As the controversy over the funding of the Community Policing of the Federal Government, being championed by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu continues, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has said that South West regional security outfit codenamed: ‘Amotekun’ will not operate under the community policing arrangement of the Nigeria Police Force because there are laws guiding its operations as a distinct security arrangement.
Akeredolu on Wednesday said it was not the duty of governors to pay for the services of the community policing when it becomes operational.
The Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Research and Planning, Adeleye Oyebade, had Tuesday said that all other security arrangements in the country would fall under the community policing arrangement of the federal government.
The police chief had said: “I am going to tell you straightaway. By the time the community policing strategy and implementation come fully into operation, everybody will follow suit. Everybody will join us and follow what we are preaching and what we practice.”
The governor faulted the Police chief’s claim that the States would be responsible for the funding of the Community Policing network.
He said, “I am sure that they are taking this thing too far. Governors will have to pay? We have discussed this thing before and we told them it is not going to be possible. Are you increasing our allocations? Which state governor will accept that? Other states might say, ‘Yes, we will pay’, but we will not pay.
“Let’s be fair to ourselves, we are running a federal system. Where is that money going to come from when we are struggling to pay salaries? Nobody has ever come to us to say we will pay salaries (of community policemen) anyway and if they come, we will write to say, no, we don’t have extra money to do that.”
On suggestions that Amotekun will be brought under the Nigeria Police, the Ondo state governor reacted thus, “It will never be accepted, it is not our thinking. We have a law that sets this up. If the DIG feels otherwise, there is always a place for us to ventilate it. We are not afraid of this. The law says Amotekun will operate under its own law; it is not going to be subsumed under any setup. No.
“We will not collapse Amotekun for community policing. It will stand on its own. There is no intimidation. We are not people that can be intimidated (or) that the IG will give orders to. We will not. Amotekun is different. Community policing is different. If the IG does not understand, he will leave one day and other people will understand.
“We will work together, it is collaboration, not that it will be subsumed. The law is there and if anybody finds a fault in that law, we can go to court and ventilate whatever position in it. The DIG is totally wrong, Amotekun will not be subsumed under the community policing”, the governor stated clearly.
In the same vein, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has insisted that Amotekun would not be under any federal establishment
The governor, on Wednesday, while peaking during a meeting with chairmen of local government areas (LGs) and local council development areas (LCDAs), at state Secretariat, Ibadan, maintained that the security network would be solely controlled by the state government.
Making references to communities where crimes have been forestalled with the local collaborative efforts, the governor opined that there was no going back on implementing Amotekun in the state.
According to him: “At Okeho the other day, armed robbers robbed a bank and thankfully the community rose to the occasion and they assisted to apprehend those people. They combed the forest.
“That is why I will continue to say that Amotekun is here to stay with us. And it will not be under the control of the federal establishment. It will be under our control. Security of our people is extremely important.”
“Nothing can take place in an atmosphere of insecurity. Oyo state is a very large area. In terms of land size, we are more than all the States in South-East Nigeria so we have a lot to do to secure this area.”
“We have an international border with smuggling taking place. They killed a Customs officer in Saki a few weeks ago and these things are not acceptable to us,” Makinde said.
Identifying insecurity as the biggest challenge facing the state, Makinde challenged the local government Chairmen to immediately set up security committees in their respective domains.
The governor assured that once the committees are set up, the fund would be made available to tackle insecurity in their various localities.