GOVERNORS of all the six southwestern state are going to sign into law a uniform bill establishing the regional security outfit Amotekun between now and next week following its passing by their respective state houses of assemblies.
Over recent years, heavily-armed herdsmen have been running riot across Nigeria, engaging in kidnapping, armed robbery and banditry. To address the problem, the governors from across the southwest geo-political zone decided to launch a regional security outfit named Amotekun, which translates to leopard in the local Yoruba language.
Backing up their plans with an official launch in Ibadan, the six governors have supplied Operation Amotekun with vehicles and equipment. After several meetings with the inspector-general of police Mohammed Adamu, the six governors asked their attorney-generals to draft an Amotekun bill, which was sent to the houses of assembly this week after being approved by their respective cabinets.
At the moment, the bill is before the Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Ondo and Osun state houses of assembly but Ekiti has become the first state to pass it into law. All that remains now is for all six governors to assent to the bill and Amotekun will become a legal and constitutional entity across southwest Nigeria.
Bamidele Oleyelogun, the chairman of the Conference of Speakers of South-West States, said that what will happen is that they will all adopt one single document. Speaking in Ibadan after a meeting of all the six speakers, Mr Oleyelogun said the uniformity of the bill would ensure a synergy of operation in terms of intelligence sharing, training and other matters across all the six collaborating states.
He explained that the meeting provided an opportunity for the southwest speakers to meet with the six attorneys-general on observations, suggestions and conflicting areas identified during the public hearings conducted recently by each state. Mr Oleyelogun added that there were clause-by-clause deliberations of the various suggestions, observations and conflicting areas, as well as points raised at the public hearings.
Aside from attorneys-general, the meeting was also attended by the majority leaders and clerks of the six states’ houses of assembly. Also in attendance were the directors of legal departments and chairmen of the six houses committees on security as well as other legislative functionaries.