The Federal Government and the governors of the South-West states on Thursday agreed on the way forward with the controversial security outfit, Operation Amotekun, and settled for a legal “framework.”
This implies that the states will put in place all the necessary legal backing for the outfit to continue.
The resolution was reached at a meeting between Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, also attended the meeting.
The Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, who spoke to journalists after the meeting noted that deliberations behind closed doors were “fruitful.”
He said after all the issues relating to Amotekun were discussed, the meeting agreed that the legal framework should be worked out for the outfit.
Akeredolu added that the governors would return home and work out the framework accordingly.
He said, “We held a very fruit discussion, the governors of the South-West were there. The AGF and the IGP also attended. The meeting was presided over by the VP.
“We have rubbed minds and all of us agreed on the way forward. The most important thing is that we are going to have the legal framework to back this Amotekun. And this legal framework is one in which all of us will be part of.
“What I believe is that Amotekun is there. And you know the Federal Government is also starting community policing. So, we are going to work together to see that community policing and Amotekun work together.”
When asked why there were no consultations with the government before the states launched the outfit, the governor replied that there were consultations.
Akeredolu added, “There were consultations with even the IG before starting Amotekun. What has developed, the noise out there, was the report that there were no consultations, but there were consultations.
“As part of the solution, we said there was going to be a political solution. So, what has happened now (the meeting with the VP) is part of the political solution.
“There was no time the government stopped Amotekun; the AGF has already spoken.
“He issued a statement and it is so clear, that he said he was misquoted.”
Meanwhile, the Vice President’s office, in a statement after the meeting, said it “was very fruitful and unanimous resolutions were made on the way forward.”
It said the states were asked to put a legal framework in place for Amotekun.
The statement signed by the VP’s media aide, Mr. Laolu Akande, said, “Having regard to the need for all hands to be on deck in addressing the security concerns across the country, it was agreed that the structure of Amotekun should also align with the Community Policing strategy of the Federal Government.
“It was also agreed that necessary legal instruments will be put in place by each of the States to give legal backing to the initiative and address all issues concerning the regulation of the security structure.”
Others governors at the meeting aside from Akeredolu were Dapo Abiodun of Ogun; Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti; and Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was absent, while his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, was represented by his deputy.