Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, says the state will procure arms for operatives of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun.
The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said if the federal government can allow a security outfit in Katsina to carry arms, then Amotekun should be granted the same right.
“The video making the rounds showing the equivalent of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) in Katsina, obtaining the approval of the Federal Govt. to bear arms is fraught with great dangers,” he said.
“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 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. 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 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.”
Akeredolu’s statement comes a few weeks after Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, said if the federal government refused to approve the licence for arms for the state’s security outfit, he would get approval from his people.
The federal government had said security outfit set up by various state governments cannot bear firearms.