Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has vowed to acquire weapons for the state’s Security Network, known as Amotekun.
He made this known on Thursday following reports that the federal government had approved sophisticated weapons for a similar security outfit operated by the Katsina State Government.
Mr Akeredolu said he was going to procure the automatic weapons for Amotekun to “protect the people.”
The governor bore his mind via his official Twitter handle, @RotimiAkeredolu, and chided the federal government for playing double standards with the nation’s security in a game he described as “one country, two systems.”
Mr Akeredolu wondered why Amotekun, a South-west regional security outfit, could not bear sophisticated weapons despite continuous calls for such, but her counterpart in Katsina State, established to tame bandits and terrorists, are bearing AK-47s.
“We believe in one Nigeria, but we cannot have one country, two systems,” 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 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.”
The Amotekun Corps was formally established by law on the 4th of March 2020 following the signing into law of its enabling Act.
The rationale behind its formation followed the continued invasion of the southwest states by bandits and armed herdsmen who unleash mayhem on farmers and kidnap residents without any hindrance.
Although the corps had made modest achievements so far, the commanders of the corps in the various southwest states have complained that their major setback was facing bandits with a Dane gun or a pump action that you have to cork and shoot in the face of automatic weapons used by the bandits.
Mr Akeredolu has been at the forefront of calling for approval for the bearing of sophistical arms for the corps.
Recently, he knocked the federal government for approving the protecting of crude oil pipeline contract to former militant, Government Ekpemupolo, saying granting such a permit to non-state actors who would need heavy machine guns and other sophistical weapons, was inappropriate.
He argued that if the federal government could grant such permits to non-state actors and deny the state’s security outfit the privilege of bearing such arms to protect the people, it could as well indicate that the central government was not sincere about its commitment to fighting insecurity in the country.