Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa on Monday said the concept of South West security outfit, amotekun as a warfare, noting it is meant to safeguard the people of the State.
Obasa who gave this charge while speaking at a day public hearing at the Assembly premises, Alausa Ikeja, said, “We need to be careful. Amotekun is not warfare. It is not against any ethnic group.”
Obasa said, “We have come here to talk about security. We will recall the killings, raping, armed robbery that have been happening all over the country. Our governors came together to form an outfit that could combat the crime, which was what brought about “Amotekun”.
“The constitution of the country talks about protection of lives and properties. We came up with LNSC law to support our police in crime control and prevention. All states of the country have been copying this. The LNSC will be amended to accommodate “Amotekun.” Security in Lagos State is different from those of other states. “Amotekun” has come to stay in Lagos State.
Are Ona Kakanfo, Iba Gani Adams: A !ot of people in Yoruba said some people had stated that Amotekun could cause problem. “But I told that the Yorubas are the most organised in Nigeria and this has confirmed that. Amotekun has brought about unity in the South West, it has never happened before.
“We informed them that Amotekun is not state police and that it is different. I want to allay the fears of those who think Amotekun would harm them not to have any fear. The interest of everybody in the state would be protected under Amotekun.
While giving the overview of the bill the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said “This is not the first amendment to the LNSC law, it was made in 2016 and amended in 2019. Lagos State is not in isolation, it is working with others states that have experienced kidnapping, killings, raping, armed robbery, cattle rustling, terrorism and others. The Governors in the South West states decided to come up with “Amotekun” and we incorporate it into the LNSC Law.
“It seeks to amend 39 Sections of the LNSC of 2019. The Bill has nine sections with threes incidental sections and six on critical amendments.
The purpose of the amendment is to energise what we already have in the state and make it more impactful.
Amotekun is an animal that is brave, bold and vicious and that could operate on land and water. “Amotekun” Corps would be vicious and operate on land, water and even in the forest.
Members of the “Amotekun” Corps would bear arms that would be licensed by the police to make it legal.
We want to ensure that we have the impact of our people on whom the law would be enforced.
LNSC Law is good for us, but we want to have something better.
“Amotekun” Corps would make use of the powers given to us by our forefathers. The police itself is short-staffed, so members of “Amotekun” Corps will add value to the force.
In his welcome address, the Chairman House Committee on Information, Publicity, Strategy and Security, Hon Tunde Braimoh said,
Section 14 (b) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that security is the number one job of the government.
Citizens enjoy all the amenities provided by the government only if they have life. I welcome you all to the Lagos State House of Assembly, where we emphasise your interest. What is being done is an amendment of Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) Law of 2016, Lagos State. The law came from the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa.
The public hearing is meant to stimulate discussions on the law. We want to establish a complimentary security network as provided for by the 1999 Constitution of the country.
Representative of Seriki Hausawa of Alimosho, Mallam Ibrahim Abubakar said “We should be careful about provocative statements. We should give people sense of belonging. Bring the Areas Community on board and let us communicate with our people.
The representative of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) stated that the church is in support of Amotekun and that they would pray for the success of the corps, while commending the proponents of the concept.
Also supporting the project, a Security Consultant and Analyst, Mr. Dickson Osagie urged the government to emphasise proper training of the personnel of Amotekun, adding that insufficient parenting has been contributing to the high rate of insecurity in Lagos State.
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Chief Sunday Olaifa, who spoke on behalf of the party’s chairman in the state, Engineer Adedeji Doherty said that the party is in support of Amotekun.
He, however, said that the party would want the state government not to employ personnel on party, religion or ethnic basis.
He said that qualified people should be employed and that there are enough charms in Yoruba land to ensure the success of Amotekun
In his contributions, a security expert, Mr. Gboyega Alowonle said that the state assembly should look at the recruitment of personnel and training.
“Let us ensure that the personnel go through due diligence. You cannot rule out Nigerian Police in the area of security, and Community Policing is also important,” he said.
Mr. Lekan Otukoya said, “We should give consideration to those who started neighbourhood watch in the state then. They were laid off in 2016. They did very well when er started in 1996. The members of the neighbourhood watch were laid off without any compensation. We should revisit this.
Chairman of Agbekoya in Lagos State, Alhaji Davis said, “We have the ability to fight crimes without using arms or weapons. Let us employ those who know the job and not using enemies. We should not use just anybody. Agbekoyas have the power to cope and fight criminals.”
Yoruba Youth Council said, “Banditry, raping, illegal fire arms and trespassing should parts of the crimes. Members of the state house of Assembly should be involved in the removal of the commanders.
We should also note the issue of training and recruitment.
CDAs and CDCs members representative, Mr Adio Abiola should be included in the recruitment of members of the Amotekun Corps because they know the terrain. The community leaders should also be involved in the process.
Babatunde Odunlami: Hiring and removal of the head of Amotekun should not be left in the hand of the Governors alone. Members of the Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and those of the civil societies should be on the board.
General Secretary of Coalition of Oodua Group, Mr. Rasak Olokooba: Define the roles of states and federal on Amotekun clearly. The police and Nigerian Army do not have the ability to secure the states properly. State police ought to secure the assembly ams perform other security roles. All these should be made constitutional. When criminals are arrested in Lagos State, can we hand them over to the federal police, who might not handle the matter well.
Comrade Gbenga Ekundayo from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) said, “There cannot be economic growth without security. There is need for creativity to ensure security in the state. We should have a system to make an average adult parts of our security system. We can make use of volunteers for our security system. We need technology such as data gathering and record of the people in the state.”
Chairman of APC in Lagos State, Alhaji Tunde Balogun : What we are doing here today is right and proper. Every state has its own House of Assembly. Amotekun is fantastic project and good concept. There can be collaboration amongst the states in the South West. Amotekun will provide information to the police and other security agencies.
Hon. Seye Oladejo, Lagos APC Publicity Secretary said, “Amotekun is a more serious template of the LNSC. We need to de-emphasise educational qualifications of the operatives and ensure that they are familiar with the terrain. We must do serious checks of the operatives.”
A former member of the House, Hon. Segun Olulade, said, “Two third member of the state house of assembly, Hon Segun should support the removal of the commander of the state Amotekun Corps. They should not be called patrol unit so that they would work properly.
“Children should be engaged as this would discourage social vices. He also talked about women, who he said should be involved.”
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