The governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, signed on Monday the law for the establishment of the State Safety Network Agency popularly known as Amotekun.
On February 14, the Assembly House approved the bill and forwarded it to the governor, after an exhaustive opinion, points by points and analysis by clause by clause.
The security team was initiated by the six southwestern governors to address the security challenges facing the region.
In presenting the bill to the governor at the event held in the popular Jibowu Hall, inside the Government House, Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, the President of the State Assembly House, Funminiyi Afuye, said that the House has fulfilled its fundamental responsibility to make people-oriented laws that would ensure the adequate protection of the lives and property of the people of the state.
Afuye expressed optimism that the bill by adhering to the law would contain the wave of kidnappings, banditry, armed robbery and other manifestations of criminality that continued to constitute obstacles to people’s normal social and economic life.
He said that the homogeneity of the Yoruba race, in terms of politics, culture and history, caused the Amotekun to gain strength in the southwest region.
Of course, the police are overwhelmed. That’s where the concept behind Amotekun came from. I also want to ease the tension and clarify that it will not compete with the police, but will complement it, ”he said.
In his comments at the event witnessed by top government officials and traditional rulers, Fayemi warned criminals to stay away from Ekiti, boasting that “the Amotekun Outfit will catch you wherever you hide.”
The governor said the security outfit would not be in any way politicized, but reinforced to ensure that criminals inside and outside the state had no breathing space.
The governor said the resilience of the Ekiti Kete and Yoruba race put the security team in full swing, emphasizing that the scenario that led to the formation of Amotekun’s body was new since the advent of democracy in 1999.
“Since the advent of democracy in 1999, this is the first time that the Yoruba people have spoken with one voice, without political or religious considerations,” he said.
Speaking about the event that led to the formation of the body, Fayemi said: “As a responsible and responsive government, it is our belief that security is significant and we are not going to play with the security of lives and property.
“The current challenges of arms proliferation, ruthless murders, banditry, youth unrest, cattle rustling, insurgency and terrorism are daunting.
“In combating some of these threats, which arose in the southwest, the zone’s governors officially launched the West Nigeria Security Network in Ibadan on January 20, 2020 and the bill that will form the legal framework was approved by the State Chamber of Assembly.
“Let me clarify that Amotekun will help the police to arrest, gather information, arrest and prosecute criminals, combat illegal mining, land invasion, cattle rustling, crop destruction, cross farmland, cultism, highway robberies, among others.
“Amotekun is not a substitute for existing security, but a complement to that. It is not just for Ekiti, but for everyone. As long as you reside in Ekiti, you have the right to be protected, so it is not just for indigenous people.
“The fight against crime is a collective responsibility. These perpetrating crimes are living among us and we will be vigilant and help the Amotekun Corps to catch criminals in our midst, ”he said.
Fayemi promised that Amotekun’s handlers will be thorough with questions of recruiting, training and deploying agents, for the network’s efficiency and effectiveness.
“Recruitment, training and deployment issues will be carefully considered. All agents will work in areas they understand best ”.
The governor instructed the royal fathers to join forces with the safety net to free the deprived people of criminals from the base.
The president of the traditional State Council of Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, described the signing of the project as a time in the annals of Yorubaland’s history and worthy of commemoration.
“You can all remember the events that led to the kidnapping, banditry, destruction of crops in the southwest. It was as if the region was under siege.
“The governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and other colleagues defended the course and worked hard to achieve this success, despite the burdens and obstacles.
“But for Amotekun to be successful, it is based on three things: recruitment, which must be done very carefully. The government and the Obas must make sure that we have round pins in the round holes.
“Number two is training, they must be properly trained, prepared in the act of security, in gathering information, how to protect themselves against sabotage among other skills required of them. The third is a good and strategic deployment, so that we do not have security officers who are ineffective and kleptomaniac ”, he advised.
The Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Mr. Amire Kolade, and the coordinator of the Nigeria Vigillance Group, Mr. Akin Olorunloni, promised that they would work diligently and assiduously with the body to make Ekiti a no-go- area for criminals.