Former Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has been in the eyes of the storm following his alleged handing over of thousands of ammunition to the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama.
The media aide to the state governor, Rotimi Durojaiye, has cleared the air on the issue in what he termed "savagely twisted" report by the online medium that broke the news, saying that "not a single AK 47 rifle was handed over at the event."
In a statement he titled: RE: "AMOSUN SURRENDERS 1,000 AK47 RIFLES, 4MILLION BULLETS ACQUIRED BEFORE 2019 ELECTIONS "- SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT, Durojaiye stated that it "was not the first time that Senator Amosun, whilst in office as Governor and former Chief Security of Ogun State would be handing over security assets to the Police."
Durojaiye also stressed that "the particular exercise of 28 May 2019 was done openly in the full glare of the public and the media to ensure accountability, guarantee transparency and judicious use of the assets.
"In May 2011 when Senator Amosun assumed office, the biggest challenge that confronted Ogun State was insecurity. Political assassinations, unnatural and unexplained deaths were prevalent. In Ogun East for instance, which comprised of nine of the 20 LGAs at the time, the entire business and financial institutions architecture had become comatose as no bank or such institutions could open for business in the entire Senatorial district.
"Cultism, Kidnapping for ransom, violent crime and tertiary institutions related criminality stank to high heavens. Ogun West was totally ravaged by cross border banditry, unbridled smuggling and economic sabotage. Ogun Central, though relatively calmer, had its fair share of the very low-security index that our State had sunk at the time. No resident, in good conscience, could sleep at night with two eyes closed.
"In the World Bank Ease of Doing Business, 2010, Ogun State was ranked as Number 35 out of 36 as industries and corporations fled the State in droves. Senator Ibikunle Amosun (SIA) took the firm view that nothing would thrive in an atmosphere of insecurity. He therefore decided, that early, to confront the myriad security challenges headlong and thereby open up Ogun State to private investment under a secured environment.
"The SIA administration convened a security Parley amongst all stakeholders. The Parley gave rise to the Ogun State Security Trust Fund (STF) under the leadership of a former Nigerian National Security Adviser. The deliberations and recommendations of the STF and the far-reaching initiatives of Government have delivered consistent peace of mind, economic prosperity and social progress for all within the borders of Ogun State and even beyond since 2012. We note with immense pride that the same Ogun State, generally regarded as a back-water State in terms of security rallied round strongly to emerge as one of the most peaceful and the best place to work and live in Nigeria.
"The SIA administration sought help from the then President Goodluck Jonathan led Federal Government. First, we sought and got approval to set up "OP MESA" for Ogun State. We followed this up with the specialized QRS unit. We committed substantial funds into the procurement of hard and software, and, myriad security assets to decisively combat our security challenges. We got all necessary approvals from the Office of the National Security Adviser to procure the 13 units of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), the 1000 units of AK 47 rifles, 2 Million rounds of ammunition. 1000 units of bulletproof vests and 500 bulletproof helmets and other security communication gadgets. Ogun State not only got approval to import these essential assets, the Federal administration under President Goodluck Jonathan, gave all requisite approvals to assist the State. The Federal Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) issued the State the End User Certificate Serial Number 000001123 dated March 5, 2012.
"The Federal Ministry of Finance also granted Import Duty Exemption Certificate through a letter from the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy with Reference Number BO/R.10260/S.4/T.4/22 dated April 10, 2012. Indeed, the supplier was an accredited agent of the Nigeria Police Force nominated for the job by the Force who also monitored and supervised the transaction.
"The security materials were cleared through the Murtala Muhammed Airport and confirmed through Nigeria Customs Memo NCS/MMAC/012/S.1. The materials were publicly handed over to the Inspector General of Police MD Abubakar on April 22, 2012, wherein he acknowledged that "I have served in all six geographical zones of this country. I have never seen the kind of equipment you are donating to security agents today. This is the first of such maximum donation I have ever seen since I have been serving as a police officer," Durojaiye said.
While reiterating that due process was carried out in procuring the arms, Durojaiye explained that "there are strict procedures for the purchase, handling, storage and documentation of security merchandise. We are satisfied that extant approvals, regulations, and protocols were observed and complied with in this instance.
"Without going into the details and thereby breaching conventions, suffice to say categorically that the AK47 rifles were supplied directly to the Nigeria Police, Ogun State Command. The rest of the merchandise were securely kept in the approved designated armoury within the Government House precincts under police surveillance as it obtains in most Government Lodges, to guarantee exclusive use of the materials in Ogun State.
"These are not matters for the public. The online portal is advised to approach other states where such conventions and protocols exist. The suggestion that the security assets were quickly handed over to the Police in order that the new administration will not know about it is laughable because the current Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR was the main supplier of some of the assets in question, notably, the Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).
"We say with pride that our substantial investment and commitment to security paid off. Ogun State won several international and local security awards. Companies returned to our shores in even higher numbers. Thankfully, under Senator Amosun's watch, Ogun State did not record any unexplained death or political assassination throughout. Notably, Ogun State holds the record as one of the most peaceful States during the 2019 general election and is now the investors' destination of choice and industrial capital of Nigeria," Durojaiye said.
Amsoun's media aide also queried the timeliness of the report, which he said happened three weeks after the event. "It is interesting to note that a public outing held on May 28, 2019, is generating so much interest three weeks after the event," he said.