LAWMAKERS in the Ogun State House of Assembly have added a caveat to the bill authorising the creation of the regional security outfit Amotekun by including a clause which provides for a compulsory insurance scheme for all its operatives.
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.
In Ekiti State, the bill has already been passed by the state house of assembly and is just awaiting the signature of Governor Kayode Fayemi for it to become law. In Oyo State, the bill has passed its second reading, with lawmakers adding a clause that anyone wanting to serve with the outfit in their states must have their application forms endorsed by their district police officers and local government chairmen or traditional monarch.
Ogun State has become the latest to debate the bill, which passed its second reading on the floor of the house of assembly today. Tagged the Ogun State Security Network Agency Law, 2020, it was passed unanimously with a call for a compulsory insurance scheme and standard rules of engagement for members of the corps upon its establishment.
A motion for its second reading was moved by the majority leader, Hon Yusuf Sheriff, seconded by Hon Sola Adams and unanimously supported at the plenary presided over by the speaker Hon Olakunle Oluomo. They explained that the law was targeted at devising a community policing scheme to complement and collaborate with existing security agencies to reduce crime to the barest minimum in the state, southwest geo-political zone and nation at large.
Stressing the role of government in the protection of lives and properties, the lawmakers said when the bill becomes operational, it would lead to the establishment of the Amotekun Corps, which would strengthen the security architecture through collaborative techniques on information and intelligence gathering system within communities towards combating insecurity in various communities across the state. They added that the bill would enhance economic prosperity, engender smooth inter-agency collaboration between local security and existing security agencies to further make the state a safe haven for economic development.