Posted by News Express | 16 March 2020 | 410 times
By ARIWODOLA IDOWU
Ado Ekiti, March 16, 2020 (NAN) Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti has signed the Ekiti State Security Network Agency Bill, otherwise known as “Amotekun Corps” into Law.
Signing the bill into law in Ado-Ekiti on Monday, the governor warned criminals to turn a new leaf, or relocate to alternative places, as it will henceforth not be business as usual for them.
According to him, Amotekun will help the police to gather intelligence and information, while police would arrest and prosecute the criminals.
He said it would particularly tackle illegal mining, land trespass, cattle rustling, destruction of crops, trespass into farmlands, cultism, highway robbery, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by traditional rulers, members of Vigilance Group of Nigeria, hunters and Oodua Peoples Congress.
He warned criminals to steer clear of Ekiti, because, “Amotekun Corps will get you wherever you are hiding to perpetrate crimes.”
He added that the assent had given the needed legal backing to the operation of Amotekun in Ekiti.
The governor explained that the resilience of Ekiti people and the entire Yoruba race brought about the idea of elevating the Amotekun security outfit to full fledged security operation.
He described the scenario leading to the conceptualization of Amotekun corps as novel since the advent of democracy in 1999.
He said: “We are sure that we are going to make success of this. Tell criminals to stay away from Ekiti, because Amotekun will get them wherever they hide,” he said.
“Since the advent of democracy in 1999, this is the first time Yoruba people will speak with one voice without political or religious considerations.
“As a responsible and responsive government, it is our belief that security is significant and we won’t toy with security of lives and property of our people.
“The current challenges of proliferation of small arms, ritual killings, banditry, youth restiveness, cattle rustling, insurgency and terrorism are too daunting, such that we can not afford to look the other way.
“In tackling some of these menaces, which surfaced in the South-West region, the governors in the zone officially launched the Western Nigeria Security Network in Ibadan on Jan 9, 2020 and the bill that will form the legal framework was passed by the State Houses of Assembly.
“It must, however, be noted that Amotekun is not a substitute to the existing security networks, but a complement to it.
“It is not for Ekiti people alone, but for everybody. As long as you are resident in Ekiti and law abiding, you enjoy the right to be protected, so it is not for the indigenes alone.
“Crime fighting is a collective responsibility, those perpetrating crimes are living among us and let us be vigilant and help the Amotekun Corps fish out criminals in our midst,” he said.
Fayemi promised that the handlers of Amotekun would be thorough with the issues of recruitment, training and deployment of the operatives for efficiency and effectiveness of the network.
“All the operatives will work in areas where they understand better,” he said.
He charged traditional rulers in the state to cooperate with the security network so as to be able to effectively rid the state of criminals at the grassroots level.
In his address, the Speaker, Ekiti House of Assembly, Mr Funminiyi Afuye, said the homogeneity of Yoruba race, in terms of politics, culture and history, made the Amotekun gain relevance in the South-West region.
“It is clear that the police are overwhelmed, over stretched and overburdened. This is where the concept behind Amotekun stemmed from. I want to also douse the tension and clarify that it won’t compete with police, but will complement it,” he said.
Also speaking, the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti and Chairman, Ekiti Council of traditional rulers, Oba Adebanji Alabi, described the signing of the bill as epochal and worthy of celebration.
“You could all remember the events leading to kidnapping, banditry, destruction of crops in the South-West. It was like the region was under siege,” he said. (NAN)
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