Home News Sanwo-Olu, Oyetola, Abiodun Explain Absence At Operation Amotekun Launch

Sanwo-Olu, Oyetola, Abiodun Explain Absence At Operation Amotekun Launch

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Three out of the six southwest governors were not present at the launch of Western Nigeria Security Network otherwise known as Operation Amotekun.

They were Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State and their Osun State counterpart, Gboyega Oyetola.

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However, Abiodun and Oyetola were represented by their deputies.  The Lagos State governor was not represented on the occasion.

Following serial killings and kidnapping by the Fulani herdsmen last year, the South-West governors, at a summit convened by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria in June, agreed to set up Operation Amotekun.

When The PUNCH contacted the governors on Thursday evening, they gave reasons for their absence from the launch.

Local politics prevented me from attending  Amotekun launch – Abiodun

When asked why Abiodun was not at the event,   his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, said, “Every politics is local.” He said the governor was inaugurating the state elders’ council in Abeokuta.

Somorin, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Thursday evening, said the governor asked his deputy,  Noimot Salako-Oyedele,  to represent him at the launch so as to attend the state elders’ consultative forum,  which he considered as local politics.

The inauguration was held at the Obas complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta on Thursday.

When asked why the governor was absent from  the launch, Somorin said, “He (governor) held another programme; Elder consultative forum.”

When asked if the inauguration of the consultative forum was more important to the governor than Amotekun, he said, “What I know is that deputy governor can represent the governor anywhere.  It is not about rating one higher than the other. Every politics is local now.”

Bad weather prevented me from attending Ibadan event – Sanwo-Olu

But the Chief Press Secretary to  Sanwo-Olu confirmed that the absence of the governor from the launch of Operation Amotekun was caused by the bad weather.

Akosile, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said, “Governor Sanwo-Olu was billed to attend the launch. He has always cooperated with other South-West governors and has always attended every of the meetings on this initiative.  As of Monday, the manifest that came out specifically stated that the governor would attend the launch of Operation Amotekun on Thursday.

“The helicopters operators called to inform us they will not be able to fly to Ibadan because of bad weather. At the time we got the information there was no way we would meet up with the programme by road transport.”

Oyetola attended to matters that were as important as Amotekun – Aide

The Chief Press Secretary to the Osun State Governor,  Ismail Omipidan, said the governor  was attending to state matters that were as important as Amotekun. He, however, said the state government  was officially represented at the event.

Omipidan said since the regional security meeting started, Oyetola did not miss any of the meetings.

Omipidan added that Oyetola sent a delegation that included the Deputy Governor, Benedict Alabi; the Deputy Chief of Staff, Abdullahi Binuyo; the Commissioner for Special Duties and Regional Integration, Lekan Badmus.

Although Omipidan did not mention a specific event that prevented Oyetola from attending the launch personally, one of our correspondents learnt that the governor received his predecessor and Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, in his office on Thursday.

Omipidan said, “As a government, Osun State attended the launch of Amotekun in Ibadan today. Since the South-West security meeting started, Governor Oyetola has never missed a day.

“He has always attended in person. On two occasions, it was only himself and the host governor that were physically present. Others sent representatives. But today, he needed to attend to other state matters that were as important as the security issue you mentioned.”

Besides Akeredolu, others at the event included the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, as well as members of the Oodua Progressive Congress, local hunters, vigilance group and the Agbekoya from the South-West.

The Are Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams, was represented by Akogun Kayode Balogun.

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