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Amotekun Can’t Fight Terrorists With Bare Hands, Akeredolu Replies Presidency

 

Amotekun Can't Fight Terrorists With Bare Hands, Akeredolu Replies Presidency
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Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has replied the Presidency over the controversy surrounding the procurement of arms for state security outfits.

Recall that Akeredolu had accused the Federal Government of allowing the Kastina State security outfit to carry arms and denying operatives of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun of the same opportunity.

The governor, however, promised to procure arms for Amotekun operatives in his state if the federal government can allow a security outfit in Katsina to carry arms.

Reacting, the Presidency has said no individual or security outfit is allowed to carry an AK-47 rifle or any other automatic weapons in the country.

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In a statement on Tuesday issued by the spokesman to the President, Garba Shehu, the Presidency said that no state has been given the approval to procure automatic weapons for its security outfit.

Replying in a statement on Wednesday by his media aide, Richard Olatunde, Governor Akeredolu said he will explore the constitutional means of legally procuring arms for Amotekun.

He said the reason given by the presidency for the continued refusal to approve the use of sophisticated weapons by state security outfits can longer be accepted.

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The governor said the increasing security challenge being faced by the people is worrisome and the state security outfit can not face criminal herdsmen and terrorists with bare hands.

The statement reads.“The attempt by the Presidency to justify the use of AK47 by the Vigilantes of Katsina State for training stands logic on its head.

“The report by the TVC News that went viral showed the Kastina State Vigilante training with AK47. This is the same weapon whose approval has vehemently been refused for the use of Amotekun Corps and other State Security Outfits.

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“The questions Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, asks are: Where did the guns come from? Who approved their use? Were the guns returned to the armoury after use? The AK47, as seen from the TVC news report, was about usage. If not, what purpose does training with the guns serve?

“It is rather suspicious that Garba Shehu elected himself as the spokesperson for the Kastina State government, whereas, the Katsina State has not come out openly to deny the statement of Governor Akeredolu on the use of AK47 by Vigilantes of Katsina State during training.

“Governor Akeredolu has reiterated that State Security outfits backed by law whether in Western Nigeria, Katsina, Borno, Benue or any Northern State must have access to the same sophisticated weapons that the criminals have. It is time to face down these enemies of the people.

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“It is illogical to continue to fight hardened marauders who bear sophisticated weaponry to kidnap and maim our people with bare hands. We cannot fight armed enemies of the people with our bare hands.

“It is our firm belief that the government has a fundamental duty to protect the people. It is a task that must be accomplished without excuse.

“Governor Akeredolu is determined to spare no efforts in protecting the people. He has vowed to explore every available legal and constitutional means to secure the state and its people.

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Akeredolu added that the Southern Governors forum, the Northern governors, as well as their traditional rulers’ council have supported the call for state police.

He added: “Every Governor swore to an oath to protect the state and the people. The sub-national must be allowed to put in place security forces as a counter-balancing force to face these marauders who have unchecked access to sophisticated weapons.

“It is high time we tackled these conflict entrepreneurs and restore the confidence of the people. We cannot do the same thing time and again and expect a different results

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“Governor Akeredolu is irrevocably committed to the security of the people, particularly his state. He will continue to speak up in defence of the people. He is very much committed to the realisation of the constitutional amendment to reflect the current realities.”