Governorship candidates of some political parties participating in the July 16 Osun State governorship poll on Sunday disagreed with the suggestion that operatives of the Amotekun Corps should bear arms.
Speaking at a debate organised by the Channels Television in Osogbo, the candidates, however, rejected the idea of asking residents to bear arms for self-defence in the face of insecurity.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress at the poll, said since men of Amotekun Corps would be engaging criminals who bear arms, it would be desirable for the operatives of the corps to bear arms.
But the candidate of the Accord Party, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, who said if elected, more able people would be recruited into the Amotekun Corps, added that operatives of the corps should not be allowed to bear arms as the Constitution forbids them from doing so.
Proffering solutions to the security challenges facing the state, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Mr Goke Omigbodun, said he would rely on technology to gather intelligence and called for devolution of power to enable individual states to handle its security.
The candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Lasun Yusuff, promised to develop a security framework that would involve Community Development Associations that would work with men of Amotekun Corps to provide security, adding that if elected he would push for an amendment of the Constitution to enable governors to take charge of security of their states.
Commenting, Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party promised to empower the police with the right equipment and gadgets, adding that Neighbourhood Watch would also be introduced to complement the efforts of the conventional security men.
Speaking on his plans for education, Adeleke said, “I will declare a state of emergency on education, focus on vocational education and equip libraries to make the learning environment more conducive.”
Reacting to Osun’s poor ranking by the West African Examination Council in 2021, Oyetola said, “Absenteeism has been a major challenge but we are addressing that. There is Quality Assurance Committee and Edu Marshal that are monitoring schools now.”
Oyetola also said his disagreement with former Governor Rauf Aregbesola was blown out of proportion, adding that if any disagreement existed between them, it is basically on governance and not personal.