Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has accused the Federal Government of granting a security outfit in Katsina State right to bear arms whilst same privilege has not been granted to Amotekun Corps.
In a statement on Thursday, Akeredolu referred to a video on social media wherein the security outfit in Katsina was empowered to carry AK-47 to tackle internal security challenges.
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He accused the Federal Government of double standards, saying allowing the Katsina State security outfit to bear arms and denying the Amotekun of same rights means “we are pursuing one country, two systems.”
Akeredolu, who is the chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, said that equity and justice are required in the Federal Government’s relationship with all the component units.
He insisted that Ondo State will defend its people, stating that the denial of the right of Amotekun to bear arms to protect the people of the state violated the tenets of federalism.
“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,” the statement read.
“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.”
“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 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 fulfill 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.”