SPEECH DELIVERED AT THE PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PROPOSED AMOTEKUN BILL AT EKITI STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY TODAY, 13 FEBRUARY, 2020
The bill being presented to the house this morning is the Ekiti State Security Network Agency Bill 2020.
If passed as law, the Ekiti State Security Network Agency Bill 2020, will be the foundation for the establishment of Amotekun Corps in Ekiti.
Similar bills are also being considered in the house of assembly of our sister states of Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo and Lagos.This is a welcome development. It is long over due and is the way to go considering the loss of lives, income and opportunities the current state of insecurity has caused the SW region of Nigeria.
Community policing is an international practice which is actually indigenous to our traditional pre -colonial societies in Nigeria particularly in the South West. We had traditional watchmen who kept peace and secured lives and property against invasion and loss. Garrison commanders were known as Eleegbe. These were men of war having multiples of 200 men in their command.
My great grandfather, Pa Samuel Akinyemi of Odolase Quarters of Odo Aiyedun was an Uba Eleegbe. The equivalent of Chief of Defense Staff was the Balogun, my GrandUncle Chief Abraham Onipede of Irutu Quarters was the Generalissimo Balogun of Oke Aiyedun. So today, as we consider the passing of this bill to law; we are reclaiming our land and restoring our values.
The primary responsibility of any government to her citizenry is Security. Second to that will be to create an enabling environment to thrive economically. However we cannot pursue economic growth in an insecure environment. For there to be sustainable development and growth there MUST be security of lives and property.
I have carefully read through the bill. I commemd the drafters for taking out time to draft a law that is succinct, easy to read, understand and devoid of verbose legalese which makes implementation and enforcement a challenge.
S5(2) of the proposed bill clearly reassures naysayers that in carrying out her duties Amotekun Corps will safeguard the human rights of every persons as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended) and other human rights instruments.
The objectives of the proposed law are clear. I will put it simply like this – “The Amotekun corps will through gathering of intelligence about criminal activities and their perpetrators, collaborate with our sister states of Ogun, Lagos Ondo, Osun and Oyo to ensure security of lives and properties within our geographical area with the help of the Nigeria police to maintain law and order”.
S19 spells out the kind of individuals who will qualify to be an Amotekun. Apart from getting a clean bill of health from the police, such persons will be expected to bring endorsements from the local government or the traditional ruler. This process will ensure that only persons who are fit and proper for purpose emerges as members of Amotekun Corps.
S25 of the bill provides for the establishment of an independent Amotekun Complaint Board. It is akin to ‘watching the watcher’. This is a welcome inclusion. It also assures the people, that, per adventure Amotekun Corps become over zealous in the discharge of their duties, the ordinary man on the street is not without recourse to redress the wrong.
I recommend that this house gives the passage of this bill accelerated hearing. If we listen to the commentaries from the court of public opinion we can safely conclude that a referendum in support of this bill has been passed.
Mr Speaker, members of the house, distinguished ladies and gentlemen gbogbo wa l’Amotekun. We ALL owe ourselves a duty of care. If you see something, we must say something. Orun n ya boo, kin se oro eni kan.
NBA Ikere Branch