September 23, (THEWILL) – Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has vowed to acquire weapons for the state’s Security Network, also known as ‘Amotekun Corps’, to protect lives and property of the people of the state.
The governor’s remarks, followed reports that the Federal Government had approved sophisticated weapons for a similar security outfit operated by the Katsina State Government.
He wondered why Amotekun, a South-west regional security outfit, could not bear sophisticated weapons despite continuous calls for such, but her counterpart in Katsina State, established to tame bandits and terrorists, are bearing AK-47s.
Akeredolu described such lopsided disposition of the Federal Government as a case of “one country, two systems solution to the national question”, stating that denying Amotekun the urgently needed rights to legitimately bear arms is a repudiation of the basis of true federalism.
The Governor in a statement titled, ‘We Believe in One Nigeria, But We Cannot have One Country, Two Systems’, insisted that Ondo State will defend its people.
“The video making the rounds showing the equivalent of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) in Katsina, obtaining the approval of the Federal Government to bear arms is fraught with great dangers.
“Denying Amotekun the urgently needed rights, to legitimately bear arms is a repudiation of the basis of true federalism which we have been clamoring for.
“That Katsina was able to arm its state security force, with the display of AK47 means we are pursuing one country, two systems solution to the national question.
“If the Katsina situation conferring advantages on some, in the face of commonly faced existential threats, it means that our unitary policing system, which has failed, is a deliberate method of subjugation which must be challenged.
“The Independence agreement was based on a democratic arrangement to have a federal state and devolved internal security mechanics.
“We must go back to that agreement. Denying Amotekun the right to bear arms exposes the Southwest to life-threatening marauders and organised crime.
“It is also a deliberate destruction of our agricultural sector. It is an existential threat.
“We want to reiterate, that what is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. Ondo State government under the doctrine of necessity have decided to fulfil its legal, constitutional and moral duty to the citizens of the State, by acquiring arms to protect them.
“This is more so, given that the bandits have an unchecked access to sophisticated weapons. The State government cannot look on while its citizens are being terrorised and murdered with impunity. We will defend our people”, he said.
The Amotekun Corps was formally established by law on the 4th of March, 2020, following the signing into law of its enabling Act.
The rationale behind its formation followed the continued invasion of the southwest states by bandits and armed herdsmen who unleash mayhem on farmers and kidnap residents without any hindrance.
Akeredolu has been at the forefront of calling for approval for the bearing of sophisticated arms for the corps.
Recently, he knocked the federal government for approving the protecting of crude oil pipeline contract to former militant, Government Ekpemupolo, saying granting such a permit to non-state actors who would need heavy machine guns and other sophisticated weapons, was inappropriate.
He argued that if the federal government could grant such permits to non-state actors and deny the state’s security outfit the privilege of bearing such arms to protect the people, it could as well indicate that the central government was not sincere about its commitment to fighting insecurity in the country.