Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has taken a swipe at the Presidency over claims on its refusal to approve the use of sophisticated weapons by security outfits in the country amid increasing security challenges confronting the country. Akeredolu in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, noted that the assertion of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on the use of automatic weapons by state security outfits betrays the current realities across the country.
The governor also picked holes in the claim of Shehu on the use of AK-47 by the Katsina State security outfit during training, wondering why Shehu turned himself to be spokesperson for the Kastina State Government. He said: “It is rather suspicious that Garba Shehu elected himself as the spokesperson for the Kastina State Government. Whereas, the Katsina State has not come out openly to deny the statement of Governor Akeredolu on the use of AK- 47 by Vigilantes of Katsina State during training.
“The reasons adduced by Garba Shehu in his press statement for the continued refusal to approve of the use of sophisticated weapons by state security outfits can no longer be plausible in the face of increasing security challenges being faced by the people. “The assertion of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity on the use of automatic weapons by state security outfits betrays the current realities across the country. “His attempt to justify the use of AK-47 by the Vigilantes of Katsina State for training stands logic on its head.
“The report by the TVC News that went viral showed the Kastina State Vigilante training with AK-47. This is the same weapon which approval has vehemently been refused for the use of Amotekun Corps and other state security outfits.” The governor, who queried Shehu on the source of the guns displayed by the Katsina State security outfit, asked: “Where did the guns come from? Who approved their use? Were the guns returned to the armoury after use? The AK-47, as seen from the TVC news report, was about usage. If not, what purpose does training with the guns serve?” Akeredolu added: “State Security outfits backed by law whether in Western Nigeria, Katsina, Borno, Benue or any Northern State must have access to the same sophisticated weapons that the criminals have. It is time to face down these enemies of the people. “Every governor swore an oath to protect the state and the people. The subnational must be allowed to put in place security forces as a counter-balancing force to face these marauders who have unchecked access to sophisticated weapons. “It is high time we tackled these conflict entrepreneurs and restore the confidence of the people. We cannot do the same thing time and again and expect different results.”