Governors of South-West states have declared that the Amotekun Corps will not be attached to very important personalities, politicians and religious centres.
This is just as the Osun State Government said the recruitment of personnel of the corps would be conducted at the local government level.
Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, who is also the Governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu stated this on behalf of his colleagues.
Akeredolu reiterated that the security outfit popularly known as Operation Amotekun was exclusively created to tackle criminal activities in the South-West.
The outfit was launched on January 9, 2020 by the governors of the six states in the region, following increased killings and kidnappings.
But, few days after the launch, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, described the initiative as illegal, adding that his office was not consulted before the governors launched the initiative. He however retracted his comment after it attracted criticisms, claiming he was misquoted.
The House of Assembly in each of the six states began moves to pass the bill establishing the corps following a meeting between the governors, Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; the AGF and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, conceptualising Amotekun within the community policing model.
On Saturday, Akeredolu who spoke through his Special Adviser on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, said the outfit would key into the model aimed at tackling criminal activities.
He said, “We are not attaching the Amotekun corps to anybody or groups, no matter how highly placed. They are to tackle criminal activities such as armed robbery and kidnapping. They won’t be attached to any religious centre, either church or mosque. We don’t want it to be used for political reasons.”
Dojumo however stated that the corps would work with the conventional security agencies – the police, the Department of State Services, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, among others.
According to him, the security agencies, particularly the police would be involved in the training of the corps personnel.
“We are together with the security agencies and the community police. We will work together since it is a matter of security,” he noted.
He added that there would be a regional commander who would oversee the activities of the six state commanders of the corps.
The security expert stated that that there would be a central database for all the personnel of the security outfit in the region.
Meanwhile, the Osun State Government has said that the recruitment of the Amotekun operatives would be handled by local government chairmen and traditional rulers.
The Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Ismail Omipidan, told one of our correspondents that people of questionable character would not be recruited into the corps.
He said the governor, Oyetola, had sent the draft of the Amotekun bill to the State Assembly, stating conditions for the recruitment.
Omipidan said, “A person may qualify to enlist with the Amotekun Corps if the person has applied in writing to the agency; is a resident of Osun State; has received confirmation from the Divisional Police Officer in his local government area of residence that he is of proven character and integrity and has no criminal records.”
He added, “The recruitment would be done at local government level. Chairmen and traditional rulers will handle it and these people know the implications of allowing criminals into such a group.”
The Deputy Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Abiodun Fadeyi, said the House might conclude deliberation on the bill on Amotekun this week.
The Ekiti State House of Assembly had on Friday passed the bill for the establishment of the Ekiti State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps into law
Fadeyi, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, said there was no reason why the process should be delayed.
He said, “We are committed to ensuring that the bill is given necessary attention. It passed through second reading on Thursday. The bill has been committed to the House Committee on Security Matters.
“Hopefully by Wednesday, we shall be having a public hearing. After this, we would have the report on the public hearing. The scrutiny would be done, the outcome of which would be presented to the House on Thursday. We are hoping that by Thursday, the bill would be passed.
“I want to believe that the governor would accent to it fast as well depending on the time of transmission from the House to the executive, but I don’t think that should take longer time.”
In the same vein, the Osun Assembly Speaker, Mr. Timothy Owoeye had said it would give the bill a speedy passage.
Owoeye, who spoke through his Press Secretary, Kunle Alabi, however said the bill would be subjected to scrutiny.
He said, “Recess will end on February 24 but the lawmakers to work on Amotekun bill. The House will give the bill speedy passage but it will still go through all the stages. The bill will be subjected to thorough legislative scrutiny.”
Owoeye’s counterpart in Ondo, Mr Bamidele Oloyeloogun, said the Assembly had received the Operation Amotekun bill from the state executive council. The Speaker said added that the bill would soon be passed.
Oloyeloogun said, “Yes, we have received the bill and we will soon pass it.” – Punch.