The Yoruba World Congress (YWC) has urged the six Southwest states to recruit only their kith and kin in each local government into “Amotekun” to defend and protect their respective areas. “Amotekun is an exclusive Yoruba instrument of collective self-defence,” the Convener of YWC Prof. Banji Akintoye, said in the statement, arguing that such a tribalistic approach was imperative since the Amotekun teams would be defending their localities.
“These should be persons who belong to, and who reside in, the local government area. We also urge the recruiters not to forget to recruit some of our local hunters, so as to add their well-known expertise to the defence and protection of their local government areas,” the statement noted.
The YWC call came as it becomes increasingly evident that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the bill for the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), the regional security outfit codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’, will be passed into law this week in the six South-west states.
Huhuonline.com has learnt that in anticipation of the passage of the bill, Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Ogun and Osun state Houses of Assembly will hold public hearings on the draft bill this week.
Ekiti State is ahead of these five states as the state legislature had since passed the bill into law and is awaiting the assent of Governor Kayode Fayemi, who is reportedly waiting for the other states to conclude work on the bill so that all the six Southwest governors will assent to the bill simultaneously.
Also, Special Adviser on Security to the Governor of Ekiti State, Brig. Gen. Ebenezer Ogundana (rtd), said Fayemi would assent to the Ekiti State Security Network Bill along with other South-west states. He said the governor was desirous of being on the same page with other states and that must have accounted for the delay in assenting to the bill, which the House of Assembly has passed into law.
“The governor had while receiving the draft bill from the Attorney-General of the state, said the bill would be signed into law across the six states in the South-west simultaneously. I believe this must have caused the delay in the process of signing the bill into law apart from the fact that the governor has been having a busy schedule,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State House of Assembly had committed the bill to the House Committee on Information, Publicity, Security and Strategy for a public hearing scheduled for today (Monday). To accommodate Amotekun, the state government had proposed a bill for the amendment of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC). The bill is entitled: ‘A House of Assembly Bill No. 5 Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) Amendment Bill 2020 and for Connected Purposes.’
The Oyo State Assembly will today also hold public hearing on the bill, which was sent to it by the executive. The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanjo Adedoyin, who confirmed this development to reporters said the bill will be passed into law after the public hearing. “The bill will be passed this week, like other states in the South-west, the House would on Monday organise a public hearing on the bill. So, latest by Tuesday or Wednesday, it would be passed,” Adedoyin said.
In Ondo State, the bill, which has passed second reading at the state House of Assembly, will also be subjected to public hearing today. The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Oluwatotimi Akeredolu on Security Matters, Jimoh Dojumo, confirmed the development to reporters at the weekend.
In Osun State, the Chief Press secretary to the state governor, Ismail Omipidan, also confirmed that the state lawmakers will hold a public hearing on the matter this week. According to him, until the state legislature passes the bill into law, there is nothing the government can do for now.
The Ogun State House of Assembly is also expected to hold a public hearing on the bill today. Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Kunle Somorin said: “The state government has approved the draft bill setting up Amotekun and the bill is before the state House of Assembly. “It is the lawmakers that will determine whether it is the police or the army that will train the Amotekun personnel. Such a decision should naturally come with the passage of the bill.” He added that the government had not got to the stage of recruiting personnel for Amotekun, noting that such would follow once the bill is passed by the House and signed into law by the governor.
But this has not stopped the YWC and sundry Yoruba groups to clamor for the exclusive recruitment of Yorubas to man the security outfit. Huhuonline.com understands that the YWC is speaking the mind of Yoruba nation when it avers that the Yoruba nation is blessed with millions of men and women who were eager to serve Amotekun and urged that persons recruited and trained for service in Amotekun are, and must be, Yoruba.
“Those responsible for organizing Amotekun, for recruiting people into it, for training the recruits, and for commanding and supervising the trained recruits, are, and must be, Yoruba. The Yoruba nation does not, and cannot, understand anything different from that. The decision to use any Yoruba person or Yoruba organization for Amotekun is a decision for only the Yoruba people to take,” the YWC said in the statement.