The presidency on Tuesday declared that none of the 36 states of the federation had the authority to procure weapons for their security outfits.
The pronouncement was in apparent reaction to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State’s recent submission that he was going to arm the state security outfit, Amotekun, with sophisticated weapons like was allegedly obtainable in Buhari’s Katsina home state. The presidency, in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, stressed that law enforcement agencies had been directed to confiscate such weapons procured illegally by the state governments for their security outfits.
The statement explained that in the case of he Katsina State security outfit often cited, the office of the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College on Katsina only provided training on request to the state vigilantes group.
While cautioning the state government against politicising security issues, the presidency, however, appreciated the state security outfits on the successes recorded so far in their respective states to nip the security challenge in the bud.
The presidency in the statement added, “The presidency wishes to strongly assert that there is no state, not Katsina, not any other state in the federation, that has been authorised 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 authorisation, 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”.
It added: “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.
“The president in particular has expressed happiness that in the last couple of years, security outfits mandated by state governments have been associated with several important initiatives, and reports have reached him of acts of utmost bravery and professionalism”.