Human life, more important than protecting oil facilities — Akeredolu
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, weekend clarified his position on the Federal Government allowing non-state actors engaged to protect the oil pipelines to bear heavy arms.
He pointedly said that human life was more important than protecting oil facilities.
Akeredolu said this while inaugurating newly renovated administrative building of the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development, OSOPADEC in Akure, the state capital.
“ The state security outfits should be allowed to bear heavy arms to protect their people like the non-state actors engaged to protect the oil pipelines.
“Let me at this point correct the impression that a few people including some of my colleagues, governors, gave to my statement that I issued, when I said “Who Needs to be Armed?
They do not really understand my position and it’s unfortunate. And my position is very clear. If your oil facilities need to be secured, is it more important than the life of our people.
“If you can allow Government Tompolo to carry gun, then allow Amotekun to carry gun to protect the people. It’s not more than that. Human life is more important than your oil facilities.
You now permit people to carry sophisticated weapons because you want to protect your oil facilities and those who want to protect their people, you said they cannot carry arms. Tell them they are wrong and I am saying so. That’s my position.
“You have the Federal Government money to waste. Navy is there, Marine Police is there, you are not equipping them enough and you have money to give to other people. I do not have anything against it. That’s why in my own case I give money to Amotekun. It’s my choice.
“So allow us to carry sophisticated weapons to meet this people in the forest that are carrying sophisticated weapons that even the police, the military do not have.
“How can we continue this way. We can’t with bare arm secure our people. That’s what we are saying. We are ready to secure our people, allow us to carry sophisticated arms. That’s all we are saying.”
However, the governor disclosed that his administration has made arrangement with a private organization to provide security for life and property in the oil producing communities because they are vulnerable to criminal attacks
Earlier, the chairman of the commission, Sam Erejuwa, appreciated the governor 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.