As lawyers write houses of assembly
By Dapo Akinrefon & Adesina Wahab – Lagos
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, on Thursday, backed the legislation of the southwest security outfit, code-named ‘Operation Amotekun’.
They spoke at the 2020 edition of the Oodua Festival in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Similarly, the Agbekoya Farmers Association and a group of lawyers in the Chambers of T.B. Ayodele and Co., have written to Speakers of the Houses of Assembly in the zone urging them to expedite action on passing the necessary law to the security outfit.
The Ooni of Ife, however, admonished southwest lawmakers to fast track the process that would make Amotekun lawful.
He said: “In Yoruba land and across the southwest, things have changed with the introduction of Amotekun. I am happy for the southwest governors, and this victory actually reflects the fact that there is little we can achieve without unity, that is why I am appealing to all traditional rulers to work in ensuring that Amotekun comes to stay.”
Also speaking, Aare Adams stressed the need to legalize the new initiative, saying that Nigerians abroad can now bring investors that can help develop the country.
He said: “The victory achieved through Amotekun showcases the beauty of having all of us speak in one voice.
“It shows that in unity, everything is possible. So, I am using this opportunity to appeal to all the states’ Houses of Assembly to do the needful by legislating the initiative, by giving it the necessary legal backing. When this is done, we can be sure of winning the war for a better future.
“Now that Operation Amotekun has come to stay, many of our members that came from abroad, across the 87 countries, where OPU is presently located are happy that the southwest is safe for them.
“They can now leverage this new opportunity to bring investors into the country. It is not enough to have them abroad, it is good and ideal if they can come back home, bring investors that can help develop the southwest for us.
“This is possible if we create the enabling environment. There are hopes in eco-tourism, there are hopes in developing Agric-tourism, there are hopes in arts and sports tourism as it is done in the developed climes.”
Agbekoya tasks South West lawmakers
Also, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Bandele Olatunji and Southwest Chairman, Mr. Kunle Adelakun Eruobodo, Agbekoya lambasted the critics of Operation Amotekun in Southwest saying that “it is only an irresponsible and irresponsive leader that will fold his arms while armed bandits, kidnappers and armed Fulani herdsmen perpetrate incessant killings of innocent citizens in our society.”
Agbekoya said: “Critics of Amotekun are enemies of Yoruba race and they aim to slaughter us like cows one by one. Our Governors, in their constitutional positions as chief security officers of their states, are responding and reacting appropriately to the security challenges confronting their states and some Northern leaders and groups are criticizing them for taking actions and steps that will help in eradicating the security problems. The action of the South West governors is, therefore, commendable and supported by the Agbekoya Farmers Association and the Yoruba nation of Western Nigeria.
We also call on the South West Governors to fast track the putting in place of the enabling laws and legal framework for the establishment and operation of the new security outfit in conformity with the Federal Government community policing as it was agreed upon at the last meeting with the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.”
Lawyers write houses of assembly
Similarly, a group of lawyers, Messrs T.B. Ayodele, I.A. Durosomo, A.B. Aderibigbe and Obiesika Iyalla, noted that passing the necessary law to back the setting up of the outfit was imperative noting that no minute must be wasted in the efforts to safeguard the lives and property of the people of the region.
The lawyers, who wrote the Houses of Assembly in the zone, urged the lawmakers to give it the priority it deserves.
The statement reads: “That is obvious and conspicuous that this noble state at this point is going through huge and titanium security challenges ranging from highway robberies, kidnappings and Fulani herdsmen menace.
“That the Federal Government security outfits though trying their best, the establishment of Western Nigeria Security Network will help in combating internal crimes by external forces in the states.
“That Western Nigeria Security Network is only meant to complement the present security outfits in the country and not to replace them.
“That it is pertinent and highly germane to have this Western Nigeria Security Network as an outsider cannot know a terrain better than the occupants or indigenous residents of the particular area.
“That establishment of Western Nigeria Security Network will not only enhance the protection of lives and property of the states but will, in a long and far-reaching way, provide job opportunities to the alarming and monstrous populace of unemployed youths.”
“That we need Western Nigeria Security Network in our dear State not because we no longer have faith or trust in the Federal Government.
“That it is better to arrest any security threat or breach from the inside rather than calling for external backing or backup in the middle of a crisis.
“Given the above Mr. Speaker, we write your good offices to initiate your discretional powers conferred on you by the Constitution which you stand to protect at all time and to use and fulfill the words in the Oath of allegiance and office by considering the overwhelming and overriding interest of the good people of your state by rallying the members of the Assembly to pass a bill into law for the Establishment of Western Nigeria Security Network.”