Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Monday, inaugurated the 12-man Governing Board of the Oyo State Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun Corps, charging the Corps to work more so that the economic growth being experienced in the state can continue.
The governor, who commended the officers and men of the Corps for contributing to the security and order experienced in the state under Omituntun 1.0, said the body had collaborated well with the federal security agencies to maintain peace and security in the state.
Speaking while inaugurating the Board at the Exco Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Makinde said the new Board had “the right set of people that will continue to lead Oyo Amotekun on the path of sustainable development and on the path of cooperation with other security agencies within the state.”
The Board has 12 board members, with AIG Sikiru Akande (rtd).
In his remarks, Makinde said that the Board was set up in conformity with the law and that its core mandate and primary responsibility is to make policy and administrative guidelines for the agency to perform optimally for development of the state.
According to the governor, the Amotekun Corps contributed to the huge success of his first term administration, as they worked tirelessly with other security agencies to make the state secure, especially in the rural communities.
The governor said: “We know that security is strongly linked to the development of any community. In fact, one of the core reasons why we witnessed accelerated development under Omituntun 1.0 is because Oyo Amotekun worked along with other security agencies to keep our state secure.
“The Amotekun policing meant that they are often the first necessity of defence for our rural communities. If we go through Amotekun’s accomplishments under Omituntun 1.0, we will see that they are a strong reason why our farmers in rural communities are able to return to their farms without fear of attack. They recorded huge successes in stopping kidnappings, motor-bike snatching, burglaries, illegal mining and fraud.
“We have a record of 10 kidnapping rescues that were carried out by the Amotekun Corps between June 2021 and May 2022.
“When we started, the Police being the leading agency for internal security in Nigeria were also apprehensive, saying who are these people and what is the state government trying to achieve? But, today, I am happy to say that the relationship between the Nigerian Police and Amotekun has become so cordial that they go out together to perform joint operations.”
The governor, who hailed the Commandant of the Amotekun Corps, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (rtd) for what the Corps members have been doing, said his administration will further equip and support the Corps to achieve greater successes under Omituntun 2.0.
“You will recall that just at the twilight of Omituntun 1.0, we increased the number of Corps members by 500. So, we now have about 2,000 Amotekun Corps members, and they are equally involved in community intelligence gathering. Still under 1.0, we supported the Amotekun Corps with a fleet of over 104,000 vehicles and 400 motorbikes.
“I must say I am proud of what the Commandant of the Corps is doing, and we will continue to provide the Corps with support in the form of training. I know we procured life insurance for members of the Corps in addition to providing specialist medical support, because we are aware of the sacrifices they continue to make for us.
“Our promise is to further equip you and support Oyo Amotekun under Omituntun 2.0. We know that the more we support the Corps, the greater their ability to perform. And with the Board firmly in place, they can serve as the link between government and the Oyo Amotekun Corps, and they can also set the right agenda with the involvement of the lead agencies – the Police, NSCDC, DSS.
“We have nothing to hide but just trying to collaborate with federal agencies to keep our state safe and secure, and we have seen the demonstration of this on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Some have said once they get to the Ibadan border from Lagos, they are safe. So, we want to keep that up.
“As you already know, we have expanded the sectors that we will use to grow our economy. Under Omituntun 1.0, we focused mainly on the development of our infrastructure and agribusiness. But now, we have added tourism into the mix, which means we want people to keep coming to our state and they must be safe and secure.
“We also added solid minerals development. We know the challenges in that sector; the issue of illegal miners, people throwing dynamite every now and then to blast rock and all of that.
“So, the Corps will be challenged further as it will even be stretched. If I add the current issues that we are grappling with, which is the removal of subsidy on PMS and you have to drive around to cover the whole Oyo State, you need more.
“So, we need you to work even more so that our economy continues to grow faster than it did under Omituntun 1.0,” the governor added.
Speaking on behalf of the Board members, the chairman of the board, AIG Akande (rtd), appreciated the governor for appointing members who had performed credibly well at their different levels in the service of humanity into the Board.
He assured residents of the state that the Board will not fail in its mandate.