Nigerians on social media amplified their anger after PREMIUM TIMES revealed how former governor, Ibikunle Amosun, stockpiled arms and ammunition at his official residence before the 2019 elections.
The publication elicited widespread outrage and bipartisan demand for the former Ogun State governor to be arrested and prosecuted for illegal arms possession, which has long been identified as one of the immediate causes of the country’s acute insecurity.
Our findings showed that Mr Amosun stockpiled 4 million bullets, 1,000 AK47 rifles, 1,000 bulletproof vests and one armoured personnel carrier at Oke Mosan Government House for an extended period of time.
But, on May 28, a day before he was billed to complete his eight years as governor, Mr Amosun suddenly called the state police commissioner, Bashir Makama, to confess that he had a cache of arms he was willing to surrender to the police.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt from security sources that Mr Amosun abruptly handed over the huge arms vault as part of a desperate move to clear the Government House of any incriminating items before his successor takes charge.
Although he remained a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and was even elected to the Senate on the platform, Mr Amosun favoured Adekunle Akinlade of a rival political party in the state’s governorship election on March 9.
But, Dapo Abiodun, the APC candidate, won the election, and Mr Amosun knew the successor would be unwilling to protect him due to their political enmity.
Mr Makama received the weapons from Mr Amosun on behalf of the police, but failed to notify the Force Headquarters about it, PREMIUM TIMES learnt. The manner with which Mr Amosun turned in the arms has alarmed security officials, who saw the affair as damaging to national security.
Nigerians of all political affiliations are also weighing in, calling for Mr Amosun’s urgent arrest in a rare show of unity over a national security matter. Mr Amosun and the police have continued to decline comments on the scandal.
Reactions that poured in from several social media channels, especially Twitter, Facebook and PREMIUM TIMES‘ comment sections, were overwhelmingly unequivocal about the wrong impression that security agencies would signal to both citizens and criminals should they fail to act.