By Kabiru Dalha
The recent happenings in our polity is as disturbing as it is worrisome. So many things are just happening as quickly as possible.
Today I want to talk about a recent hurriedly formed Regional Security outfit by the 6 – Governors of the Southwestern geopolitical zone which is code named “AMOTEKUN”. No doubt this is generating so much debates and tension in our country, especially when the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Attorney General of the Federation came out to reject it, sighting the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the reason of the rejection. This made the people to realize that the new security formation has no any legal backing either through legislation or any other means, and this made, especially the Northerners to vehemently object to it.
Interestingly, as expected, all the 6 – Governors of the Southwestern States rose in unison to depend and promote this newly born child of theirs. Not only the Governors, almost all the opinion, religious and political leaders of the zone are speaking with one voice in support of Amotekun. I envy the Southwest in this, because whenever they want to tackle a national issue that affect their regional interest, they do it together irrespective of political or religious differences, they usually bury their differences to work towards achieving that their collective goal. And they also don’t relent until they bargain reasonably out of what they are asking for, this is what they are known for, they are never divided in what they believe will bring progress to their zone. Like I said, I envy them for this.
On the issue of Amotekun, I think I want to be different from some of my Northern colleagues, what I believe in, unless of course I am proved otherwise is, the now popular Amotekun is a child of necessity. Some people will be wondering what I mean by this, so let me explain myself.
SYSTEMATIC REGIONAL SECURITY COLLAPSE:
Let me start with the Boko Haram that started from the Northeast in far back 2009, when the security personnel killed their leader, one Muhammad Yusuf, there was rumor then that the police were given the order to kill Muhammad Yusuf from the then Governor of Borno state. Whatever happened then, is now part of our history that exist even in our Universities, we are all aware of how the security of the Northeast then completely collapsed, in fact not only the Northeast, almost all the Northern 19 States plus Abuja were seriously affected. There were bombs everywhere in the North, it was no longer safe to stay in the North. You can be killed at anywhere, homes, schools, parks, market places, worshipping centers, etc. We are living witnesses to what started like simple religious conflict which boomerang into serious national security threat. May it never happen to us again, Amin.
The Northeast region was a no go area for even the then Chief of Defense Staff who happened to come from there, it was so terrible and terrifying. Thousands of checkpoints across the the North. A trip of one hour will take four hours, we were virtually at war. That was the terrible situation that the North found itself then, and this menace could not be arrested until the coming of the current government in 2015, that was when the Boko Haram boys were squarely faced and neutralized. That was a little highlights of the Boko Haram security threat that started from the Northeastern geopolitical zone.
Now as I am writing this a new and also an equally dangerous security threat is threatening the existence of the Northwestern States as a region. And this security threat is nothing other than the “KIDNAPPING BUSINESS”, yes! Kidnapping business. I call it a business because that’s what it is, they capture people, asked for ransom, and if it is paid, they release the victims, if not paid they may end up killing their victims. These things are happening even in the President’s locality, it is as bad as that. We have seen how the Governor of the President’s State publicly cried because of the seriousness of the situation. In fact right now five out of the seven Northern States are in a serious security threat. It is so terrible and even though the security personnel may be trying their best, but by the day it looks like their best is not just good enough.
Before 2015, we were just hearing kidnapping cases in Southeast and Southsouth, but now it has becomes a daily happening in the Northwestern States especially Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi and Sokoto. Some countable cases happened in some parts of Kano. The Captors usually negotiate in millions of naira, it is now an opened affair. As scary and sad as it may sound, but it is actually true. So you can see that attacks are taking a regional shape, Northeast was attacked yesterday and Northwest today, one will wonder which region will be next tomorrow.
The Point :
The point I am trying to make here is, with the above explanation of how a systematic regional attack has becomes the order of the day, I believe the Southwest Leaders are reading the handwriting on the wall, and decided to become proactive and battle ready before they are taken by surprise. Since with all the conventional security apparatus in place the Boko Haram and the Kidnappers can do the type of damages that they have done amd are doing now, I believe there is need for a different approach to these menace, and that’s what the Governors and Leaders of the Southwest are trying to do in order to protect their people. Let me reiterate here that, I am not in anyway depending what the people of the Southwest are doing because I know they can depend themselves, but what I am saying here is, with what happened so far in the two geopolitical zones of North which seemed to defied our security system, there is indeed need for a very different and radical approach to this menace.
I think the Federal Government needs to sit with leadership of the zone in order to understand why they are evolving Amotekun at this material time so as to put heads together to move forward in order to protect lives and properties of the Nigeria’s citizens. We really cannot afford to be divided along regional line in this trying times that we are into.
The Federal government must start seeing this Amotekun as a RESPONSE FOR A SYSTEMATIC SECURITY SYSTEM BREAKDOWN BECAUSE THAT MAY HELP IN UNDERSTANDING THE SECURITY CHALLENGES WE ARE FACING CURRENTLY AND FIND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS TO THEM .
May almighty Allah keep on protecting Us.
Kabir Dalha Kabir