Insecurity: Ondo Will Acquire Ak-47 For Defence – Akeredolu

Insecurity: Ondo Will Acquire Ak-47 For Defence – Akeredolu
  • Says what is good for Katsina, good for us
  • Police deny arming Katsina vigilante with Ak-47

By Mbachu Godwin, Abuja

 Federal government yesterday came under severe attacks over its approval of AK-47 rifles to the Katsina State security outfit to bear arms, while denying the same to the South West states security network known as Amotekun Corps .

 

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has accused the Federal Government of granting a security outfit in Katsina State the right to bear arms while the same privilege was denied to the Amotekun Corps.

In a statement on Thursday, Akeredolu referred to a video on social media wherein the security outfit in Katsina was empowered to carry AK-47 to tackle internal security challenges.

He accused the Federal Government of double standards, saying, “Allowing the Katsina State security outfit to bear arms and denying the Amotekun the same rights means, we are pursuing one country, two systems”.

Akeredolu, who is the chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, said that equity and justice are required in the Federal Government’s relationship with all the component units.

He insisted that Ondo State will defend its people, stating that the denial of the right of Amotekun to bear arms to protect the people of the states violated the tenets of federalism.

“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”, the statement read.

“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 AK-47, meaning, we are pursuing one country, two systems solution to the national question.

“If the Katsina situation confers 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 organized crime. It is also 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. The Ondo State Government under the doctrine of necessity has decided to fulfill 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 unchecked access to sophisticated weapons.

“The state government cannot look on while its citizens are being terrorized and murdered with impunity. We will defend our people”.

He added that denying Amotekun the right to bear arms exposes the Southwest to life-threatening marauders and organized crime. Akeredolu , however, said he will buy arms for the Amotekun Corps.

However, AljazirahNigeria, after watching the viral video that stirred a hornets’ nest reached out to the Katsina Police command for more clarification and reactions.  Our correspondent gathers that the Police in Katsina actually trained the vigilante on combatant, defence and operation of arms but denied licensing and arming them with the AK-47 automatic assault gun. According an officer who spoke under anonymous revealed that he was part of the team that trained the vigilante but the arrangement did not include licensing and arming them with AK-47. He said, “The vigilantes in the state were not licensed to use AK-47, saying they were only trained on how to use it for self-defence, in case they recover it from bandits terrorizing the state.

“The vigilantes were trained on other arms and combat manoeuvres. It is not that they were given a license or that the Federal Government has approved that they should use AK-47 rifles. They were just trained on how to defend themselves.

“And to be categorically clear, there is no member of the vigilante in Katsina that is using that kind of weapon. It wasn’t issued to them by the Federal Government or State Government. They were just trained on how to defend themselves.

“It wasn’t the police that trained them, the police were not there when they were trained, we didn’t participate in the training, but what I know is what I am telling you.

“They were not issued with AK-47 riffles, but they were trained on how to defend themselves because bandits and terrorists are using AK-47 riffles”, he said.

The command further noted that the week-long training that commenced on Sunday was to enable the vigilantes to stand up to terrorists who also use AK-47 in their operations.

But AljazirahNigeria pushed further to know why the vigilante will have only knowledge on the handling of the assault gun, the officer declined to answer. Also efforts made to reach the SA on Security Katsina State proved abortive as calls put across were not taken nor returned.

In the same vein, our correspondent in Akure couldn’t get the relevant authorities for more clarification as the real reason the Amotekun security was denied approval of the AK-47 rifle.


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