SUNDAY ODE,, Abuja.
The lingering dispute between the Federal Government and governors of the south west states over the regional security outfit, Amotekun, has been resolved as the two parties Thursday reached an agreement to develop a legal framework on its establishment.
The agreement was reached at a meeting convened by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja with the state Governors, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami in attendance.
Malami had earlier declared the initiative illegal and unconstitutional.
Governors at the meeting chaired Osinbajo included the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Ekiti state governors, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun state and his Ondo state counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, as well as deputy governors of Lagos, Oyo and Ogun states.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu was also in attendance.
After the meeting, Governor Akeredolu said the meeting agreed on the way forward and a legal framework would be established to back the initiative.
Joined by Malami, the Ondo Governor told State House Correspondents:: “Well, we had a very fruitful discussion. Governors of south west as you know we were all there.
“The meeting was presided over by the Vice President. The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation was there as well as the Inspector General of Police.
“So, we have robbed minds and all of us have agreed on the way forward.
“The most important one is that we are going to have legal framework to back this Amotekun. And this legal framework is going to be one which we all are going to look at and will be sure to go without any hindrance.”
Asked whether that meant the establishment of Amotekun has been put on hold until the legal framework is developed, he answered: “No. What I believe is our resolution is that Amotekan is there.
“You know the federal government is starting community policing. In essence really, is about community.
“So, we are going to work together to see the community policing and Amotekan work in a way.”
On the allegation of lack of consultation before its establishment, Akeredolu rejected the assertion saying: “No no no, there were consultations. Don’t say there were no consultations. There were consultations because, we held discussions with the IG then and what has developed is what has led to this, not that there were no consultations.
“We just felt that with all these noise outside, it is better for us to sit down.
“Remember that immediately the noise started, I said that we are going to explore political solution and all of us are here, my colleague the deputy governor of Oyo who is of the PDP, all of us are here.
“So, we have looked at this solution to it now, both political and legal solutions to it and all of us will do it.”
On the federal government’s attempt to stop the initiative, he said there was no such move.
“No, the government is not trying to stop it. The attorney general has spoken on that. I’m sure you have all read the statement that he was misinterpreted.
“So, it’s so clear, there was no time that government wanted to stop Amotekun and the AGF having spoken, it’s all about us. So, there is no problem,” he declared.
The Vice President’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, conformed that agreement reached, saying in a statement later: “Having regard to the need for all hands to be on deck in addressing the security concerns across the country, it was agreed that the structure of Amotekun should also align with the Community Policing strategy of the Federal Government.
“It was also agreed that necessary legal instruments will be put in place by each of the States to give legal backing to the initiative and address all issues concerning the regulation of the security structure.”
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