The presidency says automatic weapons have not been approved for use by the federal government for any state.
Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, had alleged that the state security outfit in Katsina was allowed to bear superior firearms, threatening that he would procure better firearms for Amotekun in his state.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the presidency said nobody is allowed carry automatic weapons.
”The Presidency wishes to strongly assert that there is no state, not Katsina, not any other state in the federation, that has been authorized to procure automatic weapons for their security outfits,” it said.
”Under this administration, the President has repeatedly made it clear that nobody is allowed to illegally carry AK-47 or any other automatic weapons and that they must surrender them.
”Where they fail to do so, the law enforcement agencies have been given clear directives to deal with any such outlaws.
”Under the existing regulations, only the Office of the National Security Adviser can issue such authorization, upon proper clearance by the President and Commander-in-Chief and as it is at this moment, no such approvals have been issued to any state government.
”In the specific Katsina State often cited, the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari wrote to explain that the administration invited the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College in Katsina to train their Vigilantes for a five-day period in the handling and operations of Pump Action Rifles,” emphasizing that “the Vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria but to assist them.”
The presidency added that it appreciates the active involvement of states with security matters ”as they continue to expand their capabilities as well as their active collaboration with law enforcement agencies of the federation, the joint efforts continue to yield good results, thwarting attempts of terrorists to wreak havoc and destruction on communities”.