For a while on Tuesday, it was as if guardsmen of the Western Nigeria Security Network, known as Amotekun had taken over the Oyo Governor’s Office in Ibadan.
It was at the ceremony in which Governor Seyi Makinde signed into law, the bill setting up the security formation.
Makinde, the deputy governor, Mr Rauf Olaniyan and the Speaker of the State Assembly, Mr Debo Ogundoyin, were all decked in the Amotekun uniform. And so were many other guests, someone even dressed like a Yoruba hunter, armed with gourds, all presenting quite a spectacle, not to forget easily.
In his remarks after signing the bill, Makinde said that the process for the establishment of Amotekun security outfit started in July, 2019.
He said the initiative was purely to complement the existing security agencies in tackling security challenges and not a replacement for the existing ones.
The governor noted that security agencies had been stretched to the limit, stressing that there were challenges in the North-East where some of the personnel were deployed.
“But we still need to create a safe and secure environment at the state and local government levels so that our people can go about their lawful business.
” I’m also using this opportunity to thank our security agencies for the work they are doing,” he stated.
The governor warned criminally minded people to stay away from Oyo State and the entire South-West geo political zone, saying “Amotekun would get them if they refuse to leave.”
He gave an assurance to investors to come to Oyo State, saying the state is safe and secure for business.
Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubanwo Adeosun, Chief of Staff, Bisi Ilaka, and other top government functionaries witnessed the signing of the bill.
Governors in the South West Zone under the chairmanship of Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State had on Jan. 9, in Ibadan, launched the Amotekun initiative.
The launch necessitated the process of giving legal backing to the initiative by the Houses of Assembly in the six states.
The Oyo State House of Assembly on Feb. 24 held a public hearing on the bill and passed it on March 3.