Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State has said it is not a bad idea to enhance the operations of Amotekun by having members of the security network bear arms.
Oyetola gave this inference on Sunday while defending his records as governor at the Osun Governorship Debate 2022 in Oshogbo, the state capital.
“I am of the opinion that it is not out of place for the Amotekun people to be able to carry arms,” Oyetola asserted while tackling questions regarding security.
The governor’s statement comes amid a subtle clamour to have citizens legally obtain guns in a bid to defend themselves even as the spate of crimes and violent attacks continue to rise.
When asked if he agrees to having individuals carry weapons to fight for themselves, Governor oyetola replied that this “will result to anarchy”.
“I won’t encourage this,” the governor buttressed.
He said though the Amotekun operatives at the moment do not carry guns, they have immensely contributed to securing Osun and neighboring states, and as such, the governor said having a legal framework to encourage Amotekun to bear arms is not out of place.
A fellow contestant in the race for the governorship seat, Senator Ademola Adeleke had earlier on Sunday tackled Oyetola regarding how his government is using operatives of the Amotekun Security Network and the condition of the state-own helicopter, however, the governor denied any form of fowl play.
“Yes there was an helicopter, it is still in existence; it is with the supplier because of the fact that it broke down before now, about some five years ago.
“I understand that the cost of repairing it is so huge that it will cost an average of about 300 thousand dollars, if anybody wants to know where it is, I can supply the address.
“Repairing it with 300 thousand dollars at this time is not economical, so we have even asked the man to see if he can sell it,” Oyetola explained regarding the helicopter.
On the issue of misusing the Amotekun Security Network, the governor said “nobody is using amotekun for politics.”
“I don’t agree with that, that is an insinuation that I don’t agree with. Amotekun has always been used to take care of crimes and they have been very very effective.
“Particularly in the area of kidnapping, they collaborate with the hunters to got to the forest and pursue kidnappers, so for anybody to be saying it is being used for politics, I don’t see any evidence, so that’s not correct.”
In the governor’s opinion, Osun is the most peaceful state in Nigeria, and as such he intends to keep it this way by continuing to collaborate with security agencies and outfits including the Amotekun.
According to him, the present administration has not recorded serious cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and banditry which is prevalent in several other states.
In his view, the Amotekun Corps should be enhanced by way of giving them arms to be able to deal decisively with robbers and kidnappers.