Mohammed Shehu, the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has expressed optimism that the Southwest Security Network codenamed Amotekun Corps, might signal the beginning of State Police in Nigeria.
He stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Amotekun Command Headquarters in Akure, Ondo State capital.
Shehu, who was represented by the team leader of the Indices and Disbursement Committee, Isiak Hamid, said the request for more funding for the corps was germane.
While commending the South West Governors for the Amotekun initiative, the RMAFC boss said the security outfit has helped to tackle crimes since its creation.
He said, “We want to commend Governor Akeredolu and other Governors in the southwest states for coming up with the noble initiative which has continued to reduce crime to its barest minimum in the area. Maybe, this would be the beginning of State Police in Nigeria.
“We have heard of your financial request, and we can see that you deserve more than what you are requesting because this is about saving lives and it is one of the fundamental duties of every government.
“We have seen commitment, qualities and real patriotism. We can see that the Governor has not set this security outfit as a joke. It is not cosmetic.
“We will convey your message to our Chairman who has sent us and we also ask that the state Governor gives a certain percentage to Amotekun to access the stabilisation fund and it is our prayer that some part of it gets to the needs of the Corps”, he added.
In the meantime, the Ondo Amotekun Commander, Akogun Adetunji Adeleye, said the outfit needs more supports in the area of funding for equipment, to holistically tackle crimes and ensure that people of the state sleep with their two eyes closed.
“One major advantage that we have is that we understand the terrain and we have the men, but we don’t have the equipment.
“Our security architecture is enhanced by very good communication equipment that we have, but it is grossly inadequate, but functional.
“For over two and a half years now, I can say we are worse kit in the face of enormous security challenges which may affect the socio-economic growth of the state.
“Within our first six months of coming on board, we received over 5,000 petitions from farmers complaining that they were being robbed, kidnapped and their livestock and farmlands destroyed, but within our limited resources, we were able to arrest the situation.
“Ondo State is the gateway to the entire southwest region. You would have been saving future generations if you assist us with adequate fund to cushion the challenge of inadequate funding.
“We need to respond simultaneously whenever robbers struck and this can be effectively done through 24/7 patrol, hence the dire need for support. You can imagine a whole local government with one car.
“Despite our inadequacy, we are still able to use the little equipment we have to monitor parts of the forest, but we would have wanted a Satellite based tracker.
“Thank God we have not lost our personnel, but it’s just the grace of God and the support of people. But it would have been easier for us with modern equipment to track down bandits.
“With such equipment, we would be able to see from a remote position. So we are looking at a situation where within the ambit of the law setting up the Corps, we are allowed to use non-prohibited firearms. We don’t even have money for it. What we have are Dane guns and Pump actions that can not stand the firepower of these criminals”, he said