By Kehinde Olatunji
The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission has explained that the Coronavirus outbreak halted the take-off of Amotekun corps.
The commission described as unfortunate the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, saying it interrupted the operational take-off of the outfit, adding that as soon as the coast is clear for resumption of activities and a return to daily lives, the training of Amotekun personnel would commence.
The commission, in a statement by its Director-General, Seye Oyeleye, titled “COVID-19 pandemic: Amotekun and the Call for Deployment in the Wake of Insecurity in the Region,” said that the six states were in the process of recruiting personnel into the Corps before COVID-19 broke out in March, adding that the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), had announced that the Corps would take off in April according to recruitment and training schedule.
“Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the Western Nigeria Governors Forum (WNGF), said in one of his recent interactions with journalists that the security outfit and the deployment of the Amotekun vehicles would take off in April 2020 across the region.
“Unfortunately, the whole process has been stagnated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made the gathering of the personnel for training difficult and unadvisable.
“The emergency situation posed by this deadly virus has also brought about some security challenges in some states in the region as a result of some measures being taken by the governors to prevent its spread.
“It is imperative to note that the six governors in the region prioritise the issue of security as it affects the lives and property of the citizens.
“They are also aware of the need to avoid negative feedback from the people, as the enrolment into Amotekun has to be thorough since the governors would be held accountable if the outfit goes outside its mandate.
“As a result of this, one would not expect the personnel to put on uniform or the Amotekun vehicles deployed without proper training and mapping out of areas to be secured,” the statement said.