Isaa’c Afolabi, Ondo
Ondo State Governor and the Chairman Southwest Governors Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, has vowed that the Amotekun operations will not be subsumed under the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) or the newly community policing structure.
Governor Akeredolu affirm this while speaking on Channels TV Sunrise Daily program.
Gov. Akeredolu said there is a law that set up Amotekun Corps and it could not operate under the community policing.
He noted that the relationship between the Nigeria Police and Amotekun Corps was to partner in securing the people and their property.
The Governor who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria explained that there is an enabling law that set up Amotekun Corps.
Akeredolu said, “It will never be accepted, it is not our thinking. We have a law that sets this up. If the Deputy Inspectro General (DIG) feels otherwise, there is always a place for us to ventilate it. We are not afraid of this. The law says Amotekun will operate under its own law; it is not going to be subsumed under any setup. No.
“We will not collapse Amotekun for community policing. It will stand on its own. There is no intimidation. We (Southwest) are not people that can be intimidated (or) that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) will give orders to. We will not. Amotekun is different. Community policing is different. If the IGP does not understand, he will leave one day and other people will understand.
“We will work together, it is collaboration, not that it will be subsumed. The law is there and if anybody finds a fault in that law, we can go to court and ventilate whatever position in it. The DIG is totally wrong, Amotekun will not be subsumed under the community policing.”
On the use of arms by Amotekun Corps, Akeredolu noted, “We are trying to make a case but we’ve not yet agreed as to what should be with the issue of ammunition. For now, we allow Amotekun Corps to carry non-prohibited ammunition. There are ammunitions that are non-prohibited. But we know it can look suicidal trying to confront these criminals with non-prohibited ammunition, so, we are looking at other means.
“These are disciplined people and if they carry arms, it will be for protection. We will keep having this discussion with the Police and at the national level. But if the Nigerian Police finds it difficult to prevent herders who carry weapons with their cows”.
“some of them have prohibited arms like AK-47 and you have not been able to prevent that, so, what stops disciplined people like Amotekun operatives to carry arms for protection? At least when civil defence started, they were not carrying arms, they didn’t allow them carry arms but a case was made and they now carry arms. We will continue to discuss this.”
Speaking further on the funding of Amotekun Gov. Akeredolu countered the DIG who said the Governors would be responsible for the salaries of community policemen.
The governor said, “I am sure that they are taking this thing too far.
Governors will have to pay? We have discussed this thing before and we told them it is not going to possible.
Are you increasing our allocations? Which state Governor will accept that? Other states might say, ‘Yes, we will pay’, but we will not pay.
“Let’s be fair to ourselves, we are running a federal system. Where is that money going to come from when we are struggling to pay salaries? Nobody has ever come to us to say we will pay salaries (of community policemen) anyway and if they come, we will write to say, NO, we don’t have extra money to do that.”
It will be recalled that the Governor few days ago inaugurate the Amotekun Corp in the state capital in a fashionable way which signal the skeletal operation of the Corps in maintaining high level of security not only in the state but across the Southwest States.