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FG’s Refusal To Arm Amotekun Is A Misinterpretation Of Law – Onovo



Discussion surrounding the use of sophisticated firearms by the South West Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun has caused a series of disagreements between the Federal Government and the Ondo State Government in recent times.

While the Federal Government maintained that state security outfits had no power to bear automatic weapons, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has insisted that he would leave no stones unturned to protect his people.

The governor, through his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, also argued that restraining state security outfits bearing automatic weapons, was no longer tenable in the face of increasing security challenges being faced by the people.

He also cited the case of Katsina State security outfits training with AK47s as a slap on other states that have been denied the opportunity.

Speaking EXCLUSIVELY with AN24, a human rights activist and former presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Chief Martins Onovo, berated the Federal Government for its continuous disapproval of the use of sophisticated firearm by Amotekun.

He described the Federal Government’s continuous refusal as a misinterpretation of law.

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He said, “The Federal Government must license Amotekun with fire arms because it is lawful. Forget the pretense and misrepresentations. It is very lawful. Number one, a fire arm license act is in place so nobody can tell you there is no law that allows it. Number two, you have state legislation backing Amotekun, so these excuses of no parallel security is not tenable. No parallel security does not obliterate private or communal security, it does not obliterate vigilante services, it does not obliterate joint task force. It is just about licensing and therefore, they should license it.”

He argued that the insecurity that has faced the state is enough reason for a proactive government to legalise sophisticated firearms for state security outfits.

Onovo, however, said the Federal Government could use the option of modifying any mode of operation that the outfit operates with that is not satisfying.

“If they (FG) have concerns, they should address those concerns, and not say they will not license, they will have to license. It is about the law, let everyone comply with the law. And you cannot interpret the law to become meaningless, so firearms licensing is in place in the country, if you need additional safeguards and guidelines, you can request Amotekun to comply, but refusing to license is, to me, an act of aggression.

“You have to understand the circumstances that led to Amotekun, the recent circumstances where communities were asked to surrender their hunting guns, and thereafter, terrorists attacked them. So, it is an act of aggression and it can be tantamount to an act of terrorism because you are denying people the right to self-defense which is universal. It is in our laws and it is in United Nations’ conventions. What you do is if you are not satisfied with the guidelines and operational modes of Amotekun, you can introduce additional guidelines but refusal to license it is a threat. It is unacceptable and intolerable,” he stressed.

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