Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, on Monday received the draft copy of the proposed bill for the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun in the state.
Receiving the draft from the state Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Wale Fapohunda, in his office in Ado-Ekiti, Dr Fayemi reiterated that the security network was designed to protect both the indigenes and residents in the six states of the South West.
The governor pledged commitment to facilitate the speedy discussion of the bill at the executive council meeting and its subsequent passage in the state House of Assembly.
Fayemi said the initiative was a logical extension of the community policing initiative recently assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari and which the Inspector General of Police had communicated to all the formations of the Nigeria Police Force across the country. He added that the bill would facilitate measures that would ensure “that our highways are free of banditry, of armed robbery, of kidnapping, of all forms of brigandage and criminality in our states.”
Fayemi said the six governors in the South West considered it a point of duty to guarantee the safety and security of those that legitimately and legally reside in the six states of the zone regardless of where they come from.
Hoping that the six governors in the South West would assent to the bill simultaneously on Friday, the governor, disclosed that all the governors in the region had agreed with the seakers in the Assemblies of the six states to expedite action on its passage and subsequent accent into law.
“The bill is not likely to propose an exclusive protection for Yoruba people living in the six state, it is going to talk about ensuring that our highways are free of banditry, of armed robbery, of kidnapping, of all forms of brigandage and criminality in our state and to that extent it is a logical extension of the community policing initiative that President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to, that the Inspector General of Police has communicated to all the formations of police force across Nigeria.
“My colleagues and I were still in discussion about this yesterday and we have promised ourselves that this will be given accelerated discussion in our various State Executive Councils this week and we also send it expeditiously to our various Houses of Assembly this week; our discussions with our speakers who had been really waiting for this, some of them had been recalling other honourable members from recess in order to give this an accelerated passage in their various legislature, so that by Friday the 14th of February, the bill that hopefully would have been passed into law would be accented to simultaneously in the six states of the Southwest.”
Earlier, Mr Fapohunda, revealed that the bill which was expected to be presented simultaneously by the six Commissioners for Justice to the various governors of the region, contained the operation guideline for the proposed security network agency.
Fapounda mentioned that the bill contained key provisions that spelt out the establishment of Ekiti State Security Network Agency including its functions and objectives, the establishment and composition of the governing board of the agency and the establishment of Ekiti State Amotekun Corps including power and criteria for enlistment into the corps.
Other provisions of the bill which according to him would be made public on the website of the Ministry of Justice by 5pm on Monday included the establishment of an independent Amotekun complaint board to address possible cases of abuse of power including violation of right and corruption. There was also provision for the funding of the corps to ensure sustainability.