OYO State Security Network code-named ‘Amotekun Corps’ said on Tuesday that it was in possession of eight sacks of amulets, charms and other weapons seized from bandits and kidnappers.
It said the criminals used forests as a cover to attack farms.
The corps said it had rid the forests of bandits and kidnappers because of the support of hunters.
The Chairman of ‘Amotekun’ in the state, General Kunle Togun (rtd), while praising the hunters under the aegis of Hunters Association of Nigeria, for making operations in the forests easy and successful, noted that the collaboration had helped operatives of the corps to disarm foreign bandits in the forests, who he said were usually found with guns, poisoned arrows, poisoned cutlass, knives and amulets.
He said: “We have arrested these bandits and disarmed them through the support we got from the Oyo State chapter of the Hunters Association of Nigeria.
“The hunters know the terrain and have spiritual power to disarm these foreign bandits. That was why we sought their collaboration.
“As I am speaking with you, we have seized about eight sacks filled with poisoned cutlasses, arrows, daggers and amulets from the bandits.
“We will not relent in flushing out these criminals. If they cannot peacefully contribute to the development of Nigeria’s economy, they have the liberty to relocate to their countries or any other country that allows their recklessness.”
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on Tuesday dismissed criticisms trailing few instances of human errors in the operations of the Southwest-based ‘Amotekun Corps’.
The group, which argued that the few errors were mere teething institutional problems that would be resolved with better strategic fine-tuning of training and improvement of manpower capacities, canvassed support for the security outfit.
It said it is better to have a home-grown institutional mechanism to protect lives and property than to permit the hitherto uncontrollable rampage and killing of citizens in the Southwest “by the rampaging bunch of determined armed herdsmen, whose origin is mired in politics and deceit.”
The group said the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had said his office could not prosecute armed herdsmen because, according to him, there is no case file against them.
In a statement by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said those at the forefront of irrational criticisms of ‘Amotekun’ because of the few but avoidable human errors, are suffering from ‘intentionally deceitful amnesia’ because if they think deeply how the Southwest came under incessant massive attacks and violence by suspected herdsmen, they would have seen that the errors were the less of the two evils.
The group backed the order by Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) on armed herdsmen to quit Southwest forests.