The Ogun government, on Monday, said it would ensure that the South-West Security Network, popularly known as Operation Amotekun, was not politicized when its bill was eventually passed into law.
Gbolahan Adeniran, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, stated this during a stakeholders’ meeting on the Amotekun bill, held at the state House of Assembly complex in Abeokuta.
Adeniran noted that the recruitment system for the security outfit would be rigorous such that it would not be easy to be hijacked for any political means.
He noted that when operational, the security outfit would ensure that training of personnel was prioritized, adding that this would include intelligence gathering and how to be respectful to people.
The attorney-general, who was excited about the passion of the people of the state concerning the bill, noted that implementation of the bill when passed into law was also key to Operation Amotekun’s success.
“Security is one of the most important aspects of the Gov. Dapo Abiodun-led administration. This public hearing is the most important aspect of the bill. We will look at stakeholders’ contributions and incorporate them into the bill,” he said.
In his contribution, Alhaji Kamaldeen Akintunde, representing Ogun Muslim Council, stated that Operation Amotekun should not be used against the opposition.
Akintunde noted that the recruitment should reflect the socio-political indices of the state, saying that there should be adequate funding, while the use of local and spiritual arms should be allowed.
Mr Yinka Folarin, representative of the human rights community, commended the initiator of the Amotekun bill, saying that the issue of security should be taken seriously by any responsible and responsive government.
Folarin advised that the would-be commander of the agency should be a person with impeccable character, with vast knowledge in security matters.
He added that the appointment of the commander should not be for the governor, but subject to the approval of the Assembly.
Mrs Maureen Okpara, who represented Justice Development and Peace Movements (JDPM), suggested that gifts and donations from individuals should be scrapped from the bill.
Mrs Bunmi Ekundayo, Secretary, Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) in Ogun, noted that the bill was people-oriented, saying that the personnel must pass through psychiatric test before being engaged.
She added that the bill took into consideration Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which spoke about the importance of security and welfare of the people.
Recall that other stakeholders at the public hearing included representatives of hunters’ association, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Nigeria Bar Association, NSCDC, Agbekoya group and Community Development Association (CDA).