Governor of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi has signed the Ekiti state Security Network Agency Bill, otherwise known as the ‘Amotekun’ corps into law.
At the event attended by traditional rulers, members of Vigilante Group of Nigeria, hunters and the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Gov. Fayemi warned criminals to steer clear of Ekiti boasting that ‘Amotekun’ corps will them wherever they hide.
The governor, who spoke at the signing of the bill into law in Ado Ekiti on Monday, said the assent will give legal backing to ‘Operation Amotekun’ in Ekiti state.
The governor said the resilience of Ekiti citizens and the Yoruba race brought the security outfit to full operation, describing the scenario leading to the consummation of ‘Amotekun’ corps as novel since the advent of democracy in 1999.
“Since the advent of democracy in 1999, this is the first time when Yoruba people will speak with one voice without political or religious considerations.
“As a responsible and responsive government, it is our belief that security is significant and we won’t toy with the security of lives and property.
“The current challenges of proliferation of small arms, ritual killings, banditry, youth restiveness, cattle rustling, insurgency and terrorism are daunting.
“In tackling some of these menaces, which surfaced in the south-west region, the governors in the zone officially launched the Western Nigeria Security Network in Ibadan on January 20 and the bill that will form the legal framework was passed by the state House of Assembly.
“Let me clarify that ‘Amotekun’ will help the police to arrest, gather intelligence and information, arrest and prosecution of criminals, tackle illegal mining, land trespass, cattle rustling, destruction of crops, trespass into farmlands, cultism and highway robbery, among others.
“’Amotekun’ is not a substitute to the existing security networks, but a complement to it. It is not for Ekiti people alone, but for everybody. As long as you are resident in Ekiti state, you enjoy the right to be protected, so it is not for the indigenes alone.
“Crime fighting is a collective responsibility. Those perpetrating crimes are living among us and let us be vigilant and help the ‘Amotekun’ corps fish out criminals in our midst,” he said.
Gov. Fayemi promised that the handlers of ‘Amotekun’ corps will be thorough with the issues of recruitment, training and deployment of the operatives for efficiency and effectiveness of the network.
Speaker of the Ekiti state House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye, said the homogeneity of the Yoruba race, in terms of politics, culture and history made the ‘Amotekun’ to gain traction in the south-west region.
“It is clear that the police are overwhelmed, overstretched and overburdened. This is where the concept behind ‘Amotekun’ stemmed from. I want to also douse the tension and clarify that it won’t compete with the police, but will complement it,” he said.
Chairman, Ekiti state Council of Traditional Rulers, Oba Adebanji Alabi, described the signing of the bill as epochal and worthy of celebration.