Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, of Ondo State declared yesterday that his administration will acquire arms to protect citizens of the state against life-threatening marauders and organized crime.
The governor made the declaration as no fewer than 14 people were Wednesday night murdered in two separate attacks by suspected armed herdsmen on Mchia and Mou communities in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.
This is even as anxiety has heightened at the Ekwegbe axis of Nsukka-Enugu Bypass Road in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State, as suspected armed herdsmen on Wednesday evening, blocked the road, shooting sporadically with AK-47 rifles, in search of prey.
Meanwhile, the Paramount Ruler of Atyap Chiefdom, Agwatyap, Sir Dominic Yahaya, said yesterday that failure by government to adopt and integrate local, traditional hunters and vigilantes conversant with the hideouts of terrorists and bandits has worsened insecurity in Southern Kaduna, resulting in massive killings.
‘No to one Nigeria, 2 systems’
Making his declaration in a statement, entitled “ We Believe In One Nigeria, But We Cannot Have One Country, Two Systems,’’ which he personally signed, in Akure, Governor Akeredolu was reacting to a video that had gone viral, showing the equivalent of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) in Katsina, obtaining the approval of the Federal Government to bear arms.
Consequently, he said his administration will not watch while its citizens are being terrorized and murdered with impunity.
He said: “We will defend our people; what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. 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 an unchecked access to sophisticated weapons. 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 AK-47, means we are pursuing one country, two systems’ solution to the national question.
“If the Katsina situation is 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 South-West to life-threatening marauders and organized crime. It is also a deliberate destruction of our agricultural sector. It is an existential threat.’’