unidentified are trying to protest or do rally and I just came around to talk to my men and place them to ensure that there is no breach of peace”.
“Nobody told me , nobody wrote to me of any protest, my own duty is to ensure that I come out to ensure that there is no breach of peace, that law abiding citizens go about their business unhindered”.
“My advice is to everyone, anyone who has to go about protesting as it is the right of every citizen as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended”.
“We are here to ensure that nobody harasses, intimidate or cause a breach of peace and go on wanton destruction of properties, that we will not tolerate”.
“I have seen my police men they are well placed, they have started strategically and I have no problem with them, they are basically here to checkmate any one who wants to take laws into there hands and the law will descend on that person ruthlessly”.