South-west governors have been accused of recruiting political thugs for “Amotekun”, the regional security outfit.
A faction of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) made the accusation in a statement on Wednesday,
Mr. Prince Osibote, OPC worldwide president who issued the statement said the governors had negotiated with another group that does not represent the OPC.
Worried by the high rate of banditry and kidnapping, the governors of Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos had come up with the idea of floating a regional security group.
The project facilitated by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) will be launched on Thursday.
“To avoid all doubts, the OPC, which I lead, will not do anything tantamount to destruction of Yoruba interest. We are at great pains to disclaim, for the umpteenth time, that Adams does not represent the OPC,” Osibote said.
“Having said that, we must commend the Amotekun initiative by governors of the South-west states. While it is a timely, novel and necessary initiative, we believe the contribution(s) of all stakeholders must be sought and in particular, in our own case, with the legitimate OPC, to achieve an unqualified launch.
“The OPC under my leadership is ready to work with the governors and other constituted authorities to secure Yorubaland in particular and the rest of Nigeria in general.
“The political class in Yorubaland wants to hijack the OPC for their selfish purpose, particularly those entertaining the ambition of ruling the country or their states. We have told them that the OPC will not transform into a political party.
“What the South-west governors are doing now is far from the Operation Amotekun that we suggested. They are recruiting their political thugs and people of questionable character, largely from the pool of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
“If this operation goes ahead in the manner the governors are presently prosecuting it, I am concerned that the outcome will lead to more complex security issues than it was meant to solve.”
The police and army have reportedly refused to carry out joint patrols with the security outfit, citing lack of proper training of its officials.