By Joshua ADÉTÚNJÍ
Established on the 9th of January, 2022, by executive governors of six different states, the Western Nigeria Security Network, popularly known as AMOTEKUN, was birthed to combat terrorism and other society vices.
Arguably, recruiting members for the outfit were from local hunters, the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Agbekoya, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the vigilante group.
According to its establishment, the activities of the security outfit revolve around assisting police, other security agencies and traditional rulers in combating terrorism, banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping and also helping in settling herdsmen and farmers’ contentions in the region.
Undoubtedly, the outfit has been up on her games, as their activities are being felt in all the nooks and crannies of the southwest. However, giving a fine sword to a fine man is what makes life beautiful.
The appearance and establishment of the Amotekun in The Polytechnic, Ibadan, has done nothing but drag the precious image of the institution into a national mess, security wise.
A visit to some institutions across the region, has shown that The Polytechnic, Ibadan, is the only institution caught up in this mess.
The Amotekun operatives in the institution taking up the duties and responsibilities of the local security outfit in the institution, popularly known as the Maintenance, have indirectly portrayed students of the institution as terrorists, kidnappers, bandits, and armed robbers, because those are the categories of people the Amotekun operatives were established and trained to look out for.
The students of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, and the institution herself, have suffered heavy blackmail from the outsiders and their contemporaries, comparing how coordinated and peaceful the students and the institution are, and the mess the Amotekun outfit has brought upon them.
In the quest of combating cultism (which is undoubtedly peculiar to other institutions across the world), the maintenance unit of the institution has been up and doing in its maintenance. However, since much is expected from whom much is given, much shouldn’t be expected from whom less is given.
The operatives of the Maintenance unit in the institution are unsung heroes, who never give up, even when they watch their onions being given away to someone else.
In terms of communication, operatives of the maintenance unit, over the years have successfully gained the trust and language of the students, and this has helped the unit in bringing ugly situations under control, within a twinkle of an eye, unlike the Amotekun operatives, who tend to develop issues with the students, considering the fact that they tend not to understand the language of the students, instead they appear to force the students to listen to theirs, which sometimes doesn’t end well.
Perhaps, if the institution could channel the energy being invested in the sustaining of the Amotekun, towards upgrading the maintenance unit in the institution, how best would the institution be, security wise?
Recruiting more personnel into the unit, facilitating training and seminars, provision of more sophisticated facilities and equipment, amongst others – these won’t only help the security unit of the institution, but would definitely redeem the image of the institution, in terms of security.
Amotekun is an effective security unit that is trying its best to keep up with the reason for its establishment. However, the presence of Amotekun in The Polytechnic, Ibadan, is bad PR for a good product; and bad PR gives nothing but a bad image to a good product.
The students of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, are not terrorists, nor bandits, nor kidnappers, they are good citizens of the country. The Polytechnic, Ibadan, as well, is not a den nor hideout for robbers, it is a peaceful and serene society for learning and acquisition of skills.