Very recently, when the South West Governors announced their move to set up a regional security outfit to check the activities of the ravaging Fulani Marauders, citizens and residents of the southwest states as well as many Nigerians generally- who were tired of news of the heinous activities of the group, applauded the Governors for their courage to offer leadership in the face of Nigeria’s ethnic politics.
Since the strategic security move was mooted, hopes of residents and citizens have been very high and the group that the security outfit seeks to check has even shown great fear for the doom that awaits them in the very near future should the idea eventually become a reality.
While preparations have been made for the security outfit code named ‘Amotekun’, with its establishment backed by laws of each of the Southwest states and uniform have been designed and branded vehicles procured for the official take-off, the process of recruitment into the security outfit seems to have confirmed the doubts of the cynics that the idea, like many others before it, is dead on arrival.
Recruitment has been designed to be “internet based”. This has not only attracted serious criticism but questions the efficacy of Amotekun when it finally becomes operational.
In case the government is oblivious of the people’s expectation of Amotekun, let me quickly mention it here that Amotekun is expected to be a reincarnation of Yoruba legendary warriors, who courageously stopped the Fulani expansionistic effort at Oshogbo in the 18th century. There is a wide spread suspicion that the Fulani expansionists have not dropped the idea of extending their hegemony to the southwest. They have done it before- when Ilorin was lost to the Fulanis and the old Oyo empire crumbled in a funny but regrettable circumstance.
With the above well known, it is not expected that the state’s search for present day warriors would be limited to the internet or holders of educational certificates.
We have an impending war that cannot be fought with the pen. We must match fire with fire, charm with charm and sword with sword.
The recent body language of the states shows clearly that it is being influenced by the culture of hypocricy. Certainly, the state is trying to avoid being seen as promoting traditional “fetish” practices which would naturally be frowned at by the religious communities.
If this is the case, there is a need to answer the question of why these communities employ people who use traditional mystic powers for protection under the guise of ‘vigilante’ or ‘Olode’?
Virtually, every community in Oyo state– where highly religious people are residents, pay handsomely to local hunters, who uses traditional mystic power for protection.
Why then is the state shying away from mobilizing this unorganized force into Amotekun and make it achieve its stated objective? Hypocrisy!
The right thing to do, if Oyo state government and that of other Southwest states are really committed to the goals of Amotekun, is to declare Amotekun Camp open. The state should allow able and willing hearts to enter in the camp and subject themselves to an oath of allegiance to the state and the Amotekun force.
The camp is where true warriors will be identified and boys will be separated from men. This is where the idea and vibrancy of Amotekun will be tested and videos from this camp alone will be enough warning to the marauders.
This, with the help of God is the only way…the Southwest can really be safe from external forces and local threatening vices such as kidnapping, rape, ritual killings and the likes.
This is a call on Governor Seyi makinde of Oyo state and the Governors of Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos state to do the needful towards realizing the true objectives of Amotekun, which among other things includes the protection of the lives and properties of residents and citizens of Yoruba Land; the protection of our land from encroachment.
Yusuff Dada writes from Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.