The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the Southwest Governors Forum, has said that the nation’s Constitution does not prohibit the governors from running with the ‘Operation Amotekun’.
According to him, the primary purpose of the government is to protect its people and consequently, it is the responsibility of governors to decide on how to go about it.
Akeredolu said this on Wednesday, during an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today.
“The Constitution does not prohibit us from doing what we are doing” he said.
His comments come a day after the Federal Government declared the exercise as illegal.
When asked if consequently, it will be stood down, the governor said they are yet to reach a conclusion on what next to do.
He, however, noted that although it is not in the place of the Attorney General of the Federation to interpret laws, the southwest governors have chosen not to be confrontational over the matter.
“If the Attorney General made a statement, we will not go and say we want to be confrontational but after our meeting, we will take decisions as to what we will do.
“We don’t want any confrontation as such but we know that it is not in the place of the AGF to interpret laws. It is for the court.
“We are elected as governors to protect our people and that’s why we are the chief security officers in the state. So, it is for us to determine what we want to do for our people and we have taken that decision.
“Amotekun is going to go head, but like I said, we will meet and get back to you”.
The security body was recently launched by the governors of the Southwest states to tackle kidnapping and other criminal activities in the zone.
But the Federal Government maintained that “the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) has established the Army, Navy and Airforce, including the Police and other numerous paramilitary organisations for the purpose of the defence of Nigeria”.
Consequently, it says no other authority at the state level, whether the executive or legislature has the legal authority over defence.