Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The law to give a legal backing to the South-west security outfit, Amotekun, will be ready on February 14 in all the six states in the geopolitical zone, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said.
He spoke yesterday in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, while receiving the draft bill for the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) from the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wale Fapohunda.
The Attorneys-General (AGs) from the six states in the region were saddled with the responsibility of preparing independent draft bills that will be passed and signed into laws to legalise Amotekun, whose formation by the governors in the geopolitical zone had stirred up a controversy.
Fayemi, while receiving the draft bill, thanked the AG for the accelerated work done, saying this would guide the states properly on how best to go about the security outfit
He said: “You were all aware and know that it was one of the highlights of our meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami and South-west governors when we met to iron out the opinions and steps taken by the governors that appropriate legal frameworks must be put in place.
“The main purpose of government is to guarantee the security of lives and property of every resident and non-indigenes of a state, as long as they are law-abiding and operate within the ambit of the law.”
Fayemi regretted how the intention behind Amotekun was being misinterpreted in some quarters, dispelling the insinuation that it was meant to carry out certain invidious acts.
“A lot of people misconstrued what Amotekun initiative is all about. It is not an exclusive protection for the indigenes alone, but for the safety and security of every citizen and resident in the six states regardless of where they may have come from and as long as they are legally resident and respect the law of the land.
“It is within the jurisdiction of our responsibility to ensure safety of lives and property,” he added.
The governor stated that the draft bill would not guarantee exclusive safety for only Yorubas as it was designed to make the highways in the region free of criminalities and brigandage.
Fayemi added that the security network will also complement the community policing initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Amotekun is a complementary effort to the community policing initiative of President Buhari. I want to assure you that it will be given accelerated discussion at our various state executive councils and expeditious passage at the state Houses of Assembly.
“To let you know how serious we are, some states had quickly recalled their lawmakers back from recess so that they can sit and debate the bill.
“By Friday, February 14, the bills would have been signed into laws simultaneously across the six states in the region,” Fayemi stated.
Contained in the draft bill for Ekiti State, according to the AG, is a proposal for the establishment of Ekiti State Security Network called Amotekun Corps.
“The corps is to assist in maintaining law and order in Ekiti State. In the past two weeks, the AGs from the six states had been working on how to provide enabling legal frameworks for our joint security network.
“After the draft bills were produced, we said we will present the draft to our governors for discussion at the state executive councils and the Houses of Assembly for passage into law.
“The guidelines for the security agency proposed 38 provisions. It involved establishment of the Ekiti State security agency called Amotekun Corps. It also contained establishment of governing board for the Ekiti State Amotekun Corps.
“It also makes proposal for the establishment of the independent Amotekun complaints board for the people to report cases of abuses of power and corruption.
“We will put it on the website by 5p.m. today for interested members of the public to comment on it,” he stated.