The governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has called on the federal government to consider allowing Amotekun operatives and other state security outfits to bear sophisticated arms to help their mission to protect the people.
The governor also used the opportunity to clarify his position on the oil pipeline surveillance contract which was awarded to private individuals and organisations.
Akeredolu said his position was to allow Amotekun to bear heavy arms like the non-state actors who were engaged to protect the oil pipelines.
He spoke at the commissioning of the newly reconstructed office complex at the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC) in Oba-Ile, Akure North local government area.
The commission under the leadership of the chairman, Sam Erejuwa, presented two patrol vehicles and three motorcycles to Ilaje and Ese-Odo local government chairmen to strengthen security architecture in the OSOPADEC mandate areas.
While decrying the precarious security situation in the country, Governor Akeredolu vowed that he will continue to take the bull by the horn to protect the people of the state.
He said, ‘Most of the people and even some of my colleagues didn’t really understand my position on the oil pipeline surveillance contract. I have no issue with the federal government awarding surveillance contract to anybody. It is the federal government’s money. They can use it anyhow they want.
‘Here, we are spending our money on Amotekun. And what I said in my statement titled ‘Who Actually Needs Weapon’ was that the federal government should allow Amotekun to carry sophisticated weapons like those whom they awarded pipeline surveillance contracts.
‘If you can allow individuals to carry heavy arms to protect pipelines, why won’t you allow Amotekun to carry sophisticated weapons to protect the people. The oil facilities are not more important than the lives of the people,’ he said.
Akeredolu, who also revealed that a number of arrests have been made in connection to the abduction of some burial guests in Ifon over the weekend, pointed out that the victims who have been released are scared to come and identify their abductors.
The governor appreciated all security agencies in the state including Amotekun for the great work they did in securing the victims’ release.