Three South-West states, Ekiti, Oyo and Ondo, said on Sunday they would soon sign the Amotekun Bill into law.
In Ekiti, the state Commissioner for Information, Muyiwa Olumilua, said the state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, would soon sign the bill soon.
He said, “It will be signed soon. The House has passed it, it is waiting for the governor’s assent and that will be done shortly. The only hurdle after approval by the State Executive Council was the House of Assembly and the House has passed it. All that is left is for the governor to sign and he will do that very shortly.”
The Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, who corroborated the commissioner’s claim, said the Ekiti Amotekun Bill would be signed by the governor “as soon as possible”.
Afuye said, “At the meeting in Ibadan, it was resolved that all the houses would soon pass their own bills into law following the normal process of lawmaking. We (Ekiti) are already on ground, our other colleagues will pass their own as well as soon as possible and definitely, the governor’s assent which is the final approval in the law process will be done”.
It was gathered that in Ondo State, the bill was sent to the House on Wednesday after the meeting of the council, which deliberated and approved the bill.
The Speaker of state House of Assembly, Mr Bamidele Oloyeloogun, who confirmed the receipt of the bill in a text message he sent to our correspondent, said, “Yes, it will be passed very soon.”
Similarly, it was learnt that the Oyo State Government would pass the Amotekun Bill into law as soon as Governor Seyi Makinde receives it from the lawmakers.
The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, said, “The bill is still in the House. There is not so much with the bill because it is a harmonised bill by all the states of the South-West.
“It was the governor that sent it to the lawmakers in the first place, so when they eventually they send it back to the governor, there will be no issue about the passage of the bill into law. No delay is envisaged once the bill is passed to the governor.”
But the Osun Assembly said it would not rush to pass the Amotekun Bill. The Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, said that for the law that would come of the bill to stand the test of time, it must go through necessary scrutiny.
The Speaker, in a chat with our correspondent, said though the lawmakers would commence work on the bill on Monday (today), it would not be passed this week.
“We are not passing it this week. There is nothing to rush about it. We have to pass the bill quickly, but by following procedures required for any bill before becoming law. This is a special bill. We have to make sure it can stand the test of time.
“We also agreed at the meeting of Conference of Speakers in the South-West that all the South-West Houses of Assembly should conduct public hearing on the bill.
“We are having the Public Hearing on the 20th of February in Osun State. We have made up our minds to consider the bill page by page and line by line for it to stand the test of time,” Owoeye concluded.
Ekiti elders hail South-West governors
Meanwhile, the Ekiti Council of Elders has hailed the state executive councils and the legislative houses in the six South-West states for their actions on the bill establishing Amotekun Corps and state security network agency.
The council’s President, Prof. Joseph Oluwasanmi, gave the commendation at a press conference on the security network in Ado Ekiti on Friday. He enjoined the governors “to ensure that the personnel are carefully screened and to ensure that only people of impeccable characters and unquestionable past were appointed into the board of the security outfit”.
Oluwasanmi added, “Politics should not be involved in the selection. The selection process should be insulated from politics. Politicians should steer clear.
“The Council dispels the fear in some quarters that the non-Yoruba in the South-West are the target of the formation. Rather, the security outfit will enable the Yoruba to continue to be good and accommodating hosts they have been renowned for.”
NBA chair suggests psychiatric test
The Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ado Ekiti branch, Olakanmi Falade, on Sunday suggested compulsory psychiatric test for Amotekun Corps personnel.
Falade said, “We have seen cases of how Nigerians were being abused by security operatives. We have seen how those that were supposed to guarantee safety ended up killing innocent people over flimsy excuses.
“I believe the board will be given the powers to set their own rules and criteria for recruitment when they begin operations. The board must adopt this as part of the rules for recruitment even if it ends not being part of the amendments.
“This should be taken seriously in the recruitment exercise so that the operatives won’t turn out to be lawbreakers.”
Enang cautions against disintegration
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, said on Sunday the new trend of establishing regional security outfits could affect national integration in the country, warning that it could also affect conduct of successful elections in Nigeria.
Speaking with stakeholders in Abuja, Enang said state governors should seek alternative ways of policing their territories, while also warning against infiltration of the nation’s territories by foreigners.
He said, “Let us not seek for individual or regional-based security outfit because if we start, there will never be any successful national election as each state or region will want to use its own security outfit to enforce election.
“It appears as if the voice of disintegration and voice that seems to suggest we go our different ways are louder and is almost submerging the voice of conciliation and togetherness.”