THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police authorities have insisted that the South-West Security Network, also known as Amotekun, will not be permitted to monitor the Osun State governorship election.
This clarification came in response to complaints that the Osun State government is planning to intimidate agents of opposition parties during Saturday’s election.
The INEC deputy director of Election and Party Monitoring, Shehu Ahmed Mohammed, told The ICIR that the Commission did not include Amotekun in the list of security agencies that will monitor the election.
“INEC will not use Amotekun in the election monitoring. Where you see them, please challenge them. They must not be seen around polling units.”
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Osun State Police Command, Opalola Yemisi, also confirmed that Amotekun is not part of the monitoring team approved for the elections.
Earlier, a civil society organisation, YIAGA Africa had warned against the engagement of the personnel of the Amotekun in the Osun governorship election.
“Amotekun will have no role since it is not a member of the Inter-Agency Committee on Election Security. It is necessary for the Nigerian Police as the lead agency in election security to ensure the Amotekun are not recruited or engaged in any aspect of the election,” YIAGA stated in its pre-election observation report.
Osun Amotekun Commander insist on monitoring election
Meanwhile, the Amotekun Commander in Osun State, Shittu Amitolu, in a phone interview with The ICIR said the local security outfit is planning to deploy 650 personnel for the election.
“We are yet to make any deployment. But we intend to deploy 650 personnel,” he said.
When asked if Amotekun plans to defy the INEC and police directive, Amitolu said: “This is our state, the law that established us is the law of Nigeria. We did not create ourself.”
He said whoever declared Amotekun unqualified to monitor the election must be living in the reality of yesteryears.