The Katsina Police Command has refuted the claims that its state vigilantes were trained and licensed to use AK-47 riffles.
Recall, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu kicked against the Federal government’s recent granting of arms-bearing license to Katsina State corps while refusing to approve same for the Southwest security outfit codenamed Amotekun.
Akeredolu in a statement on Thursday revealed that the northern state had obtained the approval of the federal government to bear arms while hitherto denying the South West security outfit the same privilege to combat crime in the region using firearms.
“The video making the rounds showing the equivalent of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun Corps) in Katsina, obtaining the approval of the Federal Govt. to bear arms is fraught with great dangers.
“Denying Amotekun the urgently needed rights, to legitimately bear arms is a repudiation of the basis of true federalism which we have been clamouring for. That Katsina was able to arm its state security force, with the display of AK47 means we are pursuing one country, two systems solution to the national question,’ he said.
Reacting to the development, the command’s spokesperson, Gambo Isah revealed that the vigilantes in the state were not licensed to use AK-47, saying they were only trained for self-defence.
“The Vigilantes were trained on other arms and combat manoeuvres. It is not that they were given a license or that the federal government has approved that they should use AK-47 Riffles. They were just trained on how to defend themselves.
“And to be categorically clear, there is no member of vigilante in Katsina that is using that kind of weapon. It wasn’t issued to them by the Federal Government or State Government. They were just trained on how to defend themselves.
“It wasn’t the police that trained them, the police were not there when they were trained, we didn’t participate in the training, but what I know Is what I am telling you.
“They were not issued with AK-47 riffles, but they were trained on how to defend themselves because bandits and terrorists are using AK-47 riffles,” he said.
The command further noted that the week-long training that commenced on Sunday was to enable the vigilantes to stand up to terrorists who also use AK-47s in their operations.
When asked what next after the training, Isah gave no further comment on why vigilantes should be trained to use AK-47s only for operational knowledge.