By Ruth Omosayin
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday evening explained the delay in inaugurating the Western Nigeria Security Network (Operation Amotekun), saying the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC) already performs the security functions of Amotekun.
Lagos joined five other south-western states on January 9, 2020, to establish Amotekun in the wake of rising crimes in the region.
Mr Sanwo-Olu said in an interview on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics that although he appreciates other governiors of the region, but the LNSC already does the work Amotekun was set up to address.
“So it’s just a name change in the case of Lagos. I appreciate what my colleague governors are doing, and they also appreciate the peculiar nature of Lagos,” he said. “I have got over 7,000 neighbourhood watch personnel in Lagos, who are doing exactly the same thing that we have Amotekun doing.”
The LNSC is a uniformed security agency established by a law of the Lagos State House of Assembly in 2016 to assist the police and other security agencies in maintaining law and order in the state. Its officers operate in the 57 LGA and LCDA in Lagos.
According to the Lagos government, the LNSC officers are locals from the various LGA and LCDA where they operate, a deliberate policy to use their local knowledge to achieve “maximum grass root” intelligence gathering and community policing.
“They are there at the border post giving us daily monitoring in their localities and feeding it back to the central. They are the ones feeding us with information. But they cannot carry arms and prosecute people,” Sanwo-Olu added.
The governor explained that apart from community policing the LNSC also engages in border patrol.