We are set to kick off Operation Amotekun — South-West governors

Posted by News Express | 25 January 2020 | 844 times

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•Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu

The Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, has said the region’s security outfit, Operation Amotekun, will kick off any moment from now.

The Ondo State Governor, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, said this after the meeting between  South-West governors and  Vice-President  Yemi Osinbajo  in Abuja on Thursday.

He said, “As it is now, we are good to go; any moment from now the operation will kick off. We are commencing our recruitment any moment from now  in line with  government position.

He also said they would  send a bill to the  House of Assembly to begin legislative work on the outfit.

Akeredolu said, “We have involved the House of Assembly and  the Attorney General is also involved. We will send the bill very soon. That is what we  discussed in our meeting in Ibadan and we have concluded that everything will be in line with the community policing arrangement.”

 We must restructure, present system isn’t working – Akerodolu

Akerodolu had earlier said Nigeria must be restructured to secure its borders and attain its full potential.

He said the issue was  beyond Ametokun.

Akerodolu said this in an interview with  reporters in Abuja on Friday.

The Ondo State  Governor restated  the forum  and the  All Progressives Congress’ commitment to restructuring.

He said, “We are committed to restructuring this country, we are not saying it because of Ametokun. This country must be restructured and we have said  it  openly. The APC has it in its constitution and part of our manifesto. Restructuring was stated clearly, that we will do it, why we have not done it, nobody knows but we have to.

“There have been some efforts to  restructure  (the country) and we can give credit to those who  have been making  some efforts at restructuring in one way or another. For us, restructuring is not something we can compromise because that is the only way for this country; we must restructure, we cannot continue this way.

“Everybody must  have  a sense of belonging and the only way is for us to carry out this restructuring.”

Akerodolu said it  was not true that  the region  was  planning to secede, hence Amotekun.

He said the regional outfit was designed to assist states share cost as well as information to secure the life and property.

Akeredolu confirmed that the Attorneys General of all the six  states in the Amotekun project were meeting to fashion out the legal framework to support its operations after which each state is expected to domesticate it.

He said, “It is not a single command structure, each state will have its own and we can now reach each other and we share cost of very expensive equipment.

“We are talking about trackers that go for about N400m to N500m and I said, why don’t I put N250m and Ekiti put N250m and we use one. Oyo and Osun can share, Lagos is big they can buy their own, those of us who don’t have much can share.”

He added, “When people say we don’t like state police, I laugh. Why won’t we have state police¬¬? We cannot have the command in Abuja to cover the whole country, the current system is not working, some of us have said we have to devolve to the states.”

On training, Akerodolu said, “…luckily, most of these men will be trained by the police.”

South-West Attorneys General meet, begin process to enact Amotekun law

Meanwhile, the Attorneys General of the six South-West states  met in Ibadan on Thursday  to discuss  the  drafting of a bill  backing the setting up of  Operation Amotekun by the governors, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.

One of our correspondents learnt that the  meeting  was arranged to ensure that  the proposed bill  was  not in conflict with the constitution.

It was learnt that while the Speakers of the  Houses of Assembly  in the six states were meeting with their Majority Leaders, the commissioners for justice were also holding a separate meeting  to brainstorm ideas to provide legal framework for the security outfit.

The meetings were held almost at the same time Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo  met with the six governors from the zone in Abuja.

At Osinbajo’s meeting with the  governors were the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami; and Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu.

Malami, who had earlier been quoted to have declared  Amotekun as illegal, refused  to  comment  on their meeting.

However, he said  ‘‘We are on the same page.’’

He also said he was misquoted and that he never declared the outfit illegal.

Malami said on Radio Nigeria Abuja on Thursday he only said Amotekun should be backed by law.

Sources close to the meeting by the attorneys-general’s told one of our correspondents that the AGs would brief the governors on what they arrived at the meeting.

The source said, “Our meeting was attended by the attorneys general and commissioners of justice of the six states.

‘‘At the meeting, issues on the processes that would lead to the early passage of  the bill to give legal backing to Amotekun was discussed. We also discussed what the contents of the bill would be and how long it would take.

