The South West Governors on Thursday declared Amotekun a state based community policing strategy to tackle crime in the region and not a regional security outfit.
The Governors under the aegis of South West Governors Forum, also applauded the community policing being spearhead by the Nigeria police as “one that will benefit all of us from the ward up to the state level.”
The Governors said they and other stakeholders in the region have agreed to embrace community policing in its entirety.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, stated this after a stakeholders’ summit on community policing between the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and the six South West Governors in Lagos.
Other stakeholders at the closed door meeting included commissioners of Police as well as Commissioner for Justice from the six states in the region, other security agencies in the states, Royal fathers, and Community Development Committees (CDCs).
Addressing journalists on the deliberations of the summit, Akeredolu identified Amatekun as a community policing strategy to tackle crime in the region.
He said the outfit is not a regional but community initiative.
“It is clear that community policing which the Nigeria police is anchoring is one that will benefit all of us from the ward up to the state level,” he said.
Stressing that Amotekun is not a regional police stating, Akeredolu said: “We have made things clear to everybody and we want all of us to know now that when we said we are having Amotekun, it is not that we are creating a regional police, Amotekun is not a regional police.
“Amotekun is state based because we don’t have regions in the country anyway. We only have states and all of us have agreed that when you have laws in your respective states backing Amotekun or any security outfit, then you can go ahead for as long as it is within the legal bound.
“So we have come out happy, all of us have agreed and its been a wonderful resolution of few dark areas, which we have put light into but we can’t give you full details because this is a security summit. I can assure you that we are on the same page in respect of this.”
Also addressing journalists, the IG concurred with Akeredolu.
He said: “Amotekun is not a regional security outfit, as it is existing now every state has one form of outfit, whether it is vigilante or neighbourhood watch, that are working with security agencies of the state to fight crimes.
“This area must be clarified. It is not a regional structure, it is a state structure and it must be backed by law for it to be effective so we are saying the same thing, the structure must be in tandem with community policing.”