Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Oyo State chapter, yesterday declared support for the state Security Network Agency, Operation Amotekun.
MACBAN that made the declaration during a public hearing organised by House of Assembly Committee on Security and Strategy, chaired by Akeem Obadara, for the Security Network Agency Bill 2020 for the establishment of Amotekun Corps in the state, also requested members of the association be enlisted into the security outfit.
Represented by a former chairman of the association in the state, Yakubu Bello, MACBAN commended the setting up of Amotekun, saying: “The bill was not targeted at anybody. Those that are peddling the rumours are the real troublemakers and enemy of progress.”
Bello is optimistic that the Amotekun Corps would provide the enabling environment and security for the cattle breeders to do their work without any fear of being attacked.
He requested that members of the association too should be enlisted into the security outfit because they are the ones that know their people very well and would be able to gather better intelligence on intruding herders to the state.
He stated further that many Fulani herdsmen had been living in the state for more than 40 years and a number of them also got married to Yoruba, “which means we have also become Yoruba.”
He pointed out that most of the cattle belong to some Yoruba community leaders.
Meanwhile, the House of Assembly, yesterday received 22 memoranda in support of the bill for the establishment of Amotekun Corps.
The groups and individuals that submitted memoranda include Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN), Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Agbekoya Farmers’ Association, Soludero Hunters’ Association, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Commissioner of Police, Political Awareness Group, Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, representative of Head of Local Government Administration, representative of caretaker committee chairmen of local government areas, as well as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Oyelowo Oyewo.
Speaker Adebo Ogundoyin, who was represented by his deputy, Abiodun Fadeyi, said the Assembly organised the public hearing to get “inputs and contributions from stakeholders in order to have a law that is not only understood by all citizens of the South West, but also widely accepted by them for a smooth operation of the Amotekun Corps.
Commissioner of Police, Shina Olukolu, represented by Head of Legal Unit of Oyo State Police Command, Funke Fawole, noted that there should be synergy between the Amotekun Corps and the Nigeria Police.
Olukolu said a retired police officer, not below the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police should be enlisted as commander of Amotekun Corps because the police is for internal security of lives and property, not a military officer that should be primarily responsible for defending Nigeria against external aggression.
He stated further that if Amoteken Corps would be allowed to use firearms, the Firearms Acts should be applied to the letter, and that training and re-training of personnel on the use of firearms should not be taken with levity to guard against misuse.