Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, says if he’s legally permitted, he will arm operatives of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, with AK-47 rifles to enhance security operations.
Makinde stated this on Tuesday at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, while delivering his keynote address at the maiden ‘Governor ‘Seyi Makinde National Democracy Summit’.
He said the success recorded so far by the outfit is due to the recruitment system, which ensures that the operatives are selected from their local terrains.
The governor said challenges facing the nation would have been effectively addressed, if state governments were given the power to control security operatives in their states.
Makinde quoted in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, said, there was the “need to fully appreciate that state policing is a sure cure to our national development challenges. Anyone who has been involved in security at any level will tell you that policing is local.
“One of the reasons why the Western Nigeria Security Network, code-named Amotekun, is recording success is because members of the corps are drawn from the locality. They know the terrain and so can gather needed intelligence. Also, they can be held accountable by the local people.
“When the state governors become the actual Chief Security Officers in charge of the security personnel in their state, they can quickly respond to security challenges.
“Yes, we will continue to do our best. We were able to get Amotekun off the ground and it is in operation now. But there are several limitations to what Amotekun can do right now, and the types of firearms they can carry. If we are given the authority and licence, I will also buy AK-47 rifles for Amotekun.
“So, these are just two areas where true federalism will bring greater economic benefits and development to Nigerian states.”
On devolution of powers, the Oyo governor stated that fiscal federalism remains the only way to take Nigeria away from the edge of the precipice.
He said true federalism is the future of democracy in the country, adding that Nigeria must devolve powers to the federating units, especially as it relates to controlling natural resources and security architecture.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, was represented by Charles Titiloye, the state’s attorney-general; while Osariemen Osunbor, former governor of Edo; and Eghosa Osagie, director-general of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs also attended the Summit.