MIYETTI Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (Macban) officials stormed the premises of the Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday during the public debate about the regional security network asking that it members allowed to be Amotekun operatives.
Over recent years, heavily-armed herdsmen accused of being Macban members, 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. To give the operation legal authority, the six state houses of assembly are currently in the process of passing by-laws, with the Ekiti State House of Assembly having already passed its Amotekun bill and the other five in the process of doing so.
Yesterday, the bill was open to a public hearing at the Lagos State House of Assembly complex in Alausa and the Macban delegation arrived there to add its voice to the debate. At the hearing, Ibrahim Abubakar, a representative of Serikin Hausa community in Alimosho area of the state, asked that Macban members be included in the Amotekun Corps.
Mr Abubakar disagreed with some aspects of the proposed security bill, saying deliberations were tilted towards malicious intent that could result in ethnic disagreements moving forward. His comments created an uproar at the hearing but they were perfectly legal as the essence of such hearings is to sample public opinion.
Hon Mudashiru Obasa, the speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, had opened the floor with a keynote address, stressing the need for the establishment of Operation Amotekun in the state. he said kidnapping and all other forms of criminal and criminality led to the southwest governors finding a common solution to the menace hence the emergence of Amotekun.
It was subsequently agreed that all suggestions, contributions and views would be critically looked into after which the house will deliberate towards the final part of the bill to make Operation Amotekun a part of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps. Lagos State already has a neighbourhood watch programme and this will now be extended into Amotekun.