Governors of the six southwest states of Nigeria this Thursday launched a new security outfit known as Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) .The states namely Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos have code-named the security outfit as AMOTEKUN – which is the Yoruba word for leopard.

The launch which took place in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital drew many dignitaries including most of the governors. Those who attended included Ondo State Governor, Olurotimi Akeredolu who is the Chairman, Western Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Deputy Governor of Ogun, Noimat Salako-Oyedele, Deputy Governor of Osun, Benedict Gboyega Alabi,the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Otunba Deji Osinbogun and Professor Banjo Akintoye.

Amotekun was conceived to be an outfit that would assist the more formal security outfits which are the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army in tackling deadly crimes like armed banditry, herdsmen attacks and armed robbery. The outfit was endorsed by the Federal Government and it has the blessing of the Inspector General of Police.

However, Amotekun members are not, for now, permitted to bear arms. Their role is expected to be limited to intelligence and information gathering.

Each of the Southwest states contributed 20 operational vehicles to the outfit for a start. Amotekun is headquartered in Ibadan, the erstwhile capital of the defunct Western Region and it has its operational base at Gbongan in Osun State.