Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Wednesday said the western Nigeria security network codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’ was established to complement the work of the security agencies and bridge the gaps in the security of the geopolitical zone.
Makinde spoke against the backdrop of a statement credited to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, in which he described the outfit as illegal.
The governor stated that the minister’s comment was misguided, adding that he was not empowered to make such a declaration.
Makinde, while speaking during a visit to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, said the AGF’s position was not conveyed through any official correspondence, hence, should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The governor said the government cannot be operated on pages of newspapers or through social media.
According to him, Operation Amotekun has not, in any way, violated the Constitution, but was an intervention to narrow the gaps in security in the South-West.
He added that given the centrality of security to governance, the governors of the South-West designed the Operation to complement efforts of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies.
He added that the Operation was designed to help in combating insecurity in the nooks and crannies of the South-West states.
Makinde said, “You don’t run a government on social media. If I see a letter or receive a call from the Attorney-General of the Federation saying that Amotekun is illegal, it will be a different reaction. For now, I have been reading on social media just like you and I have not seen anything official to that effect.
“Besides, I don’t think that in a country like Nigeria, the Attorney-General should just wake up and make his own law. He may interpret and advise the President about legal issues but I have not seen anything that gave his office the power to make such declaration.
“This outfit is complementary to the effort of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies. In Oyo State, the government has four pillars, namely education, health, security and expansion of our economy through agribusiness. So, security is a major pillar for us and we believe we cannot have any development in an atmosphere that is not secure.”
Makinde said he was in Abeokuta to pay a visit to the former President as part of the tradition of homage to elders to wish them a happy and rewarding New Year.