Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Sunday said the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), codenamed Operation Amotekun has nothing to do with ethnicity, neither is it targeted at any non-Yoruba ethnic group.
Launch of Amotekun by governors of the states in the Southwest has generated so much debate, with certain individuals and groups in the North kicking against it.
The Federal Government, through the Attorney General of the Federation also declared the security outfit an illegality, adding that his office was not consulted by the governors before embarking on the formation and launch.
A former Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa however took criticism to a new level when he said that the launch of Amotekun was only a plot by the Southwest to declare Oduduwa Republic eventually.
But Akeredolu, who doubles as the Chairman of the Southwest Governors Forum, in a statement by his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, however called on critics of Amotekun not to give the discourse on the security initiative any ethnic colouration.
According to him, the security outfit was to complement the efforts of the conventional internal security agencies, warning people against making divisive statements or utterances that were capable of compromising the genuine intentions of the South-West governors.
He said: “Amotekun, when fully operational, will serve the purposes of local information and intelligence gathering for processing and usage by the conventional security agencies. Amotekun is therefore, merely supportive and not a replacement for the nation’s security agencies.
“The concerns expressed by individuals, agencies of government and several stakeholders are noted without bias. Where possible, the inexorable efforts of the South-West governors will be deepened through relentless
“As such interface and engagements continue. It is pertinent to say that the ongoing discourse on the issue of Amotekun must not be misguidedly used as a platform to ventilate personal or group views aimed at oiling primordial sentiments and grievances. Ethnicising the current situation is even more unhelpful. There should be no reason for such.
“This is more so that the Amotekun scheme is not targeted at any non-South West ethnic group just as its benefits are to be reaped by all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic or religious placements.”
Vowing the governors of the zone would not succumb to blackmail, Akeredolu said they are ready “to pursue the Amotekun security scheme through all permissible political and legal means.”