‘‘The meeting also looked at the contents of the statement earlier released by Malami on the workability and otherwise of the outfit.

‘‘Of course, we did not think of abandoning it. We have passed that stage. What we looked at was how to have a uniform legislation that would cover logistics, funding, uniform, operation, accommodation, recruitment, collaboration with other security outfits and other essential things that would guide its activities and operation.

‘We are not establishing another security outfit that will rival maybe the police or the army.  Rather, what we want to do is in tandem with the spirit of community policing that has been explained by the President (Major General Muhammadu Buhari) and the police.

‘‘Though each attorney general is expected to brief their governors,  there is a possibility that the governors will  host the commissioners of justice  to have  a holistic view of their discussion in Ibadan.’’

Meanwhile, the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye, confirmed on Friday that South-West lawmakers and attorneys general had begun the process of enacting the Amotekun law.

Afuye said, “The meeting between the governors and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is a prelude to resolving whatever grey areas.

“The Conference of South-West State Speakers met on Thursday and gave its support  for the establishment of Amotekun. The   next stage is the legal framework process and   legislative framework.

“The attorneys general  also met on Thursday and all of us (speakers and AGs) are on the same page in the process of enacting an enabling law for  Amotekun. Things appear to be taking shape and the legislative process will be followed in trying to get the legislative framework for  Amotekun.”

The Ekiti State AG, Mr Wale Fapohunda, who corroborated the Speaker, said, “The good thing is that we (speakers and AGs) are working together. While we were meeting in Ibadan on Thursday, the speakers were also meeting. We have agreed on the expediency of the matter and our people are waiting, we have an expectant population in the South-West.”

Fapohunda added, “We have identified Ogun and Lagos states for the legal framework. Once we get the briefings from the Abuja meeting, we will take off from there. We are meeting in the next one or two weeks.

“For us in Ekiti State, from this weekend, we are going to start  putting our own law together and definitely by Monday, our own idea of what the legal framework should be like will be ready to be shared with others and others will bring theirs.

 “Whatever we agree on must meet constitutional requirements and at the same time meet the aspiration of our people for enhanced security.”

We’ll provide legislative support – Speakers

Meanwhile, South-West lawmakers have pledged to give Amotekun legal backing.

They made the pledge at the meeting of South-West Speakers in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

They spoke in Abuja on Thursday at their meeting with the theme, ‘The imperative of Western Nigerian Security Network (Operation Amotekun): Legislative Support for the initiative’.

The Speakers at the meeting were Adebo Ogundoyin (Oyo); Funminiyi Afuye (Ekiti), Bamidele Oleyelogun  (Ondo), Taiwo Oluomo  (Ogun), Timothy Owoeye (Osun) and Mudashiru Obasa(Lagos).

The Majority Leaders of the six houses of Assembly and representatives of DAWN Commission also attended the meeting.

The Chairman of  the South-West Conference of Speakers, Bamidele Oleyelogun, praised the courage of the six governors ‘‘for their pro-active step in combating the rising threats to the safety  of life and property of residents of the region”.

Oleyelogun, who said the security agencies  had  been overstressed, added that  Amotekun would be a blessing to all, including the conventional security agencies.

The  Speaker of the  Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, said the meeting was an opportunity for them  to support the governors.

He said, “The enthusiasm shown by my colleagues in giving legislative strength  and support  for Amotekun is overwhelming and will assist the conference in achieving more successes  for the zone in other critical sectors.

“As for those who are unnecessarily agitated because of the new outfit, let me say without fear or favour that the squad will work with other security agencies to ensure their activities are within the ambit of the law.’’

Ogundoyin also said Amotekun could be likened to community policing, warning the people against raising unnecessarily alarm on the issue.

A communiqué  after the meeting  said,   ‘‘Operation Amotekun is a welcome development, especially in the spirit of  the existing community policing laws in  South-West states.

‘‘We have collectively resolved that the issue of security as it is in the region especially, and the country as a whole, can no longer continue to be handled with kid gloves.

