Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi on Monday signed the bill for the establishment of the state Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps into law.
The House of Assembly on February 14 passed the bill and forwarded it to the governor for his assent after exhaustive points-by-points and clause-by-clause scrutinization of the bill.
The security outfit was initiated by the six South-West governors to tackle the prevailing security challenges facing the region.
Presenting the bill to the governor at the event held at the popular Jibowu Hall inside the Government House, Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye, said the House had fulfilled its fundamental responsibility of making people-oriented laws that would guarantee adequuate protection of lives and property of the people of the state.
Afuye expressed optimism that the bill when sign into law would stem the tide of kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and other manifestation of criminalities that have continued to constitute hindrances to people’s normal social and economic life.
He said the homogeneity of Yoruba race, in terms of politics, culture and history made the Amotekun gained traction in the southwest region.
” It is clear that the police are overwhelmed, overstreched 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.
In his remarks at the event witnessed by top government functionaries and traditional rulers, Fayemi warned criminals to steer clear of Ekiti, boasting that “Amotekun Corps will get you wherever you hide”.
The governor said the security outfit would not be politicised but rather strengthen to ensure that criminals within and outside the state had no breathing space.
The governor said the resilience of Ekiti kete and Yoruba race brought the security outfit to full operation, stressing the scenario leading to the formation of Amotekun corps was novel since the advent of democracy in 1999.
“Since the advent of democracy in 1999, this is the first time when Yoruba people will speak with one voice without political or religious considerations”, he said.
Speaking about the event leading to the formation of the corps, Fayemi said: “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.
“The current challenges of proliferation of small arms, rutial killings, banditry, youth restiveness , cattle rustling , insurgency and terrorism are daunting.
“In tackling some of these menaces, which surfaced in the southwest region, the governors in the zone officially launched Western Nigeria Security Network in Ibadan on Jan 20, 2020 at and the bill that will form the legal framework was passed by the State House of Assembly .
“Let me clarify that Amotekun will help the police to arrest, gather intelligence and information , arrest and prosecution of criminals , tackle illegal mining, land trespass, cattle rustling, destruction of crops, tresspass into farmlands, cultism, highway robbery, among others.
“Amotekun is not a substitute to the existing security networks , but a complement to it. It is not for Ekiti people alone, but for everbody. As long as you are resident in Ekiti, 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 will be thorough with the issues of recruitment, training and deployment of the operatives , for efficiency and effectiveness of the network.
“The issues of recruitment, training and deployment will be carefully considered. All the operatives will work in areas where they understand better”.
The governor charged the royal fathers to coalesce efforts with the security network to get rid criminal-minided people at the grassroots.
The Chairman, Ekiti State Council of traditional rulers, Oba Adebanji Alabi , described the signing of the bill as epochal in the annal of history of yorubaland and worthy of celebration.
“You could all remember the events leading to kidnapping, banditry, destruction of crops in the southwest . It was like the region was under siege .
“The governor, Dr Kayoe Fayemi and other colleagues championed the course and worked hard to achieve this success despite encumbrances and obstacles.
“But for Amotekun to be a success, it rests on three things, the recruitment, which must be painstakingly done. The Government and the Obas must make sure we have round pegs in round holes.
“Number two is training , they must be properly trained , groomed in the act of security, information and intelligence gathering , how to guard against sabotage among other skills required of them. The third one is good and strategic deployment, so that we won’t have security operatives that will be ineffective and kleptomaniac”, he advised.
Niger Delta Militants Threaten To Attack Lagos, Abuja
Niger Delta militants under the aegis of Supreme Egbesu Liberation Fighters have threatened to destroy infrastructure in Lagos State and Abuja .
In a video posted on Tuesday by AIT , members of the group were seen wearing masks and putting on a military uniform .
One of them , who read a statement on behalf of the group , lamented poor implementation of the amnesty programme in the region, saying , “ there are no schools , no potable water , no light , no hospital and access roads for our people to enjoy till date” .
He said , “ Over the years, the Niger Delta people have made frantic efforts to create an enabling environment but to our great dismay, the Nigerian government over the years has decided to handle the issues of the Niger Delta with kid gloves .
“ They have betrayed the struggle and have left the people to their fate ,” a member of the group read from a statement .
“ Rather, what is visible is the presence of military gunboat and the numerous military personnel dispersed to the Niger Delta who are killing, raping , and maiming the innocent people of the region.
“ Look at the security surveillance contract taking place in our region through the federal government these agencies in place have decided to shortchange our people . Now in our territorial waters , it is an Israeli company that is providing waterway security which we have competent hands with expert knowledge to manage.
“ Don ’t worry, because we are coming to destroy all your infrastructure in Abuja and Lagos . As a group committed to giving total liberation to our people , we will destroy the oil facilities both onshore and offshore in no distant time , we will be seen to be crippling the Nigerian economy. ”
Ogun To Arrest Illegal Occupants Of Forest Reserve
The Ogun State government said it would soon start combing its forest reserve to arrest and prosecute illegal occupants .
The State Commissioner for Forestry , Tunji Akinosi , said this while responding to questions from journalists in Abeokuta , the state capital.
Akinosi said the government had written letters to the traditional rulers in the areas asking them to tell the illegal occupants to leave or be arrested .
He said, “ We have asked those that are illegally occupying our lands to leave , and now we are moving to the second stage of combing the areas ourselves and arresting those that are still residents in the reserve. ”
The Commissioner, while speaking on the depleted condition of the forest reserve, said, “ In the last 18 months , this administration has taken the bull by the horn in getting the Imeko and Aworo Forest Reserves back and running .
“ Unfortunately , the depletion did not start right now , it has been there and government this year alone had met twice with the Iledotun project coordinators and had taken 108 ,000 hectares of the forest reserve in Imeko and Aworo for regeneration .
“ We call it LND project , Land Degradation Neutrality project where you bring people of diverse nations to regenerate that place , and I am sure that between now and the next few months , you will see the work that would start there in reclaiming all the land that is there .”
Police Misconduct Responsible For #EndSARS Protests —PSC
The Chairman , Police Service Commission , Musiliu Smith , has attributed the # EndSARS protests to the misconduct of officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
Smith , a former Inspector -General of Police , decried the level of misconduct in the police force saying his office was always inundated with complaints from Nigerians .
The PSC chairman stated this at a retreat with the IG and his police management team , in Abuja on Tuesday .
Smith ’s statement contradicted claims by the Minister of Information and Culture , Lai Mohammed that the October protests were instigated by political and religious leaders .
He also said the demonstrations which were subsequently hijacked by hoodlums leading to widespread violence and looting , were aimed at overthrowing the Federal Government .
But puncturing these claims in his first public comment on the incident , the retired IG said, “ We are always having a lot of complaints from the members of the public against police officers. I believe that # EndSARS resulted from serious misconduct of some of our personnel .
“ I want to advise that we review the arrangements we are making for investigating such cases . Let ’s ensure that investigations are thoroughly conducted and whoever is the police officer that has been indicted will be punished according to the law . If we are doing that , some of the public complaints will go down . ”
Smith , who had been at loggerheads with the police leadership on the recruitment of police constables , also admonished IG Mohammed Adamu to work closely with the commission on the recruitment of credible Nigerians into the force.
Smith added that the number of court cases against the police was alarming , stressing that the force may not be able to pay the damages awarded against it .
In his remarks earlier, the IGP noted that the retreat was to bridge the communication gap and engender a better understanding and working relationship between the force and the police service commission .
The Attorney – General of the Federation and Minister of Justice , Abubukar Malami , who also spoke at the retreat, harped on the need for a harmonious working relationship among all the agencies of the government .