The Chairman, South West Governors Forum, and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, denied claims that the establishment of South West Security Network (Operation Amotekun) is an attempt to secede the South-West from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Governor said that those who claim that Operation Amotekun was initiated to ensure that the South-West region secedes from Nigeria are enemies of the country, adding that such individuals will be disappointed when the new security outfit becomes operational.
Governor Akeredolu spoke at the weekend when he hosted editors at the Government House, Akure, as part of activities to mark his third year in office.
Akeredolu said the idea of OperatIon Amotekun was conceived by the Governors of the six states of South-West as a panacea to the problem of insecurity in the region.
“This country will remain one. The South-West will not secede from Nigeria. We will continue to live together regardless of our diversity,” he said.
“I, Rotimi Akeredolu, can never be a party to any arrangement that will lead to dividing this country. I am a Yorubaman and I married from the East. I am a detribalised Nigerian. My wife is am Igbo and I have benefitted from both Igbo and Hausa people. So, I am after the unity of Nigeria,” he stressed.
Speaking further on the controversial initiative, Governor Akeredolu said: “When we heard that the Federal Government declared Operation Amotekun illegal, I was shocked because we perfected all necessary arrangements before it was launched and the police were carried along.”
He declared that the new security outfit has come to stay and lauded all leaders of thought who pulled their weight behind the outfit.
On the achievements of his administration in the last three years, Governor Akeredolu said his achievements cut across all strata of the economy.
He highlighted the construction of a flyover worth billions of naira and an industrial park in Ore, adding that roads were also constructed in all the 18 Local Government Areas in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the editors, the Editor (Daily) of New Telegraph, Mr Ayodele Ojo, commended the six Governors of the South West for the Amotekun initiative and ensuring that it was formed despite pressure from the Federal Government.
He also lauded Akeredolu for the achievements recorded by his administration in the last three years.