Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has declared that his government would do everything possible to end kidnapping and insecurity in the State by working with all security agencies including the newly-introduced Oyo State Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun Corps.
The Governor maintained that the safety and security of all residents of the state remain a top priority for his government.
He appreciated all heads of security agencies for doing their best to secure the State, and explained that the government was already setting up proper information channels for security agencies in the state in order for them to keep the information flow simple.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the Governor stated these while briefing newsmen at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.
The Governor, who warned that some individuals who want Amotekun to fail, had been assailing it with all sorts of misinformation and fake news, maintained that the community policing model remains the only way to solve the insecurity challenge in the country.
He stated that the state will not sit idly and watch any Amotekun operative operate outside the ambitions of the law and that it would also not yield to blackmail against the new agency.
Makinde said that the State has identified some friction between the Amotekun and Nigerian Police in the State, and that committee will be set up to thaw the frosty relationship between the two institutions and bring about an alignment in their operations.
“Amotekun is not operating in a vacuum. They are a creation of the law of the state. The Nigerian Police is a creation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is normal that we have inter and intra agency friction where possible, but we will get everybody together and seek alignment towards the same end basically.
“For the past six weeks that the Amotekun was deployed, we have seen various reports in the news. Most of these reports are good and a few are bad. And of the bad, quite a number are false information and fake news. For example, some newspapers carried the news that Amotekun killed seven Fulani herdsmen in Ibarapa.
“Such a story was circulated to stoke ethnic tension. Even some reputable media fell for this. Whereas, the real story was that Amotekun worked with the community members, including genuine herdsmen to flush out bad elements in that zone.
“It has, therefore, become necessary to put the good people of Oyo State on high alert. “Each time you see a news item, you want to ask yourself if it is believable or just some no-good-people at work.
“I have to tell you that there are people among us that don’t want Amotekun to succeed and they will use lies and disinformation to push their agenda. We must realise where we are coming from and where we really want to be.
“Community policing is the way forward and we have to make it work. If somebody says he is abused by Amotekun and cannot pinpoint the Amotekun personnel in such an area, you are probably not from that neighborhood and you are a fake news carrier.
“So, as I always say, I know we do have trust-deficit between the people and the authorities, and this makes it easier to think the worst of people in authority. But we should not cut our nose to spite our face. We must find a balance so that we do not turn the people trying to protect us to our enemies.”
The governor charged anyone with a genuine case against the members of the Amotekun Corps to come forward with their grievances by using any of the feedback channels put in place by the government.
He equally warned traditional rulers and village heads against allocating lands to undocumented foreigners, stating that some undocumented individuals had been contributing to insecurity in the state.