Governor Nasir el-Rufai: Amotekun Can’t Match Weapons Bandits And Other Criminals Have
Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai stated yesterday that local security outfits and vigilantes lack the necessary firearms to combat bandits.
He specifically stated that arming Amotekun is a simplistic approach to combating banditry and other crimes, claiming that “they are not up to scratch.”
The governor, speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily breakfast show, described Ondo’s governor’s plan as a simplistic approach to combating bandits.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had repeatedly urged the federal government to grant the security outfit the right to carry assault rifles such as the AK-47 in order to confront violent criminals such as bandits and herders.
But Governor el-Rufai said the vigilantes are no match for the “sophisticated” non-state actors.
He said: “Local security networks can only provide local intelligence. They do not have the firearms to face these guys (bandits).
“These guys sometimes even rout the military. So, people are speaking simplistically when they say ‘I want to get an AK-47 for my Amotekun. You don’t know what you’re dealing with.
“We know. These guys are very well-armed. They are getting arms that are sophisticated. Sometimes they outgun the military. Those vigilantes are not up to scratch.”
The governor said there had been positive changes in the security of the state in the past six weeks.
Kaduna is one of the north-west states targeted by bandits, recording many cases of kidnappings and killings in the last few years.
However, El-Rufai said the latest tactics deployed by the military are reducing the level of attacks in the state, adding that Kaduna would be safer if the methods currently being used had been put in place a few years ago.
“I’m happy to say in the last six weeks, there has been a change because the military has now deployed special forces here. And they have taken the bandits out. The air force is bombing them. All the things that we asked for two to three years ago are now happening.
“If that had been done three years ago, we’d be in a completely different environment. Because three years ago, they were much fewer in numbers, we knew their camps, we knew everything about them,” he said.
Group wants FG to approve weapon for Amotekun
However, a coalition of human rights group, The Osun Masterminds, TOM, yesterday called on the Federal Government to approve the use of arms for the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun) to combat crime in the southwest.
Speaking during the monthly State-of-the-State address in Osogbo, the Executive Director of the group, Dr Wasiu Oyedokun-Alli, said Amotekun had complemented efforts of the Nigeria Police Force in safeguarding lives and property in the region since its inauguration.
He said; “We join our voice to the call by several stakeholders in Yoruba land for the Federal Government’s approval of arms for the Amotekun Corps as has been approved for such security outfit in another section of the country.
“In the absence of State Police, Amotekun Corps has aided the activities of the Nigeria Police Force in no small measure, in maintaining the security of lives and property. As such, allowing them bear arms, albeit after thorough training, will help them apprehend criminal elements more effectively.
“We do not think that present security challenges should be left to the Nigeria Police Force alone as the Force is not just understaffed, but is also lacking in some critical areas of native intelligence that the Amotekun Corps can easily provide cover for.