Amb. Akinyemi Farounbi, an Elder Statesman and Nigeria’s former ambassador to the Philippines, has said that Oyo State Amotekun is completely different from the other security Agencies because it is home grown. It is backed by government but it is a combination of the wishes of the people.
Disclosing this in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital recently, Farounbi noted that Amotekun is the property of the people. It’s not like other security agencies owned by the Government and sometimes are very foreign to the people. The personnel of the Amotekun are indigenous to the state. They know their area, they speak the language of the people, they know the culture of the people and interact with them well. This makes security arrangement a little more easier for them.
Citing examples of factors will make Amotekun operations in Oyo State very effective, Farounbi said, All they need more is approval to carry weapons and be able to prosecute because sometimes they have been frustrated by the Police who has either refused to prosecute or sometimes have returned the accused back to Amotekun.
In his words, it is easier for Amotekun corps in Oyo State to rescue people who have been kidnapped by criminals ready to be used for rituals if those two areas are taken care of, nobody would clamour again for State police, they will be the best in terms of securing the people at the Local level.
Dr. Farounbi also said It would be fairly difficult for Amotekun in Oyo State to become an extortionist outfit because it’s the only agency owned by the people, they are known by the people, they have their background and relations with the people, and they are not likely to want to soil their own name or drag their family name on the mud.
“They can be informal without being regimented like other agencies, they are feared more by bandits and criminals. Amotekun is one of the best decisions made by the Government.
The former Nigerian Ambassador maintained that what ought to be done to assist Amotekun is to fund it adequately.
“For now, I know it is not adequately funded. I know Amotekun security outfit would love to have at least 15 to 25 persons per local Government area in oyo state but they need funds. When an agency is well funded and the welfare of the personnels is well taken care of, to compensate for the dangers they face from bandits, kidnappers etc, the tendency to extort would not be there”.
Amb Farounbi believed that part of the allocation that the federal government sits on for security should be returned to the state to fund an agency like this so that the state government can take care of their welfare.
He further stated that Members of the Amotekun corps are the ones who can enter the local forest, they are the ones who will face more opposition from kidnappers, bandits, herdsmen because of their deployment, therefore, they face a greater risk, if their welfare in terms of allowances, salaries, compensations are adequate, the fact that they are known locally will make it difficult for them to become extortionists.