The Labour Party Imo Gubernatorial Aspirant Maj Gen Lincoln Ogunewe(Rtd) has expressed an opinion and advice on State funded Security Outfits in Nigeria. He said because of the rising insecurity in the states, most State Governors have established security outfits to check the menance. He said that it is the constitutional duty of State Governors to ensure the security of lives and property in their various States. He opined that establishment of such security outfits must pass certain tests to be seen as working in the interest of the people.
He said, first, the security outfit must have a name and must be established by act of the State House of Assembly. This gives the security outfit legality & foundation.
Second, the security outfit must undergo some level of para-military training especially on intelligence & weapon handling.
Third, the outfit must have an office and a recognized address where citizens could go to make complaints and reports.
Fourth, the outfit must have an organogram with a well known command structure for ease of identification.
Fifth, the Commander of the outfit and Sub-Commanders must be known and reachable.
Sixth, the outfit must have a distinguishable form of identity, uniform and identity card for it’s personnel.
Seventh, the outfit must have distinguishable vehicle colour and markings for ease of identification.
Eight, the outfit must have a code of conduct that must guide its operations.
Ninth, the outfit must be launched to create awareness of its existence.
Tenth, the outfit must cooperate with the Military, Police & other Security Agencies in the discharge of their duties.
Amotekun operating in the South West meets these criteria & more.
I am sorry to state that any state security outfit that does not meet the above criteria & more can be likened to a militia. Militias all over the world are known to kill, maim & destroy.
Ogunewe said that he will keep on saying at every opportunity at his disposal that security is everybody’s business & pleaded with all to be involved in ensuring secured States in Nigeria.
He said that the best weapons of conflict resolution are dialogue, pacification and reintegration rather than bullets & guns.