President Muhammadu Buhari has said that none of the states has been authorized to legally buy weapons for its security outfits and that anyone that engages in such would be treated as contravening the law of the country.
Buhari said that anyone found defying the section of the constitution that restrict arms and ammunition acquisition, as well as usage, would be dealt with by the security outfits severely.
He made the warning on Tuesday while reacting to claims made by the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, and some Non-Governmental Organisations that have alleged double standards on the part of his administration after reports emanated that personnel of the Katsina state security outfit had been permitted to bear arms.
Akeredolu of Ondo State had alleged that if the Federal Government could allow a security outfit in Katsina State to carry arms, nothing should stop him from doing the same for officers of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun.
Clearing the air on the claim, the president through a statement released by his media aide, Garba Shehu, stressed that the governor’s stance was far from the truth.
According to him, “there is no state, not Katsina, not any other state in the federation, that has been authorized to procure automatic weapons for their security outfits.
“Under this administration, the President has repeatedly made it clear that nobody is allowed to illegally carry AK-47 or any other automatic weapons and that they must surrender them.”
“Where they fail to do so, the law enforcement agencies have been given clear directives to deal with any such outlaws.
“Under the existing regulations, only the Office of the National Security Adviser can issue such authorization, upon proper clearance by the President and Commander-in-Chief and as it is at this moment, no such approvals have been issued to any state government.”
“In the specific Katsina State often cited, the Governor, Aminu Masari wrote to explain that the administration invited the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College in Katsina to train their Vigilantes for a five-day period ‘in the handling and operations of Pump Action Rifles,’ emphasizing that ‘the Vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria but to assist them.’
“The Presidency appreciates the active involvement of states with security matters. As they continue to expand their capabilities as well as their active collaboration with law enforcement agencies of the federation, the joint efforts continue to yield good results, thwarting attempts of terrorists to wreak havoc and destruction on communities.”