The Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), codenamed Operation Amotekun (Yoruba for "Leopard" or "Cheetah") and simply known as the Amotekun, is a security outfit based in all the six states of the South Western, Nigeria, responsible for curbing insecurity in the region.[1] It was founded on 9 January 2020 in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria as the first regional security outfit initiated by a geopolitical zone in Nigeria.[2][3]

Western Nigeria Security Network
ActiveJanuary 9, 2020; 4 years ago (2020-01-09)
Country Nigeria
HeadquartersIbadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

History edit

Amotekun is a Yoruba word that means "One that looks like a leopard," leopard being translated to "amotekun." Because of this, Amotekun properly means cheetah, but as in this case, it is often mistransliterated to leopard.[4] Operation Amotekun (Leopard) was established on 9 January 2020 by the six state governors of all the South Western states of Nigeria, namely; Lagos State, Oyo State, Ogun State, Ondo State, Osun State and Ekiti State.[5] The establishment of the security outfit was subject to the decision by all the six state governors at the regional security summit held in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria in June 2019 through Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission (DAWN).[6] In support of the outfit, all the six state governors contributed 20 vehicles each, except Oyo that contributed 33 vehicles, in order to assist the operatives in carrying out their duties, making a total of 133 vehicles for the startup, they also procured 100 units of motorcycles each, making a total of 600 motorcycles.[7] The members of the outfit were drawn from local hunters, the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Agbekoya, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and vigilante group.[8]

Operation edit

The operatives of the security outfit will assist police, other security agencies and traditional rulers in combating terrorism, banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping and also help in settling herdsmen and farmers contentions in the region.[9] For the startup, Lagos, Osun and Ekiti states, recruited 1,320 operatives for the operation, while they will carry dane guns like local hunters, operating in about 52 deadly blackspots all over the southwest region.[10]

Controversy edit

On 13 January 2020, the Nigeria police warned that they will arrest any operative of the outfit that carries illegal arms.[11]

On 14 January 2020, the Federal government of Nigeria declared Operation Amotekun as an illegal operation, stating that it is not backed by the Nigerian constitution.[12]

On 23 January 2020, the vice president of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, met with the six state governors of the south western Nigeria and they all agreed to work together towards the progress of Operation Amotekun.[13]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Operation Amotekun: Western Nigeria governors launch security outfit". P.M. News. 9 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  2. ^ "South West governors explain why operation Amotekun was established". Pulse NG. 9 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  3. ^ Rasheed, Olawale (15 January 2020). "The Real Significance Of Amotekun". Nigerian Tribune. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  4. ^ Bamidele, Oladayo (30 January 2020). "Nigeria's Operation Àmò̩té̩kùn: Was it named after a leopard, cheetah or tiger?". Global Voices. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  5. ^ Urowayino, Jeremiah (10 January 2020). "Amotekun not agenda to divide Nigeria— S'West govs". Vanguard Newspaper. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  6. ^ Ojelu, Henry (10 January 2020). "Constitutional implication of Operation Amotekun". Vanguard Newspaper. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  7. ^ Bisi, Oladele; Adeniran, Yinka (10 January 2020). "Governors: Amotekun not a parallel security outfit". The Nation Nigeria. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  8. ^ "South West plans legal action as FG declares Amotekun illegal". The Punch. 15 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Amotekun: Inside South-West security outfit". Daily Trust. 12 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Operation Amotekun: Lagos, Osun, Ekiti to recruit 1,320 militiamen". The Punch. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Operation Amotekun: Carry illegal arms, be arrested, police warn OPC, hunters". The Punch. 13 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  12. ^ "BREAKING: Nigerian Government Declares 'Operation Amotekun' Illegal". Sahara Reporters. 14 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Operation Amotekun: Govs meet Osinbajo, to back exercise with law". The Punch. Retrieved 31 January 2020.