Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, says the constitution does not prohibit the establishment of a regional security outfit.
The attorney-general of the federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, had declared the outfit illegal, saying security is an exclusive preserve of the federal government.
But in an interview with Channels TV on Wednesday, Akeredolu, chairman of the south-west governors’ forum, said the region will go ahead with the initiative.
“The Constitution does not prohibit us from doing what we are doing,” he said.
Akeredolu said the south-west governors will not adopt confrontation in resolving issues with the federal government.
However, he said it is the duty of the governors to protect their people, adding that the AGF should go to court if there is a perceived problem with the outfit.
“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,” he said.
“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 ahead, but like I said, we will meet and get back to you.”
A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has asked the governors to ignore Malami, adding that the proscription of “Amotekun” by the federal government is hypocritical and discriminatory.