A former Inspector General of Police (IG), Sunday Ehindero, yesterday warned operatives of the South-West Security outfit, codenamed Amotekun, against bearing firearms.
Ehindero said it was unconstitutional for either Amotekun Corps or special constables trained for community policing to bear firearms.
The former IG disclosed this at the Community Policing Sensitisation and Awareness Campaign held in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Ehindero advised operatives of Amotekun and special constables to strictly adhere to the country’s constitution which “forbids them from bearing firearms” in the course of their operations.
The retired police boss, who headed the Force from 2005 to 2007, said Amotekun was supposed to be an information and intelligence-gathering outfit rather than an arm-carrying organisation.
Ehindero advised the Corps to key into community policing and work in synergy with the Special Constables and the Police Force to combat insecurity at the grassroots. He said men of Amotekun should not be hasty to bear arms. The former IG appealed to them to exercise patience until the constitution was amended. Explaining why Amotekun should not bear firearms, Ehindero said, “they are not allowed by the law to carry firearms. They should key into community policing and give their own information. “When Amotekun is launched, they will collaborate and cooperate with the police and they will bring intelligence. “Amotekun can go where the police can’t go and when they bring the information the police will definitely work on it.
“All I’m saying is that Amotekun, for now, until the constitution is amended, should key into community policing and bring its intelligentgathering prowess to the use of the police.”
In his remark, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone II, Ahamed Iliayasu, argued that crime and criminalities could better be fought and won when the police rest their ability to gain community support than use of force.