Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has said that the South West security outfit, known as the Amotekun Corps would not be subsumed into the planned community policing of the Federal Government.
Akeredolu, who spoke on Wednesday morning in a live television programme in Akure, stated that the Amotekun Corps would operate within the confines of the law setting it up.
He said talks were on to allow the Amotekun Corps carry firearms even as they currently make use of non-prohibited ammunition.
The Governor stated that the Amotekun Corps has helped in the rescue of kidnap victims in the state.
He kicked against having a central command structure for the planned community police as 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.
He insisted that security would be guaranteed in the country with the multi-level policing approach.
His words, “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 security of lives and property. Community policing is good idea. Who will be in command, the community will own. We must work towards having multi-level policing.
“The Governor will not be the one solely responsible for 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 decision on who to appoint.
“Our major problem is where we have not reached a consensus among Governor 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 on the need for Amotekun to carry arms. Amotekun will gradually do its job until they are allowed to carry arm.
“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.”