Residents of Gbongan in Aiyedaade Local Government Area, Osun State, can hardly wait for the much talked about Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) codenamed Operation Amotekun, to take off, as they eagerly await the roll off date.
This is even as the structure which will house the operational headquarters of the outfit is being put in place and equipped for the initiative to fully take off.
Sunday Telegraph checks in Ibadan, headquarters of the initiative and Gbongan, the operational base, revealed that they may have to wait a little more as there are a number of things to be put in place before a proper roll off.
Apart from the structure, the training of personnel, the newspaper gathered it would also take some time.
Investigations into the operational headquarters Thursday revealed that, skeletal work was going on to make the place functional.
Meanwhile, sources close to the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola said that, in no distance time, formidable structures would be erected at the operational headquarters of the security outfit as every necessary arrangement to wrestle against criminal acts in the zone has been adequately put in place.
Apart from this, the sources said that, technocrats and security professional experts have a key role to play in sanitizing the region and make it a crime free one.
When contacted, the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola, through his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan declined comments on the operation of the security outfit but simply said: “Amotekun will start its operations any moment from now.”
A resident of Gbongan, who spoke with one of our reporters, said: “We have been expecting them to start putting the structures on ground as we will do all we can to assist in the smooth running of their operations.”
The resident, who identified himself as Mr. Adebayo Ayobami, added: “The fear of Amotekun in the region is the beginning of wisdom and that is why we want its operations to commence with immediate effect.”
However, in Ibadan, it was learnt that the training of some of the personnel, which would take nothing less than two weeks, is yet to take off.
President, Yoruba Consciousness and Culture (Alajobi), Evangelist Kunle Adesokan in an interview with Sunday Telegraph said that almost all the initiative needs for an effect operation are in place.
“Recruitment is already ongoing in the South Western states, the blue print, pattern of training, anchors for each state, are already in place, even though training is yet to commence,” Adesokan, who represented the Leader of Yoruba Congress Worldwide, Professor Bamji Akintoye at the rally organised in Ibadan to sensitise the public about the operations of Amotekun, added.
He expressed the fear that the Yoruba outfit had not got total confidence in the Federal Government; reason it would not want to unveil all its arsenals for now.
“We are going for a meeting today where we will be furnished with update on the meeting of our Governors with Mr. President (Muhammadu Buhari). We don’t have total confidence in the Federal Government yet. Politicians can easily chicken out if the Federal Government decides to starve them of funds. But if the politicians say no to the effective take-off of Amotekun, we the populace will say yes.
“Regarding the training of personnel, I will say that good training cannot be less than two weeks. The training is going to be for the leadership, the operatives, and even for those that will engage in intelligence gathering. We cannot be talking of commencement of operation by now.
“Our Houses of Assembly are currently working to ensure superb legal frame work for the Amotekun outfit. Our Speakers of Houses of Assembly are also having meetings to ensure strong and effective legislative backing is given Amotekun.
“All in all, we look forward to the position and resolution of our governors to ascertain when operation will certainly kick off. But our personnel that are being recruited through recommendation from ward level are already on standby,” Adesokan said.
A coordinator, who spoke with the newspaper on condition of anonymity, spoke about the issue of payment of salary to the Amotekun personnel when they commence operation.
He said: “Our personnel are requesting to be paid N30, 000 as salary as against the N13, 500 being proposed, but the fact remains that our governors cannot pay the Amotekun operatives N30, 000,” the source said.