For­est guard law can back Op­er­a­tion Amotekun, says Falae

•South-west state as­sem­blies set to pass bill sup­port­ing se­cu­rity out­fit

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - AKIN ABOLUWADE, daud Olatunji, BOLA BAMIGBOLA, ABIODUN Nejo, and ed­ward NNACHI

The Houses of As­sem­bly in the six South-west states have be­gun the process of pass­ing the bill es­tab­lish­ing the Western Nige­ria Se­cu­rity Net­work, co­de­named Op­er­a­tion Amotekun.

The Speaker of the Ogun State House of As­sem­bly, Olakunle Olu­omo, said this on Satur­day while re­act­ing to the ques­tion on the readi­ness of the Houses of As­sem­bly to pass a bill that would give the out­fit of le­gal back­ing.

Olu­omo said the bill would be passed si­mul­ta­ne­ously by the six Houses of As­sem­bly.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the Ma­jor­ity Lead­ers in the Houses of As­sem­bly have been sad­dled with the task of com­ing up with a bill on Op­er­a­tion Amotekun.

He said, “The De­vel­op­ment Agenda for Western Nige­ria, known as DAWN Com­mis­sion, is to come up with a unique draft bill that will be passed si­mul­ta­ne­ously by all Houses of As­sem­bly in the South-west.

“Sim­i­larly, the South-west Leg­isla­tive Re­form Com­mit­tee made up of our Ma­jor­ity Lead­ers are also work­ing on the bill for Se­cu­rity, Eco­nomic and In­fras­truc­tural joint projects by South-west states.”

When asked whether the process of pass­ing the bill on the out­fit had com­menced, Olu­omo an­swered in the af­fir­ma­tive.

Also, the Oyo State Head of Spe­cial Du­ties, Ade­tayo Adeleke, said the state was push­ing for a bill that would give Op­er­a­tion Amotekun le­gal back­ing.

Adeleke said, “We are at the last stage of the process. Once that is done, very soon, within the first quar­ter of this year, I think Amotekun should be prop­erly op­er­a­tional.

“When it would be pushed to the House of As­sem­bly de­pends on the CAC reg­is­tra­tion. Right now, they are op­er­at­ing on ex­ec­u­tive man­date. I am sure that should be pos­si­ble as well in this first quar­ter.”

The Speaker of the state House of As­sem­bly, Adebo Ogun­doyin, also promised that they would sup­port the out­fit.

Ogun­doyin, who is rep­re­sent­ing Ibarapa East in the As­sem­bly, said, “We are look­ing into the pos­si­bil­ity of that now. Def­i­nitely, the House will work on it.”

How­ever, the Press Sec­re­tary to the Speaker of Osun State House of As­sem­bly, Kunle Al­abi, said there might not be any need for such leg­is­la­tion.

He said those who would work with the out­fit would be un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the po­lice and other se­cu­rity agen­cies that would be in­volved.

Al­abi added, “This is not a re­gional po­lice or army. The po­lice and other se­cu­rity agen­cies have their con­sti­tu­tional roles as stip­u­lated by the law.

“Amotekun is not a re­gional po­lice or army. Their ac­tiv­i­ties will not nec­es­sar­ily need the back­ing of new laws since their roles will be min­i­mal.”

How­ever, the Speaker of the Ek­iti State House of As­sem­bly, Fun­miniyi Afuye, said on Satur­day the out­fit was not a mat­ter for Ek­iti State alone, but a South-west ini­tia­tive.

Afuye said, “The leg­is­la­tures in the South-west may sit down and map out a leg­isla­tive back­ing if there is a need for it.

“All the stake­hold­ers will sit down and see what is nec­es­sary in terms of law, leg­is­la­tion, con­cern­ing Amotekun. It be­longs to the South­West. Good enough we have a fo­rum – Con­fer­ence of South-west Speak­ers. At that fo­rum, we may dis­cuss the is­sue of Amotekun.

“What is im­por­tant is that what­ever laws we are go­ing to make will be within the con­text of the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Fed­eral Re­pub­lic of Nige­ria. What­ever laws, if there will be a need, will be with­out prej­u­dice to the con­sti­tu­tion and sovereignt­y of the Fed­eral Re­pub­lic of Nige­ria.”

Mean­while, the Indige­nous Peo­ple of Bi­afra on Satur­day lauded South-west gover­nors for set­ting up Op­er­a­tion Amotekun.

But the pro­scribed group chided South-east gover­nors for “mak­ing the South-east re­gion a fer­tile ground for Fu­lani herds­men and their ac­tiv­i­ties”.

•L-R: Reg­is­trar, Char­tered In­sti­tute of Stock­bro­kers, Mr Ad­edeji Ajadi; In­vest­ment Coach, Dr Timi Olu­biyi; and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor/ Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, NASD Plc, Mr Bola Ajo­male, dur­ing a busi­ness roundtable by the Se­cu­rity and Ex­change Com­mis­sion in La­gos... re­cently. Photo: CIS

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