By Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
Retired Bishop James Akinola on Saturday advised the Southwest governors to stay focus in their resolve to use ‘Operation Amotekun’ stem the tide of banditry, robbery and other violent crimes in the region. Akinola urged the Governors to see to it that ‘Operation Amotekun’ does not only come to stay in Yorubaland, but also succeeds in keeping the region and her people safe from criminals. The retired Bishop of Igbomina, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), charged them to neither cave in to the antagonists of the regional security outfit nor be discouraged by the position of the Attorney – General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who declared it illegal.
He said “Operation Amotekun has come to stay” and give hope to the people of Southwest regarding their safety. The cleric, who gave the advice in Odogbolu, Ogun State, at the 10th Anniversary of the Ijebu South / west diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) at the Cathedral of Saint Paul, Odogbolu, noted that the declaration of the outfit as illegal and unconstitutional by Malami was inadequate reason for anybody to ever contemplate of shutting it down. He maintianed that ‘Operation Amotekun’ remained the best solution to security challenges in the southwest, urging the governors to be unwavering in their determination to fulfill the constitutional obligation of securing lives and properties of the citizens.
He said if the regional security outfit was not accommodated in the nation’s constitution as argued by the AGF, the constitution should be amended to provide for such outfits to operate in collaboration with other conventional security agencies to combat crimes. He, however, called on the people in the southwest to support Operation Amotekun, insisting it remained the best thing to have happened to the region in recent time. Speaking on the service with the theme ‘Thanksgiving and Appreciation to God’, Akinola underscored the essence of giving thanks to God irrespective of one’s condition.
While felicitating with the diocese on its 10th anniversary, the cleric charged members of the diocese to always support the bishop in charge in his bid to take it to the enviable height. In his remark at the service, the Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Babatunde Ogunbanwo, noted that the diocese had grown and engaged massively in the propagation of the words of God in the last ten years. He added that the Thanksgiving Service had become imperative in order to celebrate God’s mercy and the successes recorded by the Ijebu South/West Diocese since its creation in 2010.