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Religious groups, civil societies, political parties, Agbekoyas, others support Amotekun

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by Joshua Timi

Stakeholders across Lagos State have pledged their support for the creation of Amotekun in the state.

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) 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 Hausawa of Alimosho suggested that people should be careful about provocative statements. 
Abubakar said that the Hausas should give people sense of belonging, and that  Community on board and let us communicate with our people.

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. 

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.

While doing the overview of the Bill, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade said that it was not the first amendment to the LNSC law.
Agunbiade said that the law was made in 2016 and that it was amended in 2019. 

He said that Lagos State is not in isolation, and that it is working with other states that have experienced kidnapping, killings, raping, armed robbery, cattle rustling, terrorism and others. 

He emphasized that the Governors in the South West states decided to come up with “Amotekun” and that they incorporated it into the LNSC Law.

“It seeks to amend 39 Sections of the LNSC of 2019. The Bill has nine sections with threes incidental sections and six on critical amendments.
“The purpose of the amendment is to energise what we already have in the state and make it more impactful. 

“Amotekun is an animal that is brave, bold and vicious and that could operate on land and water. “Amotekun” Corps would be vicious and operate on land, water and even in the forest.

“Members of the “Amotekun” Corps would bear arms that would be licensed by the police to make it legal,” he said.

He said that they wanted to ensure that the state had the impact of the people on whom the law would be enforced.

“LNSC Law is good for us, but we want to have something better.

“Amotekun Corps would make use of the powers given to us by our forefathers. The police itself is short-staffed, so members of “Amotekun” Corps will add value to the force,” he said. 

Chairman of APC in Lagos State, Alhaji Tunde Balogun said that Amotekun was right and proper.

He said that Amotekun is a fantastic project and a good concept, and that there could be a collaboration amongst the states in the South West, and that Amotekun will provide information to the police and other security agencies.

Are Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams stated that a lot of people in Yoruba land were saying that Amotekun could cause problem, but that he told them that the Yorubas were the most organised in Nigeria and that the meeting had confirmed that. 

“Amotekun has brought about unity in the South West, it has never happened before. 

“We informed them that Amotekun is not state police and that it is different. 

“I want to allay the fears of those who think Amotekun would harm them not to have any fear. 

“The interest of everybody in the state would be protected under Amotekun. We cannot sit here without security, and we thank the Lagos State Government for being part of the project,” he said.

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NURTW calls off proposed protests

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The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW),Lagos chapter has called off the proposed protest slated for today.

In a phone conversation with our correspondence, the Chairman Lagos chapter of the association said the protest slated for today has been postponed. He made the decision after the intervention of the commissioner of police and the director of DSS Lagos State office.

It will be recalled that the association has forwarded a letter to the state Governor on a proposed peaceful protest as they want the state governor Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to prevail on the suspended chairman of the union Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya, to vacate the union’s office to avert another looming protest worse than End Sars.

Speaking with newsmen, Akeweje asked the Governor to instruct the embattled Lagos park management chairman popularly called MC Oluomo to vacate the office in accordance with the national body’s directives.

The peaceful protest is slated to pick up from the Governor’s office in Alausa Ikeja, Lagos down to the NURTW state office at Agege, Lagos.

Akeweje told our correspondent that the embattled chairman of the union Alhaji Musliu Akinsanya aka Mc Oluomo has been told to vacate the office since April 2nd this year but has remained in the office in defiance to the instruction of the national leadership of the association.

Akeweje calls on the governor to prevail on him to avoid possible breakdown of law and order that will endanger serious security breach.

According to Akeweje, “NURTW is the authentic body for transport business in Lagos state, we are all experienced members of the union from different branches and unit in Lagos state, we are also card carrying members of the All Progressive congress (APC) under the leadership of our father Asiwaju BOLA AHMED TINUBU.

Commenting on the protest, NURTW National Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa confirmed the proposed protest by its Lagos branch urging them to remain peaceful even in the face of provocation.

Akeweje notes that, they agreed to suspend the protest after the state commissioner of police and the director of DSS pleaded with them to give the government two weeks to proffer solutions to the problem.

Alhaji Akeweje said if the government failed to fulfill it’s own side of the agreement, they will be forced to go on with their planned protest by the end of two weeks.

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Group demands justice for Deborah

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CCGI, Civic Consciousness Global Initiative, a non governmental organization in a media parley on Wednesday in Lagos stressed the need for the people to participate in the running of government. The group lamented over the deteriorating state of the nation, calling on government to end the incessant killings in the land and proffer solution to the widespread insecurity facing the country at large.

 

CCGI specially demanded for accelerated justice for the killers of Deborah Samuel, a student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education stoned to death last week, for alleged blasphemy.

“Religion crises, killings and violent protest may come to an end if there’s strong political will to uphold the constitution and bring perpetrators to book without bias”. Professor Idowu Sobowale, Chairman of the Civic Consciousness Global Initiative, CCGI.

 

During the meeting which was supported by Rev Dr. Julius Odofin, Rev Solomon Adegboragun, Bishop Funsho Awe and the famous Dr. Bolaji O. Akinyemi of PVC-Naija, Professor Shobowale expresses sadness that impunity reigns supreme in Nigeria to an extent that people take the lives of others and go scot free.

Below is the full text of CCGI Press Statement as read by Professor Shobowale…

“the state of our nation has been very worrisome in the past few years

 

Insecurity has reached its highest level in our history as a nation, the event leading to the Nigeria civil war seems a child play when compared with the present happenings!

