The Corps Commander of the Ekiti State Security Network (Amotekun), Joe Komolafe, has identified the prohibition of arms bearing by Amotekun corps, as a major drawback in the fight against banditry and other security challenges in the South-west.
Mr Komolafe, a retired Brigadier General, spoke on Monday while featuring on an interview programme on Crest FM 87.7, Akure.
He said although the corps had made giant strides in tackling insecurity and banditry in the region, it would do better if allowed to bear automatic weapons.
According to him, there was no provision in the law establishing the security to bear such calibre of arms as AK47 and other automatic weapons.
He said the situation poses some difficulty in dealing with the bandits who are heavily armed with automatic weapons.
“Only the police are given the authority to bear such arms and when we apprehend the suspects we hand them over to the police for prosecution,” he said.
“But even though we don’t have weapons, when they see us they run away, because we have a way we handle such situations and they know us, so when we come in they leave.”
He, however, noted that the corps would continue to carry out its responsibilities of keeping the states and the region safe with or without the sophisticated weapons.
Local hunters had been incorporated into the corps, who are usually armed with Dane guns and other locally made weapons.
Ekiti State has been witnessing violent kidnappings and banditry in recent times, with a number of persons losing their lives in the process.
Survivors of such attacks only made it after ransoms were paid to their abductors.
Callers on the programme raised concerns over the possibility of bandits released by the police after they were arrested.
But Mr Komolafe noted that it was the responsibility of the police to ensure the suspects were prosecuted, adding that the police and the state were responsible for the prosecution of those arrested.
He assured that the Amotekun Corps would continue to provide the needed security, in spite of its limitations.
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