The Ekiti State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Funminiyi Afuye has said there is no disagreement among the speakers of six southwestern states over the bill proposal for Western Nigeria Security Network code-named ‘Operation Amotekun’.
Afuye who denied the insinuation that Ekiti has severed tie with other southwest states in the running of the security outfit, clarified that the fact that Ekiti was the first to pass the bill into law, even when other states had not commence legislative work, doesn’t suggest there was a friction among the member state.
The bill, awaiting Governor Kayode Fayemi’s assent, was passed into law last Friday at the Ekiti State House of Assembly after exhaustive debate.
But an advertorial signed by the Chairman, Southwest forum of Speakers, Hon. Bamidele Oleyeloogun, on Monday, said public hearing would be conducted simultaneously on February 24 in all the six states without exempting Ekiti State.
It read, “Thereafter, the Conference of Speakers will reconvene to meet with the States Attorneys-General to address all conflicting areas and to review the contents of the reports generated at the Public Hearings for harmonization into the proposed Law”.
The Speaker while addressing newsmen on Tuesday allayed fear that Ekiti had opted for its own independent security network, assured that all the states will run the same law and that there was no reason for anyone to be apprehensive.
He urged the people of the southwest to ignore report being peddled by fifth columnist suggesting that there is division among the Southwest Speakers.
According to him, those who did not wish the Yoruba nation well were those peddling “rumours” that Ekiti was at loggerheads with other states over the passage of the bill proposal for the security outfits.
He said the southwest speakers had unity of purpose and togetherness to give legal backing to Amotekun as a response to stem the tide of kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and other manifestation of criminalities in the region.
“There is no confusion over the passage of the Amotekun bill into law in Ekiti. We are still going to run a uniform law and outfit at the end of the day. The fact that we have passed our own bill doesn’t mean we are no longer on the same page.
“Let me also say this, Ekiti didn’t violate any procedure in the passage. The bill passed through the first and second readings. We conducted a public hearing before passing it at the plenary.
“The law is going to be the same in all the states because the public we have in Ekiti is the same with what we have across the states, they are all Yorubas alongside other ethnic nationalities.
“All the Speakers, including me, were at the meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State, where we agreed to do joint public hearing. But the one earlier conducted by Ekiti is valid. The Speakers, Majority leaders and chairmen of Security Committees were also present.
“There was nothing to suggest any dissension in all we have been doing, we are together,” he said.