Fatai Owoseni, Special Adviser on Security Matters to Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, says there is nothing wrong with operatives of the State Security Network Agency popularly known as Amotekun fortifying themselves in ways they find acceptable.
Owoseni, a former police commissioner, spoke that
There have been concerns of late as operatives of Amotekun clash with herdsmen. There have also been allegations of recklessness and extrajudicial killings leveled against the security outfit launched last year.
Many have also expressed concerns about how Amotekun officers carry out their operations considering the fact that they have not been legally permitted to bear prohibited firearms like the police.
When asked whether Amotekun officers empower themselves with charms, the governor’s aide said, “I won’t be able to answer that question because I am not an Amotekun operative.”
He, however, said, “Everyone including yourself (the interviewer), if you don’t use charm, you will have Bible or you have Qur’an with which you use to protect yourself. So, don’t let us fool ourselves in Africa and in this country.
Owoseni while speaking , on Wednesday said
“If you are going to work every morning and you kneel down and read Psalms, that is your charm. So, if the man that is recruited into Amotekun thinks he needs to fortify himself one way or the other, that is his Bible or the Holy Qur’an.”
The security outfit which was inaugurated last November has recorded a pocket of successes including the arrest of some kidnap suspects who were in possession of superior weapons.
According to Owoseni, “Weapons that require permit and license are the prohibited firearms. If you are not using the prohibited firearms, you don’t need a license. There are dane guns that people use to do their hunting. So, we have not reached the stage where they want to use those firearms that they require a license for.”
Asked how Amotekun operatives confront and conquer criminal elements when they have not been licensed to bear prohibited or sophisticated arms, the former police chief said, “It is not Amotekun alone that goes into the bush. It is a collaborative effort, an hybrid solution, using the conventional security and the non-state actors altogether including members of the occupational groups –Miyetti Allah; and elements of the people of the Fulani ethnic group in the state.
“Everything work together. What the Amotekun do mostly is they serve first as elements that gather intelligence and when all of them go out together, everyone knows his capacity.”
“Even the law that created Amotekun said they will work in collaboration to support the national security agencies, especially the police that is most widely spread,” he submitted.