The Presidency has said the operational structure of the Western Nigerian Security Network, codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’, and other regional security outfits will be determined by the Inspector-General of Police.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Tuesday.
He said: “Whatever name they go by, Amotekun or whatever, will be streamlined and they will be run in accordance with the structure as defined by the Inspector-General of Police. They will be localised, they will be owned by local communities, they will be managed by them.”
Speaking on the approval of N13 billion by the Federal Government for community policing across the 36 states of the federation, the presidential aide explained that the community policing structure would be the same across the 36 states.
He added that whatever policy by regional security outfits the does not conform with the national police structure would not be adopted.
He said: “You know the constitution of the committees will be defined as including council chairmen, traditional rulers, religious leaders, civil society groups and all of that. So, you are going to have a single type structure of community policing permitted all across the country and whatever is not in line with this does not have a place in the scheme of things. That is my understanding.”
On whether the new community policing being introduced by the Federal Government would not be in conflict with Amotekun which was created by Houses of Assembly in the six South-West states, Shehu said: “They can choose their nomenclature, it doesn’t make a difference. Structurally, there is a governance structure for all state and local council policing mechanisms and this should abide in all of the states.
“Mind you, even in the case of Amotekun, there is no law that is regionally binding on the mechanism put in place. Each state parliament put together their own legislation, yes there are similarities in so many ways but it doesn’t take away the fact that each state Amotekun is an initiative of a given state in the South-West.”
The presidential aide said the state governors were carried along in the process through the National Economic Council which comprises the 36 governors and is headed by the Vice-President.
He said the N13bn approved by the Federal Government would be used for training, enlightenment, and purchase of equipment.