‘‘As legislators, we must do our bit to complement the efforts of our governors through legislation that will give legal strength to the security force.’’

Yoruba senators will support govs on Amotekun - Akinyelure

Also, the South-West caucus in the Senate will support plans by the governors to ensure the success of  Amotekun.

The representative of  Ondo Central in the Senate,  Ayo Akinyelure,  made the pledge  on Friday in an interview with one of our correspondents.

Akinyelure, who noted that the governors did not consult  legislators from the zone in the National Assembly before coming up with  Amotekun, however, described the outfit as a good initiative.

He commended the governors, DAWN Commission  and others who contributed to the formation of the outfit,  stressing that it was the best alternative to tackling crime in Yorubaland.

The Senator appealed to the governors and  DAWN Commission to ensure that Amotekun got  legal  backing  to start operation.

Also, the Kunle Alabi, the Press Secretary to the Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, in told one of  our correspondents  that  the state Assembly would begin work on the bill on  the  security initiative as soon as such was presented to  them.

Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party on Friday said it was in  support of the meeting between the  Federal Government and South West-governors over Amotekun.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said  they decided to support Amotekun in the belief that the outfit would  help boost security  in the region and across the nation.

Also, traditional rulers in Ondo State, under the aegis of “De 130 Krown Obas”, called on the governors to ignore negative comments about Amotekun.

The monarchs, who spoke through their state President, the Owa-Ale of Ikare-Akoko, Oba Kolapo Adegbite-Adedoyin, made the calls while briefing reporters after their meeting in Akure on Friday.

The traditional rulers also urged  the Federal Government to support the governors to achieve the set goals of  Amotekun.

According to them, it is only when the  outfit is allowed to function effectively that they and their subjects can   sleep with their eyes closed.

Also, the Socialist Party of Nigeria has called for democratic controlled armed multi-ethnic and multi-religious defence committees in communities.

The SPN said the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and ULC must launch a national campaign against insecurity and others in the country. (Saturday Punch)
 

•Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu

We are set to kick off Operation Amotekun — South-West governors

 

The Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, has said the region’s security outfit, Operation Amotekun, will kick off any moment from now.

The Ondo State Governor, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, said this after the meeting between  South-West governors and  Vice-President  Yemi Osinbajo  in Abuja on Thursday.

He said, “As it is now, we are good to go; any moment from now the operation will kick off. We are commencing our recruitment any moment from now  in line with  government position.

He also said they would  send a bill to the  House of Assembly to begin legislative work on the outfit.

Akeredolu said, “We have involved the House of Assembly and  the Attorney General is also involved. We will send the bill very soon. That is what we  discussed in our meeting in Ibadan and we have concluded that everything will be in line with the community policing arrangement.”

 We must restructure, present system isn’t working – Akerodolu

Akerodolu had earlier said Nigeria must be restructured to secure its borders and attain its full potential.

He said the issue was  beyond Ametokun.

Akerodolu said this in an interview with  reporters in Abuja on Friday.

The Ondo State  Governor restated  the forum  and the  All Progressives Congress’ commitment to restructuring.

He said, “We are committed to restructuring this country, we are not saying it because of Ametokun. This country must be restructured and we have said  it  openly. The APC has it in its constitution and part of our manifesto. Restructuring was stated clearly, that we will do it, why we have not done it, nobody knows but we have to.

“There have been some efforts to  restructure  (the country) and we can give credit to those who  have been making  some efforts at restructuring in one way or another. For us, restructuring is not something we can compromise because that is the only way for this country; we must restructure, we cannot continue this way.

“Everybody must  have  a sense of belonging and the only way is for us to carry out this restructuring.”

Akerodolu said it  was not true that  the region  was  planning to secede, hence Amotekun.

He said the regional outfit was designed to assist states share cost as well as information to secure the life and property.

Akeredolu confirmed that the Attorneys General of all the six  states in the Amotekun project were meeting to fashion out the legal framework to support its operations after which each state is expected to domesticate it.

