By Onome Oghenetega
The apex socio-cultural umbrella body of the Urhobo people, Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide has thrown it weight behind the creation of the Western Nigeria Security Network also known as ‘Operation Amotekun.’
It, however, advised both the federal government and the governors of the South West to resolve ‘rough edges’ surrounding the operation of the body.
A statement from the office of the President General of UPU, Olorogun Moses Taiga, it commended the governors and people of the South West for the initiative and urged the governors of the South South to borrow a leaf from their counterparts in the west.
UPU noted that Amotekun would assist the federal government to combat the growing insecurity region.
The statement read, “The Nigerian Police is currently overwhelmed by the prevailing internal security challenges. The army has been drafted to help the police in some areas, but we all know that it is not what the army is trained to do.
“There have been agitations for state police and better organised community policing. Amotekun is a response to the current security challenges in the south west. Amotekun is meant to help the federal government combat insecurity in the land. The baby should not be thrown away with the bath water because Amotekun is needed.
“Amotekun’s targets are criminals, not a religious or ethnic group. Criminality knows no ethnicity. The South West should continue to dialogue with the federal government to smoothen the rough edges. The Urhobo Progress Union fully aligns with the ideals of Amotekun.”
While calling for the establishment of a similar security outfit in South South, UPU observed that “by the time Amotekun succeeds in chasing away criminals from the south west, they will relocate to the South South and the area will become uninhabitable.”
Olorogun Taiga posited that with the current challenges in the region where many farmers particularly in Delta State have died as a result insecurity, a local security outfit similar to ‘Operation Amotekun’ will address the situation.
“The UPU also uses this opportunity to call on the South South, especially the government of Delta State. We need to study what the South West has done and the ongoing dialogue with the federal government so that the South South, especially Delta State, can set up a similar security outfit.
“If the South South is not pro-active, by the time Amotekun succeeds in chasing away criminals from the south west, they will relocate to the South South and the area will become uninhabitable. Delta State needs a similar security arrangement. Many of our people, who are mainly farmers, have lost their source of livelihood due to insecurity. They can no longer go to their farmers for fear of being attacked”, the statement added.