Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has vowed to arm operatives of Western Security Network popularly known as Amotekun with AK-47 riffles to combat banditry and violent herdsmen rampaging the South-West geo-political zone.
Mr Akeredolu made the vow on Thursday while reacting to a viral video clip on social media allegedly showing Katsina security operatives bearing AK-47 riffles which TODAY POLITICS is yet to verify as at press time.
In a statement he signed, the governor, who spearheaded the formation of Amotekun across the Yoruba dominated states in 2020, said a situation where the country will be one and operating two systems will no longer be tolerated.
He also berated the federal government for denying Amotekun operatives in the South from wielding automatic rifles but approves same to a similar security outfit in Katsina State which is in the North.
The statement is reproduced below.
We Believe In One Nigeria, But We Cannot Have One Country, Two Systems
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 organized 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 terrorized and murdered with impunity. We will defend our people.
Arakunrin Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu, SAN,
Governor, Ondo State.