Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, has criticised the Federal Government’s objection to the proposed use of arms by the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) while allowing its equivalent in Katsina state to bear weapons.
Insisting that Ondo State will defend its people, he said the denial of the right of Amotekun to bear arms to protect the people of the state violated the tenets of federalism.
The governor, who is the chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, said in a statement that equity and justice are required in the Federal Government’s relationship with all the component units.
He said, “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 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 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.”
Akeredolu continued: “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. The 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 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.”