Ondo State governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu yesterday asked the federal government to allow Amotekun and other state security outfits to bear sophisticated arms to protect the people.
The governor also clarified his position on the oil pipeline surveillance contract awarded to private individuals and organisations.
Akeredolu said his position was to allow Amotekun to bear heavy arms like the non-state actors who were engaged to protect the oil pipelines.
He spoke at the commissioning of the newly reconstructed office complex at the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC) in Oba-Ile, Akure North local government area.
The commission under the leadership of the chairman, Sam Erejuwa, presented two patrol vehicles and three motorcycles to Ilaje and Ese-Odo local government chairmen to strengthen security architecture in the OSOPADEC mandate areas.
While decrying the precarious security situation in the country, Governor Akeredolu vowed that he will continue to take the bull by the horn to protect the people of the state.
He said, “Most of the people and even some of my colleagues didn’t really understand my position on the oil pipeline surveillance contract. I have no issue with the federal government awarding surveillance contract to anybody. It is the federal government’s money. They can use it anyhow they want.
“Here, we are spending our money on Amotekun. And what I said in my statement titled ‘Who Actually Needs Weapon’ was that the federal government should allow Amotekun to carry sophisticated weapons like those whom they awarded pipeline surveillance contract.
“If you can allow individuals to carry heavy arms to protect pipelines, why won’t you allow Amotekun to carry sophisticated weapons to protect the people. The oil facilities are not more important than the lives of the people,” he said.
Akeredolu, who disclosed that some arrests have been made in connection to the abduction of some burial guests in Ifon over the weekend, said the victims who have been released are scared to come and identify their abductors.
The governor appreciated all security agencies in the state including Amotekun for the great work they did in securing the victims’ release.
Commissioning the office complex, Akeredolu reeled out the projects already awarded and ongoing by OSOPADEC under his administration.
They include the 28.5km Aboto-Atijere Road awarded for N8.804billion; Rehabilitation and Asphalt Overlay from Akintubuwa Junction to Alape awarded for N5.49 billion; 1 Km Igbotu Road Construction awarded for N221.1m; Mini Water Supply Scheme and Water Treatment Plant awarded at N82,78m; Ugbonla-Erunna awarded for N4.7 billion and Araromi-Lekki Road awarded in two lots at N33 billion.
Earlier, OSOPADEC chairman, Sam Erejuwa, appreciated Governor Akeredolu for making funds available for the renovation of the office complex and the purchase of patrol vehicles as well as motorcycles.
Erejuwa added that within seven months, over 30 housing units have been completed while another 30 are also ongoing, promising to continue to support the governor as he is determined to develop and transform the OSOPADEC mandate areas.
In their separate goodwill messages, a Board member of OSOPADEC, Prince Adegboye Raphael, and the immediate past chairman of OSOPADEC, Gbenga Edema, lauded Governor Akeredolu for his uncommon commitment to security and infrastructure development of the state, especially OSOPADEC mandate areas. Edema also thanked Erejuwa for embracing the spirit of continuity in the commission.