The governors of South-western states who met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday have vowed not to backtrack on the regional security outfit, Amotekun.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State said this in an interview with journalists after the meeting with Mr Osinbajo.
He said the governors, however, agreed to put a legal framework in place for the security outfit.
“…we are going to have 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 hinderance,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the controversy that has trailed the formation of Amotekun with the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, describing it as illegal.
Many commentators have also said the six participating states should have first pass laws by their state assemblies to set up Amotekun before it was established.
Such a law is what Mr Akeredolu appears to be referring to.
The Ondo governor also said they held consultations with relevant federal officials before Amotekun was established.
Read the excerpts of Mr Akeredolu’s interview below.
Akeredolu: Well we had a very fruitful discussion. Governors of South-west as you know we were all there.
The meeting was presided over by the Vice President. The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation was there as well as the Inspector General of Police.
So, we have robbed minds and all of us have agreed on the way forward. The most important one is that we are going to have 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 hinderance.
Q: Does it mean the establishment of this outfit has been put on hold until the legal framework is developed?
Akeredolu: No. What I believe is our resolution is that Amotekan is there, you know the federal government is starting community policing, in essence really is about community. So, we are going to work together to see the community policing and Amotekun work in a way.
Q: Why was there no such consultations before the launch of the outfit?
Akeredolu: No no no, there were consultations, don’t say there were no consultations. 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 noise 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.
Q: What will you tell those protesting that government is trying to stop it?
Akeredolu: No, the government is not trying to stop it. The attorney general has spoken on that, I’m sure you have all read the statement that he was misinterpreted. So it’s so clear, there was no time that government wanted to stop Amotekun and the AGF having spoken, it’s all about us, so there is no problem.