By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo
The Corps Commandant of the Osun Security Network, otherwise known as Amotekun, Brigadier-General Bashir Adewinmbi (rtd), on Friday, said the only way to win the war against insecurity in the country is for the people to be ready to volunteer information on criminals living in their communities.
Adewinmbi posited that security of life and property required collective effort of every individual, since criminals are not ghosts but members of various communities.
He made the suggestion while fielding questions from journalists during the ongoing screening of Amotekun corps, in Osogbo, Osun State capital.
The security expert who explained that the state will get rid of criminal elements only when residents cooperate with security agents by offering useful information that can lead to the arrest of these undesired people in their communities, said such security tips would be treated confidentially.
He further explained that the governor of the state, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, has shown that though the criminals may run, there is no hiding place for them in Osun State.
While commending Oyetola for his proactive approach towards security matters, Adewinmbi urged Osun residents to support their efforts at stamping all forms of crimes out of the state.
Speaking on what is responsible for the rising security challenges in the state, the Amotekun Corps Commandant said the recent security challenges was a spill over effect of insecurity situation in Nigeria.
He said: “I see the security challenges in the state as a spillover effect of insecurity situation in Nigeria. What is happening is not peculiar to Osun state. Osun is relatively peaceful, compared to most of the states in the country. Look at what is happening in Niger and Imo states where they are attacking security structures and personnel. And if that is happening, Nigeria is drifting to a state of anarchy which should not be allowed to happen.
“Most of these things happening are attributed to economic hardship, bad leadership, lack of interest to work on the part of the youths. Most of the youths are jobless and are doing things to aggravate security issues. We need to look into the way our youths are being brought up. We need to appeal to every family and society to look after the children, educate them properly and put them on the right path to know that there are things that should not be done.
“The issue of cultism has been on for a while, but it is escalating now. All these crimes taking place now have their roots from cultism. It is from cultism that the criminality graduates to bigger crimes. The bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, rapists, belong to one cult group or the other. The government is making efforts to crack down on all these through Amotekun. And I want to assure you that Osun will overcome the security challenge very soon,” he said
Speaking on the recruitment process into the Amotekun Corps, Adewinmbi said they were still on the process, adding that the screening started since last week Monday and will come to an end by 12 or 15 of this month.
“We are still on the recruitment process. We have started screening the applicants. Actually, 50 application forms were given to each of the 30 local governments in the state. We printed 2,000 forms and we distributed them to the local governments in the state; and people turned out to collect the forms,” he said.
“We have started screening since Monday and two local governments are being attended to per day. The screening will come to an end by 12 or 15 of May. After that, we will shortlist successful candidates and move to camp straightaway for training. The training will not be less than three weeks duration.
“The training entails all what the corps members need to carry out their job effectively; and that includes intelligence gathering, tactics, Civics and ethics, report writing, minor combat, communication drill and all other things required to carry out their job successfully after training. Weapon handling will also be included in the training.
“After the recruitment, the Amotekun corps members will be deployed to various local government areas to curb crimes and maintain peace. Amotekun will have zero tolerance for any act of criminality.
“We have a standard operational procedure we will teach our corps members: how to deal with civilians, how to conduct themselves, how to maintain Amotekun’s integrity because this is the first time we will have a formal recruitment. So, we want to lay a solid foundation for Amotekun and we will have zero tolerance for any act of criminality. We are achieving these with the support of the Police.”