AK47: Katsina Police Distance Self As Ondo Gov Kicks Against Licensing Vigilantes To Bear Arms

The Katsina Police Command has distanced itself from viral reports claiming that vigilantes in the state have been trained and licensed to use AK-47 riffles.

Speaking to THE WHISTLER on Thursday, the command’s spokesperson, Gambo Isah, reacted to a statement issued by the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who accused the Federal Government of preventing South West’s security outfit from bearing arms but allowing vigilantes in the North to carry AK47.

Akeredolu revealed that the state had obtained the approval of the federal government to bear arms while hitherto denying the South West security outfit the same privilege to combat crime in the region using firearms.

“The video making the rounds showing the equivalent of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) in Katsina, obtaining the approval of the Federal Govt. to bear arms is fraught with great dangers.

“Denying Amotekun the urgently needed rights, to legitimately bear arms is a repudiation of the basis of true federalism which we have been clamouring for. That Katsina was able to arm its state security force, with the display of AK47 means we are pursuing one country, two systems solution to the national question,’ he said.

But speaking to THE WHISTLER, Isah revealed that the vigilantes in the state were not licensed to use AK-47, saying they were only trained on how to use it for self-defence.

“The Vigilantes were trained on other arms and combat manoeuvres. It is not that they were given a license or that the federal government has approved that they should use AK-47 Riffles. They were just trained on how to defend themselves.

“And to be categorically clear, there is no member of vigilante in Katsina that is using that kind of weapon. It wasn’t issued to them by the Federal Government or State Government. They were just trained on how to defend themselves.

“It wasn’t the police that trained them, the police were not there when they were trained, we didn’t participate in the training, but what I know Is what I am telling you.

“They were not issued with AK-47 riffles, but they were trained on how to defend themselves because bandits and terrorists are using AK-47 riffles,” he said.

The command further noted that the week-long training that commenced on Sunday was to enable the vigilantes to stand up to terrorists who also use AK-47s in their operations.

When asked what next after the training, Isah gave no further comment as this newspaper made an effort to unravel why vigilantes should be trained to use AK-47s only for operational knowledge.

Meanwhile, Akeredola noted the Ondo State Government has decided to fulfil its legal, constitutional and moral duty to the citizens of the State, by acquiring arms to protect its people.

“This is more so, given that the bandits have unchecked access to sophisticated weapons. The State government cannot look on while its citizens are being terrorized and murdered with impunity. We will defend our people,” the Governor said.

The Katsina State Government earlier in September disclosed plans to recruit 3000 individuals into the Special Vigilante Corps to fight terrorism in the state.

The government scheduled to train the first batch of 600 out of 3000 vigilante corps at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ College of Peace and Disaster Management in the state.

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  1. […] Federal Government or State Government. They were just trained on how to defend themselves,” Isah had told THE […]