Commander General of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN), Mr Usman Jahun, has said that “Operation Amotekun” requires the backing of the federal government to operate legally.
Jahun said this in an interview in Abuja.
The vigilante commander said although, the setting up of the security outfit was good and for the protection of the South west territory, it still needs the backing of the government to be legalized.
He said security is a government affair and when people say government, they are talking of federal, state or local governments.
“Amotekun as it is called in the South west, is a combination of all informal security agencies coming together with the aid and support of the formal security agencies to fight crime to protect the South west region.
“The problem is, what is the legal backing of Amotekun, if the state has rights to legislate and have something like the vigilante, the Hisbah or any other informal groups, the south west as a group doesn’t have that legal backing. It is either the state or the local governments or the federal government.
“Those are the three stages of government that has power to legislate on issues that have to do with security.
“The legal standing of Amotekun is the question. They may have good intention to protect their territory and people against crimes happening in the country. But the issues is what is the legal backing on Amotekun.
On community policing, Jahun said the government should equip and train existing vigilante groups rather than create community policing outfits.
He stated that the activities of existing vigilante groups currently supports and complement the formal security agencies.
“The community policing is just like the vigilante group. We are everywhere and amongst us are farmers, teachers, doctors, lawyers and journalists.
“If you have this combination, you have already formed community policing structure,” he said.