Brigadier General Bashiru Biodun Adewinbi (rtd.) is the Corps Commander of Amotekun, a codename for the Western Nigeria Security Network, in Osun State.
In this interview with DAILY POST’s Francis Ezediuno, Adewinbi spoke on the impartiality of Amotekun, possibility of a transformation into state police and the perception of Osun being one of the safest states in the country.
Clear the air on the difference between Amotekun Corps Commander and Field Commander because some people are confused about the two designations?
There should be no confusion about the designations. There is a hierarchy in the Amotekun Corps.
The Field Commander is responsible to the Corps Commander. The Corps Commander is the overall commander of the Amotekun operations. He is in the field. He is like my Second-In-Command. He coordinates all operational activities of Amotekun in the field. So there should be no confusion about it.
We work together. We relate together. He reports to me. He carries me along and we are working harmoniously. There is no confusion about it.
What are the differences between Amotekun Corps and the Police Special Constabulary that just passed out recently?
Amotekun Corps was established by the State House of Assembly. There is a law backing its activities and we are to work in synergy with the existing security agencies particularly the Police and I believe the Police Special Constabulary too was established to enhance and enforce community policing in Osun. This is why Osun is a different case scenario because of its relative calmness.
You hardly hear of any criminal activity that is not properly managed and this is part of the effort of the state governor who is conscious of the importance of security of lives and property because without this, there can be no sustainable economic development and that is the bedrock of everything and the governor does not joke with it.
Don’t you see a possibility of clash of responsibilities with the Police Special Constabulary with time?
I don’t foresee any clash of responsibilities because we are working towards the same objectives and the objective is to provide adequate security for the lives and property of the citizens of Osun State and the same state governor, who is our principal is our overall commander.
He coordinates all activities and definitely, we are responsible to him.
Is Osun still peaceful after noticeable pockets of violence especially that of hoodlums, herdsmen, kidnappers and especially ‘Omo Onile’. The cries from the people have been louder of recent but it is as though the state government is not doing anything about it?
As I am talking to you now, there was a case of ‘Omo Onile’ in Okinni area of Egbedore local government. We were duly informed and immediately the Field Commander moved in our men. They ran away and we were able to seize their motorcycles and deposited it with the DPO of Okinni. As it is, we are still conducting a manhunt for them.
I want to say it loud that once we are duly informed, they can never exist.
Issues confronting Amotekun Corps in Osun?
As of today, we don’t have any issues relating to our operations within the state. Everything is adequately provided for by the state government.
There is no system or organisation that does not have any challenge but as of today, there is no challenge that we have not been able to surmount.
To continue safeguarding lives and property of citizens in the state, what is the next plan of the Corps?
It is what we have been doing. We have taken part in many internal security operations in conjunction with the Nigerian Police.
We have taken part in the resolution of communal clashes, recovery of kidnapped persons. We were also active during the COVID-19 lockdown.
After recruitment and training, our operations and security will be reinforced in our deployments.
We plan to deploy to all the local governments within the state and intelligence gathering will be enhanced and we are going to be proactive in nipping crimes in the bud.
Do you believe in state police or is there a possibility of Amotekun Corps transforming at a later stage into state police?
To every drastic problem, there must be a drastic solution. As at today, in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, the state of security is becoming worrisome. There is need for all the stakeholders particularly in the six geo-political zones to device a security architecture that will make sure that lives and property are protected in all the geo-political zones. And I believe that is one of the reasons why Amotekun Corps came on board, to enhance and provide adequate security for all in the western region.
Some people are against state police based on the fear that the state governors will hijack it for their own selfish aims. Will Amotekun Corps be biased in its operations?
There is no way Amotekun Corps can be biased. Amotekun Corps was established to take care of everybody irrespective of political inclination, to protect lives and property, to ensure there is adequate security for everybody.
I don’t foresee Amotekun playing partisan politics when it comes to the issue of politics. Security is to secure lives and property and not to secure any political party. It was established to secure all in the state.