Members of the South-West caucus in the Senate said they were not carried along by governors in the geopolitical zone before, during and after the inauguration of the zone’s security outfit, Operation Amotekun.
The senators also expressed concerns over the alleged shoddy handling of the project by the state chief executives. They wondered why they were not consulted for their input before the governors decided to launch the initiative. The Deputy Leader of the Senate, who is also the Chairman of the South-West caucus in the red chamber, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, told our correspondent on Monday that his colleagues were not part of the Amotekun arrangement.
Boroffice said, “Personally, I read about it (Operation Amotekun) in the print media. “I am also not aware that the South-West caucus of the Senate was briefed officially. I am the Chairman, Senate South-West Caucus.”
Boroffice said the South – West caucus in the National Assembly planned to carry all stakeholders along in the proposed South-West Development Commission bill, which, he said, had passed first reading in both chambers. When asked if the issue of a joint security outfit was part of the proposals in the bill, Boroffice said details of the proposed legislation were still being fine-tuned.
“We had yet to fully discuss the details of the South-West Development Commission. We actually wanted to carry everybody along,” he said.
Another senator from the zone, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the governors should immediately return to the drawing board and do the right thing about the project. He said, “We are all stakeholders in the South-West. The governors should not have done such a thing without carrying us along.
“The governors should be blamed if the project fails because critical stakeholders who should be part of the initiative from the formation stage were ignored. “When we resume plenary, our colleagues from other zones would be asking us about Amotekun but we don’t know what to tell them because we were not briefed.”
A former Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Abiodun Olujimi, had in an interview with our correspondent last week, urged her South-West colleagues in the nation’s parliament to support Amotekun. Olujimi, who is representing Ekiti South, called on her colleagues to forget about political party differences by rallying round the governors from the zone, to ensure the success of the security outfit.
The senator had described the initiative as the best thing that could happen to the South-West geopolitical zone, which she noted had been under constant attacks of killer herdsmen in the last few years.