Updated: Ekiti Assembly passes Amotekun bill into law
By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State House of Assembly on Friday passed the bill proposal for the establishment of Ekiti State Security Network Agency otherwise called Amotekun corps proposed by the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayose.
This decision followed the presentation of the report of the House Committee on Security and Special Duties at the plenary.
One of the objectives of the bill is to create a security network that would collaborate with and assist the Police and other security agencies in maintaining law and order within the state by making available relevant information on crime.
The bill had on Thursday scaled through the first and second readings during an extensive deliberation on the floor of the House, after the draft bill was transmitted by Governor Kayode Fayemi to the House.
Subsequently, it was committed to the Committee of the House on Security and Special Duties, headed by lawmaker representing Ekiti East Constituency II, Hon Lateef Akanle, who conducted a public hearing attended by traditional rulers, farmers, driver unions, and other stakeholders, on Thursday evening.
Presenting the report on the floor of the house, Akanle said certain sections of the were considerably amended to suit the peculiarities and uniqueness of the people of the state.
He read the outcome of the public hearing at the plennary, which included that section 5 (I) of the security network bill the governing board should be headed by a retired law enforcement agent, who should be a man of proven integrity or equivalent in the Nigerian Army not below the rank of Major General.
The lawmaker stressed the bill proposal is a product extensive deliberation by critical stakeholders, noting its provisions was painstakingly subjected to clause-by-clause and point-by-point scrutinization at the public hearing.
There was exhaustive debate on the qualification of who should head the board, as the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Hakeem Jamiu and Hon Adeoye Aribasoye sought for the reduction of the rank of the chairman of the board should be reduced from Major General or equivalent to a lower rank.
Jamiu said: “retired Major Generals are not easy to come by and when you see them, they might be old or tired. So, let us bring down the scale to either Brigadier General , Colonel or equivalent .
“We have to think ahead of implementation level, so that we won’t run into crisis. How many Major Generals do we have around? Those that are still alive are old for such position, so I move that we reduce the rank to Brigadier General or Colonel or equivalent in other law enforcement agencies”, he submitted.
The Leader of Government Business , Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan, said with the passage, the state had again exhibited leadership by example and pacesetting feature in the southwest .
In his remarks, the Speaker, Hon. 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: “By passing this bill, we have made history and we will be creating big strides towards providing and ensuring that all persons travelling along the highways, major roads, remote areas, hinterland and forest are free to participate in their normal social and economic life without fear or hindrance.
“One of the major concerns has always been the issue kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and all other forms of criminalities . We believe that this bill will provide the needed security for our people.
Afuye who expressed confidence that the governor will be thorough with the implementation after assent, said “we can be rest assured that the implementation will be thorough, because we have not passed this bill in vain.
“You dont need to preach to the converts. We have a governor who is an Amotekun himself and we have not passed the bill in vain, so you can be rest assured that the law will be accorded speedy assent by the governor”, he said.
On some amendments being sought to the final copy by members, Afuye added : “you can’t get a perfect law anywhere and if you pass a law and if it becomes problematic tomorrow, then the mechanism of amendment will set in.
“Look at the Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria, people are still saying some aspects should be amended. So, those contentious areas will be perfected at implementation level”, he assured.
Afuye commended the members of the security committee for the public hearing conducted, saying they didn’t shortcuit any of the stipulated rules of the House to arrive at the conclusion.
The speaker added that the report encapsulated the views of the people, who are yearning for a well secured and well protected environment.
With the passage by the House, the bill is ready to be transmitted to Governor Fayemi for assent.