The bill legalising the operation and spelling out the modalities of Operation Amotekun, a security outfit established by governors of the six South-West states, may be passed into law by the state houses of Assembly on Friday.
This hint was provided by Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, while receiving the Ekiti State Amotekun Bill from Wale Fapohunda, the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Monday.
Governor Fayemi explained that the speakers of the Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti state houses of assembly are ready to receive and deliberate on the bill. He urged the state parliaments to expedite action and pass the bill quickly in order for the governors to give their assent.
He said: “My colleagues and I were still in discussion yesterday (Sunday) and we have promised ourselves that this will be given accelerated discussion in our various state executive councils this week and we will also send it expeditiously to our various houses of assembly this week.
“We are discussing with our speakers who have been waiting for this. Some of them are even recalling their members from recess in order to give this an accelerated passage in the various legislatures so that latest by Friday, February 14, the bill that hopefully would have been passed into law would be assented to simultaneously in the six states of the South-West.
“I hope that members of the Ekiti State Executive Council will give it expeditious treatment and we will be able to ensure that a team of the Commissioner for Regional Development, Ayodele Jinadu; and the Special Adviser on Security, Brig. Gen. Ebenezar Ogundana (retd), can immediately start the implementation phase of the Amotekun Corps.”
Governor Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, also used the occasion to dispell the notion of some that Amotekun is an ethnic militia outfit only to protect the Yorubas.
According to him, the security outfit was established to provide security for all residents living in the South-West states, adding it is an extension of the community policing initiative of the Federal Government.
He said: “A lot of people out there have completely misconstrued what Amotekun is all about. The Amotekun initiative put together by the governors of the South-West is not about exclusive protection for the indigenes of the South-West.
“It is about the safety and security of every person resident in the six states of the South-West, regardless of where they may have come from as long as they are legitimately living and resident in any part of the six states. We consider it our duty and responsibility to protect them as long as they are within our jurisdiction of responsibilities. Even though I have not read the bill, I am sure this is what this bill is about.
“The bill is not likely to propose exclusive protection for Yoruba people living in the six states; it is going to talk about ensuring that our highways and bushes are free from banditry, armed robbery, of kidnapping, of all forms of brigandage and criminalities in our states.
“To that extent, it is a logical extension of the community policing initiative that the President, (Major General) Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has assented to which the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has already communicated to the various formations of the police force across Nigeria.”