GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has become the first chief executive across the southwest geo-political zone to sign the bill creating the regional security outfit known as the Amotekun Corps into law.
This morning, at a brief ceremony inside the executive chambers of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Governor Akeredolu assented to the bill, making Amotekun a legal entity across Ondo State. At the ceremony, he assured everyone that the Amotekun Corps would not be used for political purposes.
Yesterday, the Ondo State House of Assembly passed the bill creating the Amotekun Corps into law, as did the assemblies in Oyo, Osun, Lagos and Oyo states. Last week, Ekiti State House of Assembly became the first legislature in the southwest geo-political zone to pass the bill into law.
Governor Akeredolu said: “We wish to reiterate that the Amotekun Corps is a child of necessity and was purely borne out of the need to explore other means of securing our forests and protecting all those who do legitimate business within the southwest region. For the umpteenth time, the Amotekun Corps is not an independent regional outfit but complementary efforts by the governors of the southwest to engender unity, peace and security.
“Most importantly, the corps shall not be allowed for political purposes. It has no business at political rallies just as the police must continue to discharge its obligations and responsibilities to the people.”
To address some of the concerns that the Amotekun Corps could become a political militia or a dangerous weapon in the hands of governors, some of the state houses of assemblies have introduced safeguards. These include the creation of an independent complaints commission, guidelines that gun permits will only be issued by the inspector-general of police and in Oyo State, a rule that any Amotekun operative must get a letter of recommendation from his or her divisional police officer, traditional ruler or local government chairman attesting to their good character.