The operational take-off of Western Nigeria Security Network, better known as Amotekun now waits for the governors to sign into law the bills establishing it in each of the six states in the region
All the state houses of assembly in the region, from Ekiti to Lagos, from Osun to Oyo, Ondo and Ogun have passed the bill.
In Ibadan on Tuesday, members of the Oyo State House of Assembly showed up in dressed made of leopard skin. Some wore amulets to depict combat readiness.
The session began with a clause by clause consideration of the bill before it eventual passed the third reading, final adoption and passage.
The lawmakers unanimously reechoed the growling of the leopard immediately Speaker Adebo Ogundoyin hit the gavel indicating the bill passage.
Local hunters’ chants and songs immediately took over the hallowed Chamber with lawmakers congratulating each other for job well done.
The speaker described the excitement that enveloped the chamber as an indication of the firm belief in the initiative not only to address the security challenges of the state but bring about needed development, especially in the areas of agriculture.
The bill was passed into law after the consideration of a report presented by the House Committee Chairman on Security and Strategy, Akeem Obadara.
Ogundoyin told reporters that with the passage of the bill into law, the Amotekun corps will begin operation in the next few weeks, adding that the law, when signed by the governor, will ensure the comprehensive security for Oyo and other Southwest states.
Ogundoyin said: “This outfit will be very responsible and will be responsible for rapid economic development in terms of agriculture, in terms of infrastructure and in terms of peace and stability, so we are very optimistic that the Southwest and Oyo state are on the path of fast and rapid development.
“In a matter of weeks or months, I can assure you that the Southwest governors, and our governor in particular, who is eager to make sure that we hit the ground running with the corps, will sign it into law.
“As you can see we have the vehicles and we are still going to purchase even more vehicles in order to support them to give them all the things that they need to secure the lives and property of the Oduduwa people.”
The Ogun Assembly passed the State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps Bill barely 19 days after receiving it from the Executive, as part of its resolve to stem rising crimes, banditry and other violent acts.
The Bill titled: “A Bill for a law to establish the Ogun State Security Netwrk Agency and Amotekun Corps to Assist in Maintaining Law and Order in the State and Connected Purposes” was passed during a plenary presided over by Speaker Kunle Oluomo.
The passage followed the presentation of report of the Special Ad-hoc Committee on Security and Strategy by Majority Leader, Yusuf Sheriff.
Sherif, who moved the motion for the adoption of the report, was seconded by Musefiu Lamidi and supported by the other members through a voice vote after which the bill was read and adopted clause by clause by the Committee of the Whole.
The motion for the third reading of the bill was moved by the Majority Leader and seconded by Olusola Adams.
Acting Clerk of the Assembly, Deji Adeyemo, did the third reading, after which the speaker directed that a clean copy of the bill be forwarded to Governor Dapo Abiodun for his assent.
At plenary on Tuesday, the Lagos State House of Assembly passed the Bill to create Amotekun Corps as a special unit of the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps.
It passed the bill after taking the third reading of the amendment to the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps Agency Law, 2019.
The amended bill had successfully gone through all the different stages of lawmaking which includes first and second reading, holding public hearing, laying and presentation of committees report, adoption of report by House, third reading and finally passage.
After the voice vote approving the passage of the bill, Speaker Mudashiru Obasa directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to send a clean copy to the governor for his assent.
The new law states that Amotekun Corps must not operate like the police and that “they are not to be hired and cannot follow politicians or be used for political purposes.”
Also in Akure, the Ondo State House of Assembly passed a bill for a law to establish the State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps Bill.
On February 18, the Assembly deliberated on the bill and committed it to the House Committee on Security Matters after scaling through the first and second reading. A public hearing was conducted simultaneously on the bill across the six Southwest states.
Majority Leader Jamiu Maito moved a motion for the bill to be submitted by the Chairman of the House Committee on Security Matters, Ololade Begudu. He was seconded by Favour Tomowemo, representing Ilaje II.
Bode Adeyelu read the bill for the third reading, with Maito, moving the motion for its passage while it was seconded by Deputy Minority Leader Leonard Akinribido.
The speaker, who wore Amotekun traditional attire, said the bill, if signed by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, will reduce crime in the state. He described the bill’s passage as remarkable.
Oleyelogun explained that the Amotekun Corps would be a community policing body that would complement the work of other security agencies in the state.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Kola Olawoye, said that history had been made in the state, noting that it was the first time that the Yoruba race would speak with one voice without opposition.
The Osun Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps Establishment Bill, 2020, was passed in Osogbo after it was read for the third time.
The Amotekun Bill was presented to the Assembly by the Executive on February 27. After passing the first reading, a public hearing was held on the bill to inject stakeholders’ contributions and suggestions.
At Tuesday’s plenary, the House resolved the grey areas in the bill and a final draft of the bill adopted.
Invoking Order 87, Rule 1 and 2 of the House, Speaker Timothy Owoeye recommitted the bill back to the Committee of the Whole where the lawmakers further deliberated, amended and injected new suggestions into it.
The new amendments made to the bill were later adopted and it was read for the third time and unanimously passed by the lawmakers.
After the passage, the speaker thanked his colleagues for giving the bill an accelerated consideration and passage.
*With The Nation