The chairman of South-West Governor’s Forum and Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, on Wednesday, said the South-West Security outfit, Amotekun, would not be collapsed into the planned community policing of the Federal Government.
Akeredolu disclosed that Amotekun would operate on its own within the confines of the law that established the outfit, saying those who are not comfortable with the decision to approach the court.
Akeredolu, who spoke during a live programme on a Channels Television’s programme monitored by our Tribune Online in Akure, said discussion is ongoing to allow the Amotekun corps to carry arms even as they currently make use of non-prohibited ammunition.
Akeredolu stated that the Amotekun corps has helped in the rescue of kidnap victims in the state and said the Amotekun security outfit has come to stay and fully ready to protect the lives of the Southwest people.
He kicked against having a central command structure for the planned community as the agreement was yet to be reached on its operation and command.
The Ondo Governor noted that in creating state police, there must be corresponding responsibility by sending more funds to the state, while he expressed optimism that security would be guaranteed in the country with the multi-level policing approach.
He said, “What we fail to agree on is operation and command. The operation and command of the multi-level of policing cannot be central. It is an idea that will come to be. There will be state police and at a point, the local government will have theirs.
“All of us combine together to ensure the security of lives and property. Community policing is a good idea. We must work towards having multi-level policing.
“The governor will not be the one solely responsible for the control of state police. It is not going to be a command to be headed by the governor.
“The state police will be answerable to the Council, a replication of what we have at the national level. The President is not in charge of the Nigeria Police. We as a council took the decision on who to appoint.
“Our major problem is where we have not reached a consensus among governors as to the right time to have multi-level policing.
“Ours is collaborative and not confrontational. We will collaborate and work together. We have deployed our Amotekun into the rural areas. That is where kidnapping is taking place. We recruited hunters who know the forest.
“It will not be accepted for Amotekun to be collapsed into community policing. We have a law that set it up.
“The law set up Amotekun and Amotekun is going to operate under its own laws. It is not going to be subsumed under any set up. We work together and collaborate. Whoever feels otherwise can go to court.
“In creating state police, there must be corresponding responsibility by sending more funds to the state. There is no state that won’t be able to afford it. What we spend on police in states is a lot.
“We have not yet agreed as what should be in the issue of ammunition. Amotekun is allowed to carry non-prohibited ammunition.
“Without ammunition, they cannot face bandits or kidnappers. We will continue to discuss the need for Amotekun to carry arms. Amotekun will gradually do its job until they are allowed to carry arm”
He said further “We will not collapse Amotekun to community policing. Amotekun will stand on its own. It will operate under its own law. It is not going to be collapsed.
“There is no intimidation. We will not collapse it. There is no need to pretend. We will make the, to understand.
“We are not forcing the IG to understand. We have our laws. If anybody feels otherwise. he should go to court. Amotekun has come to stay.”