He said, “It is not a single command structure, each state will have its own and we can now reach each other and we share cost of very expensive equipment.

“We are talking about trackers that go for about N400m to N500m and I said, why don’t I put N250m and Ekiti put N250m and we use one. Oyo and Osun can share, Lagos is big they can buy their own, those of us who don’t have much can share.”

He added, “When people say we don’t like state police, I laugh. Why won’t we have state police¬¬? We cannot have the command in Abuja to cover the whole country, the current system is not working, some of us have said we have to devolve to the states.”

On training, Akerodolu said, “…luckily, most of these men will be trained by the police.”

South-West Attorneys General meet, begin process to enact Amotekun law

Meanwhile, the Attorneys General of the six South-West states  met in Ibadan on Thursday  to discuss  the  drafting of a bill  backing the setting up of  Operation Amotekun by the governors, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.

One of our correspondents learnt that the  meeting  was arranged to ensure that  the proposed bill  was  not in conflict with the constitution.

It was learnt that while the Speakers of the  Houses of Assembly  in the six states were meeting with their Majority Leaders, the commissioners for justice were also holding a separate meeting  to brainstorm ideas to provide legal framework for the security outfit.

The meetings were held almost at the same time Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo  met with the six governors from the zone in Abuja.

At Osinbajo’s meeting with the  governors were the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami; and Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu.

Malami, who had earlier been quoted to have declared  Amotekun as illegal, refused  to  comment  on their meeting.

However, he said  ‘‘We are on the same page.’’

He also said he was misquoted and that he never declared the outfit illegal.

Malami said on Radio Nigeria Abuja on Thursday he only said Amotekun should be backed by law.

Sources close to the meeting by the attorneys-general’s told one of our correspondents that the AGs would brief the governors on what they arrived at the meeting.

The source said, “Our meeting was attended by the attorneys general and commissioners of justice of the six states.

‘‘At the meeting, issues on the processes that would lead to the early passage of  the bill to give legal backing to Amotekun was discussed. We also discussed what the contents of the bill would be and how long it would take.

‘‘The meeting also looked at the contents of the statement earlier released by Malami on the workability and otherwise of the outfit.

‘‘Of course, we did not think of abandoning it. We have passed that stage. What we looked at was how to have a uniform legislation that would cover logistics, funding, uniform, operation, accommodation, recruitment, collaboration with other security outfits and other essential things that would guide its activities and operation.

‘We are not establishing another security outfit that will rival maybe the police or the army.  Rather, what we want to do is in tandem with the spirit of community policing that has been explained by the President (Major General Muhammadu Buhari) and the police.

‘‘Though each attorney general is expected to brief their governors,  there is a possibility that the governors will  host the commissioners of justice  to have  a holistic view of their discussion in Ibadan.’’

Meanwhile, the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye, confirmed on Friday that South-West lawmakers and attorneys general had begun the process of enacting the Amotekun law.

Afuye said, “The meeting between the governors and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is a prelude to resolving whatever grey areas.

“The Conference of South-West State Speakers met on Thursday and gave its support  for the establishment of Amotekun. The   next stage is the legal framework process and   legislative framework.

“The attorneys general  also met on Thursday and all of us (speakers and AGs) are on the same page in the process of enacting an enabling law for  Amotekun. Things appear to be taking shape and the legislative process will be followed in trying to get the legislative framework for  Amotekun.”

The Ekiti State AG, Mr Wale Fapohunda, who corroborated the Speaker, said, “The good thing is that we (speakers and AGs) are working together. While we were meeting in Ibadan on Thursday, the speakers were also meeting. We have agreed on the expediency of the matter and our people are waiting, we have an expectant population in the South-West.”

Fapohunda added, “We have identified Ogun and Lagos states for the legal framework. Once we get the briefings from the Abuja meeting, we will take off from there. We are meeting in the next one or two weeks.

“For us in Ekiti State, from this weekend, we are going to start  putting our own law together and definitely by Monday, our own idea of what the legal framework should be like will be ready to be shared with others and others will bring theirs.

