Opinion

Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun): A Novel Initiative By Shofoyeke Adeniyi

Being the cradle of existence of human and life, the children (and territories) of Oduduwa have always been at the forefront of innovation, development and civilization in most walks and facets of life, all over the world. That unique position of leadership is divine, and sure appointed from creation of the universe.

This year, being the start of a new decade is a big deal for the children of Oduduwa. A very remarkable year that sets chains of actions and events that shall define and structure the future of we children of Oduduwa in motion. Coming from the background of security and economic challenges in the preceding decade, kudos and gratitude in gross values need be weighed and presented to DAWN Commission and each of the Governors of the six (6) South West States; Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun) has been launched, and sure given life and light to complement efforts of existing (formal and informal) security forces and outfits.

Necessity of WNSN (Amotekun):
Deriving its name and strategic principles from the prowess and ways of the Leopard (Ekun/Amotekun in native languuage), the Western Nigeria Security Network is one that has been carefully and strategically propounded and designed with full focus on defense of the western territories. Out of typical hate and disdain for oppression, suppression and subjugation, the children of Oduduwa have this once, as won’t to do, decided to rise up to aggressive intrusions recorded over the later years of the previous decade. Memories of offensive intrusions that plunged several households in deep grief are indelible in the minds of the children of Oduduwa. Talk about Fasorantis loss, loss of various known and unknown families, talk about the series of abduction on major homeland highways, talk about rustling of catlle, invasion and destruction of farmland and homestead amongst others. Thanks to our Governors for uniting on a common purpose, for placing huge premium and taking charge of the security of their own region at the face of imminent threats and challenges. All of these are sure coming at the right time.

Interests and interference:
The announcement and eventual launch of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun) has been trailed with tons of derisive remarks and utterances, unfortunately coming from some people whom we share common heritage, and biological roots – children of Oduduwa. The Amotekun initiative should not fall victim to the fractiousness of southwest politics, the sham puritanism of some preachers of restructuring, and the tendency of a few of the Yoruba political and traditional leaders to shoot down any initiative that they are not at the center of. Regardless of its harbingers, Amotekun initiative is a lofty one and deserves tacit support by all children of Oduduwa (except the complicit ones who may be profiteers of the awful situation we have been enmeshed in). Given the usual hostility to such regional but bright initiatives by the federal government, it is very laudable that the Amotekun initiative has come this far, and not another stillborn initiative. Again, thanks to our Governors for the tacit regional consensus invested in the initiative.

While yet praying for common sense to prevail, it is important to sound a note of caution to those making underground moves and connections to scuttle the Amotekun initiative using the instruments of state and the federal government. In its entirety, the Amotekun initiative is best described as a ‘palliative’ to tackle homeland insecurity, aggression and intrusions in the western corridor. It is backed by Section 14(4) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution which says “The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation.”

Not to say the instruments of states have failed entirely in discharge of their primary duties, however, the efforts of Amotekun initiative is certain to complement, and as well grossly assist the existing instruments of state – thus the importance of cohesion, much more than derision.

The world today has tilted towards the direction of informal policing. Time and again, it has been established that serious regimes round the world who place premium on homeland security consider informal policing as a veritable and globally acceptable framework to assure domestic peace, security of lives and property. Quite recently, President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed community policing as a very effective security framework to protect against insurgency, terrorism, domestic violence and crimes. The state governors in their defense of Amotekun also said they received the blessings of the Federal government and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adams before embarking on the project.

It is in this vein that there exist Civilian JTF up north, Hisbah Corps in Kano State, local vigilantes in the East amongst others. The Amotekun initiative, like others that have preceded it in different parts of the country is in no way a threat to national security, rather it is a well designed informal/community policing framework, with clear strategies and goals, thus serves no hidden intentions or agenda, this is obvious as the Governors of the North West geopolitical zone of the country have ignited moves to have a replica of the Amotekun initiative for their region.

Highlights of the launch: Governors of each of the South West states took turns to make their remarks, and true to type they were bold statements. Few excerpts noted by Dr (Mrs) Bamidele Ademola-Olateju at the launch are captured below:

“We took the oath to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and we haven’t forgotten that. What we seek to do is keep our people safe by not fighting Nigeria but the elements among us that seek to destabilize our region….” Gov Seyi Makinde

“Our primary interest is the security and safety of our people, and we will continue to do all within our powers to push the frontiers of this security outfit.. Amotekun will undertake this assignment, they are going to do so with the knowledge of the terrain, with the knowledge of the language, with the knowledge of the culture and history of the communities where they are going to work… Amotekun is not a duplication, neither is Amotekun a replacement for the Nigerian Police Force. Amotekun is a compliment that gives our people confidence that they are being looked after by those they elected into office… Some of us are unapologetic, inveterate advocate of state police. We are also law abiding citizens of Nigeria. We know the process and the procedures that we need to undergo in order to get to that point. We know we need a constitutional ammendment and we are not there yet. That would not stop us from continuing to campaign for a policing arrangement that is at multi-level and most importantly close to our people. ” Governor Kayode Fayemi

“We will stand by you till you bring Amotekun to great success” Prof Banji Akintoye

Wth leaders taking firm stand and ready to lead from forefront, there is no gainsaying that the territories of the children of Oduduwa shall become safe once again from its aggressors and oppressors.

May the gods of the land continue to protect and guide.

Prince (Pharm) Shofoyeke ‘Niyi,
Sagamu, Ogun State.

 

Opinion contained in this article is strictly the writer’s and not Aledeh’s. 

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