Amotekun: Akeredolu’s aide faults presidency, insists on arm
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The Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has insisted that he would ensure that the state security network agency also known as Amotekun, is equipped with sophisticated weapons to operate.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Richard Olatunde, in a statement on Wednesday, was reacting to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, who said no state has been authorised to procure weapons.
Olatunde said the reasons adduced by Shehu for the continued refusal to approve the use of sophisticated weapons by state security outfits can no longer be plausible in the face of increasing security challenges facing the people.
“The assertion of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity on the use of automatic weapons by state security outfits betrays the current realities across the country.
“His attempt to justify the use of AK47 by the vigilantes of Katsina State for training stands logic on its head,” he said.
Olatunde said a video that went viral depicted members of the Katsina State security outfit training with AK47, the same weapon that approval has been refused for the use of Amotekun Corps and other state security outfits.
He added, “The questions Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, asks are; where did the guns come from? Who approved their use? Were the guns returned to the armoury after use? The AK47, as seen from the TVC news report, was about usage. If not, what purpose does training with the guns serve?
“It is rather suspicious that Garba Shehu elected himself as the spokesperson for the Kastina State Government. Whereas, the Katsina State has not come out openly to deny the statement of Governor Akeredolu on the use of AK47 by vigilantes of Katsina State during training.
“Governor Akeredolu has reiterated that state security outfits backed by law whether in Western Nigeria, Katsina, Borno, Benue or any Northern State, must have access to the same sophisticated weapons that the criminals have. It is time to face down these enemies of the people.
“It is illogical to continue to fight hardened marauders who bear sophisticated weaponry to kidnap and maim our people with bare hands. We cannot fight armed enemies of the people with our bare hands. It is our firm belief that the government has a fundamental duty to protect the people. It is a task that must be accomplished without excuse.
“Governor Akeredolu is determined to spare no efforts in protecting the people. He has vowed to explore every available legal and constitutional means to secure the state and its people. The Southern Nigeria Governors Forum has called for the establishment of state police. The 19 Northern State Governors and Northern Traditional Rulers Council have also supported the call for state police.”
According to him, Akeredolu is irrevocably committed to the security of the people of his state.
“He will continue to speak up in defence of the people. He is very much committed to the realisation of constitutional amendment to reflect the current realities,” the governor’s aide added.