Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, Thursday, accused the Federal Government of preferential treatment; and lambasted it for granting a security outfit in Katsina State the right to bear arms while denying the same privilege to the Western Nigeria Security Network, otherwise known as Amotekun Corps, despite terror attacks.
Governor Akeredolu, in a statement issued in Akure, the Ondo State capital, referred to a viral video on social media in which the Katsina security outfit was empowered to carry AK-47 assault rifles to tackle internal security challenges.
The governor pointedly accused the Federal Government of double standards, saying allowing the Katsina State security outfit to bear arms and denying the Amotekun Corps of the same right means “we are pursuing one country, two systems.”
Akeredolu, who is also the chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, maintained that equity and justice were necessary requirements for amonious relationship between the Federal Government and the component units.
He insisted that Ondo State will defend its people, stating that the denial of the right of Amotekun Corps to bear arms to protect the people of the state was a gross violation of the tenets of federalism on which the nation stands.
“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,” Akeredolu declared in the statement.
“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.”