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Civil Society Groups, Agbekoyas Support Amotekun

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…… Emphasize on Proper Recruitment, Training of Personnel

By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE

Stakeholders across Lagos State and environs have pledged their support for the creation of Amotekun in the state, emphasising on proper recruitment and training of the personnel.

They spoke during a Day Stakeholders Forum on a bill for a law to amend the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) Agency Law, 2019 aimed at establishing the Amotekun Corps on Monday 24th February, 2020 at the Pavilion at the Assembly premises.

The representative of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Stephen Adegbite 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.

In his comment, the Chairman of the Chairmen 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.

Also contributing, Mr. Lekan Otukoya advised that the government should give consideration to those who started neighbourhood watch in the state then.

Otukoya said that members of the neighbourhood watch were laid off in 2016 without compensations, but that they had been doing good jobs since 1996, when they started.

Hon. Babatunde Adetunji, in his view suggested that irrespective of the qualification of the personnel, they should be people who understand the terrain, and that there should be penalty for erring officers.

Ibrahim Abubakar, who spoke for the Seriki Chieftaincy Council of Arewa Community suggested that people should be careful about provocative statements.

Abubakar said that the Hausas should give people sense of belonging, adding that the Arewa community is part of the state.

The Chairman of Agbekoyas in Lagos State, Alhaji Davis said that they had the ability to fight crimes without using arms or weapons.

“Let us employ those who know the job rather than using enemies. We should not use just anybody. Agbekoyas have the power to cope and fight criminals,” he said.

According to Yoruba Youth Council, 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.

Another stakeholder, Mr. Adio Abiola stated that CDAs and CDCs members should be included in the recruitment of members of the Amotekun Corps, saying that they know the terrain, and that the community leaders should also be involved in the process.

Babatunde Odunlami explained that hirng and removal of the head of Amotekun should not be left in the hand of the Governors alone, and that 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 stated that the lawmakers should define the roles of states and federal on Amotekun clearly.

“The police and the Nigerian Army do not have the ability to secure the states properly.

“State police ought to secure the assembly and 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 that there could not be economic growth without security.

Ekundayo said that there was need for creativity to ensure security in the state.

He said that there should be a system to make an average adult parts of the 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,” he said.

Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Publicity, Strategy and Security, Hon. Tunde Braimoh said that Section 14 (B) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stated that security is the number one job of the government.

Braimoh stressed that ciitizens 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,” he said.

While addressing the gathering, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa stated that the meeting was called to talk about security.

“We can 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 crimes, 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 the states of the country have been copying this. The LNSC Law 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,” he said.

The Speaker noted that the idea had resulted in different reactions from Nigerians, but that the South West cannot relent in the zone’s bid to ensure people are safe.

Obasa said that the Neighbourhood Watch was put in place in 2016 and that some states have copied the idea thus making it important for it to be amended to accommodate Amotekun.

 

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