Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, has ordered massive recruitment into the state chapter of the Western Nigeria Security Network, Amotekun.
Adetunji Adeleye, commander of the corps in the state, confirmed this in an interview with journalists on Friday.
“The governor has ordered massive recruitment to the corps. The recruitment is free. You can download the form on our website,” Adeleye said.
Donald Ojogo, commissioner for information, also confirmed reports of the recruitment.
“We have not repudiated the story,” he said.
On Monday, Akeredolu had ordered herders to vacate the forest reserves over rising insecurity in the state
He had said “bad elements” have turned the forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating ransom and carrying out other criminal activities.
The governor’s directive had sparked different reactions, with Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, saying the governor could not unilaterally oust thousands of herders “who have lived all their lives in the state”.
But Afenifere, Yoruba sociopolitical group, said Shehu’s response showed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government prioritise Fulani interests above those of other ethnic groups.
The Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) had asked herders to disregard the governor’s directive.