Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has declared his readiness to arm the Ondo State wing of the operatives of the South-West Security Network, otherwise know as Amotekun even if the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government refuses to give its go ahead.
Governor Akeredolu made this known today in response to federal government’s approval of AK47 for the vigilantes in Katsina State but denies those in the South West the same firepower.
Amotekun is the South-West Security Network established by governors of the region to confront the insecurity in their domain.
A statement Akeredolu personally signed on Thursday and posted on his verified Twitter page said to allow the Katsina State security outfit to bear arms and deny the Amotekun of same rights means “we are pursuing one country, two systems .“
The statement reads in part: “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 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 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, 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 terrorised and murdered with impunity. We will defend our people.