Rotimi Akeredolu, the Governor of Ondo State, has faulted the federal government’s decision to prevent states from arming the Western Nigerian Security Network, also known as the Amotekun Corps.
Akeredolu made his position known in a statement titled ‘We Believe In One Nigeria, But We Cannot Have One Country, Two Systems’ on Thursday.
“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,” Akeredolu stated.
“Denying Amotekun the urgently needed rights to legitimately bear arms is a repudiation of the basis of true federalism which we have been clamouring 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.
“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, has 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.”
The six states of the southwestern region of Nigeria established the Amotekun Corps in January 2020. It was the first regional security outfit established in Nigeria to counter growing insecurity.
The federal government has not approved Amotekun as an armed security outfit, but FIJ recently reported that some officers of the outfit shot one Alayori Ademola in July 2022. Ademola, a student of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic in Owo, Ondo State, died of his gunshot injuries.
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