Ogun: Stakeholders Seek Measures Against Hijack Of Amotekun Operation - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Ogun: Stakeholders Seek Measures Against Hijack Of Amotekun Operation



Adenike Sanusi & Damilola Oladeji 
ABEOKUTA - Stakeholders at the public hearing on Amotekun Bill organized by the Ogun State House of Assembly have commended the initiative of South West governors at establishing the Corps, in response to challenges of insecurity in the country, positing that when operational, the Amotekun Corps  should strengthen ties with other agencies with a view to strengthening security in the region.

They pointed out the need to avoid unnecessary friction and overlapping function, stressing that the Corps should be devoid of political interference with proper funding to enable them function effectively. 
In his submission, the State Chairman of Coalition of Civil Societies who represented the Human Rights Community, Comrade Yinka Folarin, pointed out that the appointment of the Corp Commander for the security outfit must not be the sole right of the governor, but subject to the approval of the Assembly.
Also speaking,  Alhaji Kamaldeen Akintunde,  representing Ogun Muslim Council, suggested that the initiative should be properly funded and not used for political reasons or targeted at opposition.
The State Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Mr. Paul Oni, advised that personnel for the outfit must be recommended by traditional rulers and Community Development Associations (CDAs).
Mr. Kayode Adebayo representative of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) argued that Amotekun should not be given the power to prosecute while the Justice Development and Peace Movements (JDPM), Abeokuta Catholic Diocese, Mrs Maureen Okpara,  noted that gifts and donations from individuals should be scrapped from the bill.
The Ogun General Assembly in its submission asked that every formation of the structure should have its representative so as to accommodate their interest as a minority ethnic group.
It requested further that the Bill when it becomes law should be translated into Ogu language for better understanding.
The  Secretary, Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) in Ogun, Mrs. Bunmi Adelakun,  noted that the bill was people-oriented, saying that the Amotekun personnel must undergo a psychiatric test before being engaged.
The Stakeholders include the Nigeria Bar Association; Coalition of Civil Societies Group; Agbekoya, Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC); Vigilante Group of Nigeria; Yoruba World Congress; Amotekun Group.
Others include So-Safe Corps; Ogu General Assembly; Ogun State Muslim Council; Egba Traditional Council; National Youth Council of Nigeria; Peace Corps among others.
In his welcome address, the Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, who chaired the Forum, informed the gathering that all contributions by different groups would be adequately studied for the lawmakers to work on.
Oluomo said that the Conference of Speakers in the South West had agreed to give the Bill a speedy passage in a matter of days.
He said, “The purpose of our gathering here today is to take input of all stakeholders for the Amotekun Bill. I urged you all to contribute meaningfully for us to work on.
” The Conference of Speakers agreed to reconcile all the opinions of different stakeholders and pass the Bill into law in each of the States as a matter of urgency.”
The Speaker added that the Assembly had resolved to publish the Law in the Yoruba language once it is signed into law by Governor Dapo Abiodun.
He identified information gathering as a key factor in addressing the challenge of insecurity in our communities.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ogun State, Mr. Gbolahan Adeniran, has said that the Amotekun bill, when passed into law would not be used for political means.
He said this in his remarks at the Stakeholder’s Forum organized by the State House of Assembly, on HB.No. 35/OG/2020 “A Bill for a Law to Establish the Ogun State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps to Assist in Maintaining Law and Order in the State and for Concerned Purposes”, held at the Assembly Complex
He said that the Dapo Abiodun-led administration prioritizes the issue of security as it affects the lives and property of the citizens, saying intelligence gathering is crucial to the survival of the security outfit.
The commissioner explained that the security outfit when it becomes operational would not have the power to prosecute.
The AG said, “Security is one of the most important aspect of the Gov. Dapo Abiodun government. This public hearing is the most important aspect of this bill. We will look at stakeholders’ contributions and incorporate them into the bill.
” The outfit is community-oriented. The implementation of the Bill is not for the government but for the people.”
He promised that the enrolment process would be thoroughly carried out and that an independent board would be put in place for accountability.
The AG expressed satisfaction about the contributions of stakeholders at the forum, adding that training of the personnel would be prioritized.

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