According to report reaching oyogist.com, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has demanded the Federal Government to grant governors of the South-West the powers to equip their respective Amotekun operatives with sophisticated firearms like AK-47.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent Igangan mayhem, Makinde decried that effective operations of Amotekun in tackling criminality continues to be limited because the operatives do not have sophisticated weapons to match that of criminal elements.
He made this call at Day One of the 2021 Governor Seyi Makinde National Democracy Summit themed: “The Future of Democracy in Nigeria,” held at the University of Ibadan on Wednesday.
Though he took responsibility for the Igangan incident and state of security in Oyo State, Makinde also demanded devolution of powers where state governors control their respective state security architecture.
Makinde said: “Anyone who has been involved in security at any level will tell you that policing is local. One of the reasons why Amotekun is recording success is because members of the corps are drawn from the locality. “They know the terrain and can gather needed intelligence but also they can be held accountable by the local people because they know them.
“So when state governors become the actual Chief Security Officers in charge of the security personnel in their States, they can quickly respond to security challenges.
“For example, with what happened at Igangan, the people can hold me responsible for letting them down and when I go there, I will take responsibility because those killings were really needless.
“Even though I continue to take responsibility for the security situation in Oyo State, we all know that, in reality, the Commissioner of Police has to wait for orders from above before taking specific actions to benefit the local population.
“So, looking at the federal security agencies here in Oyo State, they have to get clearance from the federal.
“We will continue to do our best.
“Here in the South West, we were able to kickstart Amotekun. But even with Amotekun, people ask how the killings happened. Were they not there? But we have several limitations to what Amotekun can do and even the firearms they can carry.
“You have dane gun and you are faced with people carrying AK-47. If it is in terms of investment, if we are given the authority, I will also buy AK-47 for Amotekun if given the licence.”
The summit was also graced by dignitaries including former governor of Edo State, Prof Oserheimen Osunbor; former Minister of State for Agriculture, Otunba Bamidele Dada; Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof Eghosa Osaghae; President of Apex Yoruba self-determination group, Prof Banji Akintoye; Secretary-General, Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr Kunle Olajide; and former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Obadiah Mailafia.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, who is the Chairman of South West Governors’ Forum, was represented by the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General for the state, Charles Titiloye; while Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Charles Akinola.