Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has explained why he was absent at the launch of “Operation Amotekun” in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital last Friday.
Operation Amotekun is a joint security outfit set up by the SouthWestern States of Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos.
Abiodun explained that, contrary to reports making the round that he shunned the launch because he and some of his colleagues were no longer in support of the Operation, said he could attend the ceremony because of other engagements.
He added that Ogun State is fully in support of the security operation.
The Governor who spoke in an interview with journalists at the Annual Thanksgiving Service, organised by former Governor Gbenga Daniel in Sagamu, his hometown, described the report as not only incorrect but also total falsehood.
The launch of Operation Amotekun was attended by Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo State), Seyi Makinde (Oyo State), while Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos State), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun State) and Gboyega Oyetola (Osun State) were absent.
Abiodun was represented by his Deputy, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele.
The Governor said, “Amotekun was conceived to be a joint patrol initiative of all the six South West States. That initiative was mooted and the idea was, each state would contribute law enforcement agencies to the Amotekun, meaning Ogun will contribute, Lagos will contribute and this was meant to be controlled and operated by the Nigeria police.
“It was going to be a joint effort — Nigerian Police, Civil Defence, hunters, vigilantes, those ones actually have access to a lot of intelligence that the police may not have.
“So, we felt it was important for them to complement the efforts of the police. This initiative came up when we had the South West security meeting, the IG was in attendance. All of us subscribed to it.
“Now, we decided that we are going to launch it. We donated 20 vehicles each to that initiative. On that particular day, we have a previous date which we were committed to and when that date did not hold and a new date was communicated to us, I already had other plans but I sent my deputy.
“My Deputy did not only attend, she drove one of the vehicles. So, this story going round that I shunned it, I didn’t attend is baseless. It’s not true,” Abiodun affirmed.