The Ekiti State House of Assembly has become the first in Southwest to pass the Operation Amotekun bill into law.
The lawmakers, on Friday passed the bill presented to it by Governor Kayode Fayemi into law.
House Committee on Security and Special Duties had presented the bill at the plenary of the House on Friday.
One of the objectives of the bill is to create a security network that would collaborate with and assist the Police and other security agencies in maintaining law and order within the state by making available relevant information on crime.
Presenting the report on the floor of the House, Lateef Akanle said certain sections of the bill were considerably amended to suit the peculiarities and uniqueness of the people of the state.
He read the outcome of the public hearing at the plennary, which included that section 5 (I) of the security network bill the governing board should be headed by a retired law enforcement agent, who should be a man of proven integrity or equivalent in the Nigerian Army not below the rank of Major General.
The lawmaker stressed the bill proposal is a product extensive deliberation by critical stakeholders, noting its provisions was painstakingly subjected to clause-by-clause and point-by-point scrutinization at the public hearing.
There was exhaustive debate on the qualification of who should head the board, as the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Hakeem Jamiu and Hon Adeoye Aribasoye sought for the reduction of the rank of the chairman of the board should be reduced from Major General or equivalent to a lower rank.
Jamiu said: “retired Major Generals are not easy to come by and when you see them, they might be old or tired. So, let us bring down the scale to either Brigadier General , Colonel or equivalent .
“We have to think ahead of implementation level, so that we won’t run into crisis. How many Major Generals do we have around? Those that are still alive are old for such position, so I move that we reduce the rank to Brigadier General or Colonel or equivalent in other law enforcement agencies”, he submitted.
The Leader of Government Business , Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan, said with the passage, the state had again exhibited leadership by example and pacesetting feature in the southwest .
Speaker of the House, Funminiyi Afuye said the House had fulfilled its fundamental responsibility of making people-oriented laws that would guarantee adequuate protection of lives and property of the people of the state.
Afuye expressed optimism that the bill when sign into law would stem the tide of kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and other manifestation of criminalities that have continued to constitute hindrances to people’s normal social and economic life.
“By passing this bill, we have made history and we will be creating big strides towards providing and ensuring that all persons travelling along the highways, major roads, remote areas, hinterland and forest are free to participate in their normal social and economic life without fear or hindrance.
“One of the major concerns has always been the issue kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and all other forms of criminalities . We believe that this bill will provide the needed security for our people,” he said in a report by the Nation.