The South West Stakeholders Security Group has calls for synergy between the joint security task force codenamed: “Operation Amotekun,” and leaders at the grassroots for the initiative to succeed.
The South-West governors had last week announced that they will start the new security architecture on January 9.
According to the group, the main objective of the security outfit should be to create the needed synergy between the states in order to ensure the safety and security of the region.
Rising from a meeting at the Lagos residence of the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, at the weekend, the group, comprising all the leaders, gave its nod to the new initiative.
They also stated their readiness to complement the efforts of the governors and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, in their plan to make the South West safe for the people.
Adams, however, said the group has not been contacted by the governors on the modus operandi, especially the recruitment of members of the outfit, which he leads as National Coordinator, with just five days to the commencement of the initiative.
They opined that it is necessary that members of the outfit are people who are known and whose integrity can be vouched for.
The group insisted that anything short of that will amount to an exercise in futility.
Adams, the Convener of the group, said efforts to curb the security challenges in the region is beginning to yield positive results, pointing out that the group, since inception in July 2019, had made significant efforts to reduce the spate of insecurity in the South West.
Adams reiterated the need to create a workable synergy between the security outfits and the leaders at the grassroots.
He said: “All over the world, security of lives and property remains the top priority of every government.
“It is when the country is safe and secured that we can think of other necessities.
“That is why as a group, we have made concerted effort to form this alliance in order to make the region safe for us.”
Aare Adams expressed the readiness of the group to take the issue seriously without any room for failure.
Speaking on the security situation in the country, Adams said though the situation had reduced drastically with the emergence of the SSSG, it has also become so tense with the recent invasion of some communities in the south West.
He lamented the gruesome murder of over 28 people, burning of churches and palace in Kogi State by suspected Fulani gunmen, describing it as one killing too many.
He said: “The security situation in the South West is not something to write home about.
“For instance, people cannot travel during the festive period because of the fear of kidnappers and marauders that kill and maim at will.
“A situation whereby a traditional ruler in Akure, Ondo State was kidnapped and asked to pay a huge amount of money as ransom before he was released, and that of a Catholic priest was worrisome.
“It brought up a new challenge.
“We have been keeping quiet, not because we are bereft of ideas or solution.
“We need to match our words with actions.
“But now that they have involved us by name but not by contact.
“They have not contacted all the leaders.
“However, we must appreciate them because we are ready to provide a lasting solution to the menace in the region.
“We will do our very best to secure the region.”
Adams said there is the need for the governors to engage people with strength of character and integrity, especially on security, adding that the group is ready to set up a liaison committee with the security advisers of all the states in the region to advice them on security matters.
He argued that issue of security should be centralised for effective communication and synergy.
The SSSG deployed for the new initiative include the Oodua People’s Congress, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, South West Hunters Association, Agbekoyas, South West Agbekoya Group, Agbekoya Farmers Society Group, Yoruba Youth Council and Community Security Awareness Initiative Corps of Nigeria.
Adams maintained, “We are alerting the world that the issue of security should not be taken lightly or politicised because if this new initiative fails or boomerangs, we are not to be blamed.”