When the notion of the South West security apparatus was put forward, I envisaged the differing comments that have continued to trail its launching. Nothing has however been more scathing than that made by the Miyyetti Allah organisation. That should not come as a surprise to everyone following the Amotekun tale. The fear of the Miyetti Allah organization is justifiable.
Take it or leave it, the Herders would more likely be the ‘casualty’ of the ‘good actions’ of members of Amotekun. Different crimes have been committed across the South West states with the name ‘Herdsmen’ recurring. Amotekun sets out to reduce this crime rates. This invariably is the fear of the herdsmen. After all, the President who’s also a member of Miyetti Allah belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody and every part of Nigeria should?
The open secret about Amotekun is that it now has more of tribal backlashes than criticisms concerning how it will work out. If a Northern voice tags it a regional police to achieve Oodua republic, a South Western voice fires back instantly. Balarabe Musa’s comment and Soyinka’s response is an apt example of the aforementioned analogy.
Whether AGF Malami likes it or not, majority of the Yorubas do not view his ‘legal take’ as that coming from the AGF’s office but just another unofficial spokesman of the northern hegemony. That’s how bad Amotekun has pitched the Yorubas against the northerners. This could however have a dire and menacing consequences. The South West unlike other regions houses a very high percentage of northerners and the more this ‘ethnic-pitching’ occurs, the higher the risk for a violent ‘God-forbid’ situation.
Amotekun has eventually resulted to a ‘strong-regional nationalism’ at the expense of Nigeria’s. Many could think otherwise but the simple reality is that a very high percentage of Yorubas support blindly the creation of the security network. Maybe the federal government through Malami made this happened or the people are not just interested in looking at the pros and cons of the outfit. Whatever it is, Amotekun has united Yorubas and that has been quite a long while!
Back to the ‘Cheetah Amotekun’, many issues need to be looked into. Indubitably, the network makes vocal the failure and lack of trust in the police. How are we then sure that Amotekun won’t lead to another nightmare for the people? The world is moving at a very fast pace technologically and the fight against crimes should take a technological approach as well. Amotekun officials should be well trained and furnished with the needed ideologies to tackle security issues.
Local hunters have however said they do not need arms and that their ancestors would protect them. A typical Yoruba person won’t flinch after hearing this as the tales of hunters being ‘super fortified’ are far from mere myths. However, this is 2020 and the reality of the day favours science rather than spirits. The local hunters and even the OPC needs to be given the appropriate training. Intelligence is the key to fighting crimes.
The reason given by the South West governors for setting up Amoteku cannot be subjected to much argument as the security of the people is paramount. However, the sincerity of such purpose should be looked into. OPC members have always been vocal about politicking. During elections, they flaunt their support for particular candidates. Is that going to change a bit when they become integral part of Amotekun? Definitely NOT!
In as much as many see the Amotekun as the Julius Caesar’s army (one with high integrity), they could be used easily by politicians. This is not alien to Nigeria’s politics. Perceived political foes could be targeted. That a governor among the five comes from a different party does not mean this could not happen. These parties are quite the same. Asides the logos, nothing is different. Even if, INEC exempts the outfit from its operation, the pre and post election period would come handy for their pay-masters. These fears are real and measures should be taken to prevent them- sadly, that’s if there is any.
Another issue worthy of note is that officials of Amotekun could abuse their powers. Do not be surprised when some of them use the position to oppress others in the society and even eventually extort money from the people. Just like the ‘mainstream’ security outfits. Some of these officials could end up taking laws into their hands. Jungle justice could be on the rise and that could really decimate public confidence in the outfit.
All in all, Amotekun if well planned and work towards could be the hope of the people and if not, as it obviously seems so far, it could be the rope to hang them!
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