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Amotekun must not become another SARS – Soyinka 

Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, restated on Saturday that the Western Nigeria Security Network code-named Amotekun

Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, restated on Saturday that the Western Nigeria Security Network code-named Amotekun has come to stay.
He, however, warned that the security outfit must not become another Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the recently disbanded police unit ‘notorious for extrajudicial killings’.
Daily Trust reports that the security outfit has come under criticism in recent times over alleged high-handedness and extrajudicial killings.
The outfit was particularly accused of killing two people in Ibadan, Oyo State including a student of the University of Ibadan.
But Soyinka stated that ethical training must be prioritized for the Amotekun operatives so that they don’t become another SARS.
The Nobel Laureate stated this during an interview session on Arise Television in Lagos.
He however described the advent of Amotekun as a community policing initiative in response to the seeming breakdown of the national security architecture.
He said other states where the Amotekun corps has not taken off should quickly put machineries in place to commence the initiative.
Our correspondent reports that Amotekun is yet to commence operation in Lagos and Ogun states, while it has commenced operation in other South-West states.
“Community policing like Amotekun is a recognition of the fact that the civic part of the entire national polity has got to wake up in not just its own defense but survival,” he stated.
He reiterated that training is key in experimenting with Amotekun, saying, “As you are training them to defend us, we are also training their minds so that Amotekun does not become another SARS, very important. We must do everything together.
“It is about time the public examined itself; what are we made up of?
“Are there those among us who, if they got into power, will behave exactly as those kinds of agencies which we are repudiating and against which we are protesting,” he queried.
Soyinka also stated that “there is absolutely no excuse for the brutality that occurred in the wake of the noise, rumour, reality of people being shot at the Lekki tollgate.”
He expressed concern over the turn of events after the #EndSARS protest.
He said, “This is what makes our own responsibilities for ourselves as citizens even more difficult because when drama like that happens we go to the very heart of our existence as human beings to see our children have been swept up not for the first time and we cannot have a clear sequence of events articulated by the security agencies, by the government so that we can even take on our own against such events happening in the nation.”

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