 “Whatever we agree on must meet constitutional requirements and at the same time meet the aspiration of our people for enhanced security.”

We’ll provide legislative support – Speakers

Meanwhile, South-West lawmakers have pledged to give Amotekun legal backing.

They made the pledge at the meeting of South-West Speakers in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

They spoke in Abuja on Thursday at their meeting with the theme, ‘The imperative of Western Nigerian Security Network (Operation Amotekun): Legislative Support for the initiative’.

The Speakers at the meeting were Adebo Ogundoyin (Oyo); Funminiyi Afuye (Ekiti), Bamidele Oleyelogun  (Ondo), Taiwo Oluomo  (Ogun), Timothy Owoeye (Osun) and Mudashiru Obasa(Lagos).

The Majority Leaders of the six houses of Assembly and representatives of DAWN Commission also attended the meeting.

The Chairman of  the South-West Conference of Speakers, Bamidele Oleyelogun, praised the courage of the six governors ‘‘for their pro-active step in combating the rising threats to the safety  of life and property of residents of the region”.

Oleyelogun, who said the security agencies  had  been overstressed, added that  Amotekun would be a blessing to all, including the conventional security agencies.

The  Speaker of the  Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, said the meeting was an opportunity for them  to support the governors.

He said, “The enthusiasm shown by my colleagues in giving legislative strength  and support  for Amotekun is overwhelming and will assist the conference in achieving more successes  for the zone in other critical sectors.

“As for those who are unnecessarily agitated because of the new outfit, let me say without fear or favour that the squad will work with other security agencies to ensure their activities are within the ambit of the law.’’

Ogundoyin also said Amotekun could be likened to community policing, warning the people against raising unnecessarily alarm on the issue.

A communiqué  after the meeting  said,   ‘‘Operation Amotekun is a welcome development, especially in the spirit of  the existing community policing laws in  South-West states.

‘‘We have collectively resolved that the issue of security as it is in the region especially, and the country as a whole, can no longer continue to be handled with kid gloves.

‘‘As legislators, we must do our bit to complement the efforts of our governors through legislation that will give legal strength to the security force.’’

Yoruba senators will support govs on Amotekun - Akinyelure

Also, the South-West caucus in the Senate will support plans by the governors to ensure the success of  Amotekun.

The representative of  Ondo Central in the Senate,  Ayo Akinyelure,  made the pledge  on Friday in an interview with one of our correspondents.

Akinyelure, who noted that the governors did not consult  legislators from the zone in the National Assembly before coming up with  Amotekun, however, described the outfit as a good initiative.

He commended the governors, DAWN Commission  and others who contributed to the formation of the outfit,  stressing that it was the best alternative to tackling crime in Yorubaland.

The Senator appealed to the governors and  DAWN Commission to ensure that Amotekun got  legal  backing  to start operation.

Also, the Kunle Alabi, the Press Secretary to the Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, in told one of  our correspondents  that  the state Assembly would begin work on the bill on  the  security initiative as soon as such was presented to  them.

Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party on Friday said it was in  support of the meeting between the  Federal Government and South West-governors over Amotekun.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said  they decided to support Amotekun in the belief that the outfit would  help boost security  in the region and across the nation.

Also, traditional rulers in Ondo State, under the aegis of “De 130 Krown Obas”, called on the governors to ignore negative comments about Amotekun.

The monarchs, who spoke through their state President, the Owa-Ale of Ikare-Akoko, Oba Kolapo Adegbite-Adedoyin, made the calls while briefing reporters after their meeting in Akure on Friday.

The traditional rulers also urged  the Federal Government to support the governors to achieve the set goals of  Amotekun.

According to them, it is only when the  outfit is allowed to function effectively that they and their subjects can   sleep with their eyes closed.

Also, the Socialist Party of Nigeria has called for democratic controlled armed multi-ethnic and multi-religious defence committees in communities.

The SPN said the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and ULC must launch a national campaign against insecurity and others in the country. (Saturday Punch)
 

 


Source: News Express

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