The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Monday signed into law the bill for the establishment of Ekiti State Security Network Agency and Amotekun Corps, with a warning to criminally minded persons to stay away from the State and the entire South West zone.
Fayemi, while assenting to the bill at a brief ceremony at the Jibowu Hall, Government House, Ado-Ekiti, reiterated his earlier assertion that the Amotekun outfit was not a substitute for existing security agencies, but a complementary agency that would enhance and sustain the existing security architecture in the South West region of the Country.
He explained that the Amotekun Corps in collaboration with similar security agencies in other states would cooperate and assist police and other security agencies in gathering information about crime, arrest and prosecution of persons suspected or involved in kidnapping, terrorism, cattle rustling, cultism, highway robbery, illegal mining, trespass to farmland, illegal logging and other nefarious activities in the State and the South west zone.
The Governor said the signing of the law backing Amotekun has fostered strong relationship among Wouth West states in addition to revealing the quest by Ekiti people and the Yoruba race to address security challenges bedevilling the region.
Governor Fayemi said: “Today is significant in our history as a state and people as we give legal backing to Amotekun in Ekiti State, an initiative that has defied all odds.
“The collective quest of Ekiti Kete and indeed the Yoruba race to address the security challenges in our State and region has brought out the Omoluabi in all of us.
“Above all, the issue of Amotekun has reaffirmed that indeed the Omoluabis are their brothers’ keepers.
“For the first time in this democratic dispensation, we spoke with one voice without political and religious considerations.
“This is a thing of joy and pride for all freeborn Ekiti-Kete and indeed Yoruba, and a mark of respect for our collective heritage as a people.”
The Governor, who assured that his administration would leave no stone unturned in making Ekiti free of crime, disclosed that the Amotekun Agency would guarantee and safeguard human rights laws and ensure safety of all persons traveling along the highways, major roads, remote areas, hinterland and forest as they participate in their normal socioeconomic life without fear or hindrances.
Allaying the fears of non-indigenes who are residents of the South West region, Fayemi said the laws were crafted to ensure the safety and freedom of everyone within and around South western states, irrespective of their place of origin.
He informed the gathering that crime fighting requires a collective responsibility, saying: “All hands must be on deck in our quest to restore peace and curb criminality in our state and region.
“Those who engage in criminal activities live within and around us.
“Let us be vigilant and be sensitive to new faces in our midst.
“Be your brother’s keeper and disseminate information to the relevant agencies on time to enable them respond as quick as possible to spot criminals.”
Fayemi, commending the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and Service Chiefs in the fight against crime, urged the security heads to embrace and support Amotekun, describing security challenges as tedious but surmountable in the ambiance of unity of purpose.
The Governor also assured that the mode of recruitment, training and deployment would be prioritised in the operation of the agencies as earlier highlighted by the Chairman Council of Traditional Rulers and Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Ajibade Alabi.
Oba Alabi had earlier in his remarks said the success of Amotekun would be dependent on the mode of recruitment, training and deployment.
The monarch urged government to recruit only people who are capable and competent into the scheme, adding that they must be “schooled and groomed in the act of security and must be exposed to intelligence network”.
He advised that the Amotekun Corps must be exposed to a great deal of intelligence and information gathering, processing, covert operations, sabotage, subversive and how to nip crime in the bud.
The monarch also said they have to be properly deployed in such a way that they will not be exploiting travellers on the road or constitute nuisance to public peace.
Also, the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Funminiyi Afuye, said the signing of Amotekun Security Network Agency bill into law would stem the rising tide of herdsmen attack, kidnapping, destruction of farmland produce, brigandage and other forms of criminality.
The governor, signed the bill in the presence of the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; Afuye; Chief of Staff, Hon. Biodun Omoleye; Head of Service, Peju Babafemi; Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Biodun Oyebanji; Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda; Deputy Speaker, Hon. Hakeem Jamiu; and members of the State Executive Council and House of Assembly.