 

We need not remind you of the gory details, but for the records :

The smuggling of the Islamic Sharia laws into our Constitution ab-initio has been the bane of divisions among all loving Nigerians. Those who smuggled it in had a hidden intention and those who saw the evil or danger inherent in it, out of fear of losing out kept quiet. The same attitude goes on today and unless the fraud is arrested boldly and firmly, the recurring stone age jungle justice will continue in our beloved Nation Nigeria. Few cases will suffice for the press as guide to our Rulers.

 

The case of Tafawa Balewa University students on whom the sentence of FATWA (an Islamic death sentence) was pronounced in 2004 by a 31 year old FULANI man who is still walking around as a free man today!

 

One of the sentenced persons in this School had been beheaded before CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) intervened to rescue the rest to Lagos!

 

We also have the RCCG woman who was on her Daily Morning Evangelism (Morning Cry) in Abuja that was brutally killed!

 

We cannot forget the case of AKALUKA who was beheaded somewhere in Kano and his head was hoisted on a stick and carried about in jubilation like a flag.

 

The Head of State then, General Sanni Abacha ordered the death of eight (08) of the nine (09) culprits fingered in the case.

 

The ninth person, though, incarcerated for two (02) years then, is today walking about now, a free man!

 

There is also the very annoying case of a government teacher who was transfered to a school in Gombe state, Northern Nigeria and while invigilating in an internal examination, she tried to prevent a student from cheating by seizing the student’s bag and throwing it where other students’ bags were kept. The cheating student instantly raised a false alarm that the teacher had desecrated her copy of the holy Quran!

 

The teacher was lynched and beaten to death!

 

Sad enough that arms of equal military sizes are in the hands of non state actors, enemies of our sovereignty, for whom a more strategic decisive action is still being expected from the highest security authorities in the land.

 

Our President, SIR, in the hope of a better and greater country, you have the assurances of our prayers for your person and office, trusting the Lord will grant you a happy ending of your tenure in 2023.

 

Of concern is the deteriorating value for human life; the sokoto killing unlike many others before the advent of technology didn’t save us from a video sighting of an evil of psychosocial trauma.

 

We are indeed traumatized!

 

The killing of Deborah Samuel a 200 level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, speaks volume for our constitution, rule of law and administration of justice. We stand in shame with you before the global community! We therefore, condemn the killing of Deborah Samuel. We also need to call the attention of the global community to the protest for the release of certain persons who were arrested in connection with the crime. That religion is the reason is a fallacy, well meaning Muslims have come out to condemn the killing; notable among them sre His Excellency, Aminu Tambunwa, the Executive Governor of Sokoto state and the Supreme leader of Islam in Nigeria to whom all Muslims must defer in all matter of their religion. It is sad to note the the person and office to interpret the appearance of the moon is judged to be in error over is condemnation. Little wonder Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was rumoured to have withdrew his condemnation of the killing.

 

The practice of Islam in Nigeria is more political than religious.

 

The mob in the video and those who came out to protest against the civility of The Governor of Sokoto state and the throne of Sultan are intellectually incapable of electoral decision. We should therefore as a matter of urgency, given the embarrassing level of our illiteracy review the conditions of eligibility of voters in Nigeria. If persons to be voted into offices requires a level of educational qualification, it is needful that those to decide that fate must have an aligning level of knowledge.

Back to Justice for Deborah

 

Diverse as the many faces in the video are, are reasons for which the blue murder was committed.

 

The question it raises however is for the constitution to answer and for your as the President and Commander In Chief Of The Armed Forces to defend. Our sympathy will be with your office if the 1999 constitution as amended has no answer! This will further strengthen the need for restructuring of our federation and raise the immediate need of a new constitution.

 

The question on very many lips is when will the next one happen? This lack of hope in us as a nation, we must rise to disappoint those who have the urge to continue to kill senselessly.

 

We therefore want to make the following recommendations in the immediate:

 

The arrested initiators in her class and their army of collaborators who took the law into their hands to kill Deborah must be brought to book.

 

Long term recommendation, we can’t feign ignorance of separation that Islam expected between male and female, nor are we ready to be pretentious about the right of every Christian, may we therefore recommend that Christian students be given exclusively their faith educational facility where the hope of ignorantly annoying the faith of Muslims would not exist

 

Give Nigerian ONE mutually agreed CONSTITUTION where peace and justice truly reigns he concluded.

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Oniseri of Isheri Kingdom laid to rest

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The remains of His Royal Majesty Oba Wahab Ayinde Balogun, the Onisheri of Isheri Olofin Kingdom who joined his ancestors on Tuesday 8th of February was interred in his palace at Isheri on Wednesday.

Council Chiefs, politicians and many prominent individuals who thronged the internment programme, were full of eulogies for deceased King.

Many took out time to commiserate with the popular son of the late monarch, Crown Prince Idris Oluomo of Isheri Kingdom.

The Lagos state house of assembly member hon Kehinde Joseph described the late Monarch as a man of integrity and hardworking,

Also, hon Babatunde Aboyade, APC Apex Leader and vice chairman Lagos west senatorial district described the Oba as father for All, ”

he united the people of Idimu, Isheri and Alimosho for a peaceful environment”

Oba Ayinde Balogun joined his ancestors at a very ripe and eventful age of 97

Prince Idris Balogun fondly called Oluomo Kafata is an House Representatives hopeful in Alimosho Federal constituency come 2023.

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