South-west governors have been accused by a faction of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) that they are recruiting political thugs for “Amotekun”, the regional security outfit.
Amotekun, a regional security outift was established by governors of Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos states as a result of high rate of banditry and kidnapping in the region.
Prince Osibote, the Global president of OPC disclosed in a statement that was released on Wednesday that the governors had negotiated with another group that does not represent the OPC.
“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.”
It was learnt that the police and army have reportedly refused to carry out joint patrols with the security outfit, citing lack of proper training of its officials.
The project facilitated by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) will be launched on Thursday.