Owo massacre: we must defend ourselves, Akeredolu insist


Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has reiterated his stand on the need for his people and Nigerians to defend themselves against insecurity.

He said that might be the way to tackle the fight off the menace.

Speaking as a guest on Channels’ Television yesterday, Akeredolu, who doubles as Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum, also said the present security architecture of policing in Nigeria was not commensurate to prevailing security challenges in the country.

Akeredolu, who weighed the consequences of governors directing their people to carry weapons, said doing so remained the only option left for Nigerians to fight those criminal terrorising the society.

He said: “Well, Governor Mattawale’s view might be extreme, but when you are pushed to the wall, there’s nothing much you can say.

“Our people cannot afford to lay back; we are not lazy people; we are indomitable people and we must fight these people back and whosoever has the upper hand will survive.

We must be alert when we see strange people around us. We have put more men on the streets and patrols everywhere using Amotekun and the lesson we have learnt is we can’t afford to run away, we must face these people.

“I’ve told traditional rulers that we must get ready to defend our people and our land, we can’t fold our hands; when these people come to you, you must fight back!”

While hailing the establishment of the Southwest Security Network (SWSN) – Amotekun corps, Akeredolu however, lamented the outfit’s limitations.

He said: “Yes, we are happy with Amotekun. But, we do know its limitation, which has been caused by our perverted federalism; something is definitely wrong with the federalism we are running.

“We can’t keep running with one command of police from Abuja and think we can police this country properly. Why don’t we run state police?

“Amotekun is faced with limitations on which arms to carry and the people facing us are carrying powerful ammunition.”

The governor said that except something was quickly done, the state chief executive may be forced to get ammunitions for their people.

Akeredolu said: “If care is not taken, governors and other governments will be forced to get ammunitions for their people to fight back because there is no other way to fight this problem.

He noted that the state is castrate and totally powerless, hence the governor added that the answer was creation of state police.

The governor said: “What we need to do is to get our priorities right and what we should prioritise as a nation today is state police and let the state police be well armed.

“The states should spend money on their police and have a duty to defend their people. The National Assembly has a duty to take this law out of place.

“The police are currently over stretched! There’s no other solution but state police.”

Speaking on the Owo attack, Akeredolu said the state government was yet to make headway.

“We are yet to make headway but we are still on their trail, we have recovered the vehicles they used and the phones and we have handed over to security personnel”, Akeredolu said.