Amotekun, Nigeria restructuring begins

“Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching.”  Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.

When Anna Freud the Austrian born daughter of the foremost psychologist Sigmund Freud herself a psychoanalyst like her father said “I was always looking outside myself for strength, but it comes from within. It is there all the time,” she was actually talking in the contest of inner self but that obtains also to a community and a nation. The unitary system this country is operating wearing the garb of a federalism so ensures that the co-habiting regions continue to look outside themselves to Abuja for virtually everything not knowing that within them lies a lot of potential waiting to be tapped especially in an atmosphere where the big brother is not willing to cooperate.

What the people of the South-West just realised and are trying to showcase with their Amotekun inauguration is that really the strength to guard and protect themselves has long been within them while they helplessly waited for it to arrive from outside. It has actually been such an endless wait in a nation where winners of election do not think of how to improve the living conditions of the citizens who voted them in but instead are preoccupied with how to retain power in the next election.

A country that says no to state police opens door for tribal/regional policing as can be seen in the excitement that greeted Amotekun. That is what obtains when a farmer does not know products that is good for his farm or the menu adaptable to his stomach. The bogus policing of the nation through a corrupt, incompetent and conspicuously neglected Nigeria police appears to have begun journey to oblivion.

Sooner than expected, the Nigeria Police will be relegated to obscurity. Already, the only visible area you find Nigeria Police in this country is in banks, government houses, homes and offices of public officers, wealthy Nigerians and at check points where they indulge in money extortion and abusing of citizens that they are set up to protect. Fact it is that Nigeria Police has become a class security outfit for the bourgeoisie with no fidelity to the ordinary citizens.

But when viewed critically, it’s no fault of theirs because the owner of the force, the Federal Government has long abandoned it. States and local governments across the country have been funding and maintaining the force notwithstanding that there is a federal budget annually for the running of the force. The corruption in the Nigeria Police system has been pervasive.

When a nation is operating in a borrowed time obstinately ignoring all indications of changing times, such country is bound to experience what the Nigeria Police and the Federal Government are seeing now.

The arrival of Amotekun, the new security outfit of the South-West region, is a vote of no confidence in the existing internal security structure in the country. It’s a progression from what states like Enugu (Forest Guard), Kano (Hisbah) Anambra (Nkpochapu) etc., had done to tackle their internal security challenges in absence of the omnibus ineffectual federal police.

It’s not surprising therefore that this popular revolt is coming from an area mostly controlled by the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Amotekun is another evidence that security issues like stomach matters knows no barrier whether of party, religion or tribe.

One wonders the hullabaloo over the Amatoken security since its inauguration by the South-West region last week. The outfit did not just come out from the blues, it came after a deep intellectual and pragmatic insight into the nation’s current security architecture.

For nearly five years now despite our federal nature and plurality in tribe and religion and the repeated outcry on the lopsidedness of security commands and their operations, this regime has carried on as if we are one monolithic nation. The people of the South-East, for instance, have been screaming for over four years with nobody hearing that in all the over a dozen military and paramilitary agencies in the country, nobody from the region has been found worthy to occupy any commanding positions; an aberration they find objectionable and extremely upsetting.

Recently the governors of the South-East summoned a security meeting in Enugu to discuss the worsening issue of kidnapping and other related crimes in the region, and found to their jolt that all security agencies who attended the meeting from the five states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo, Police Commissioners, state directors of DSS, the military commanders and the civil defence all were Muslim Northerners and the issue was about Fulani herdsmen from the Muslim North.

In one instance, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex body of Igbos, Chief John Nnia Nwodo who attended the meeting had to ask the operatives whether the Igbo were a conquered people and whether no Igbo is found worthy to occupy these positions in their area?

I have watched and listened to various reactions on Amotekun and found none weighty enough to diminish my conviction that it’s the region’s right and inevitable steps to take to protect their people. Not even the argument of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami or that of the former military President Ibrahim Babangida that it’s not sustainable could wish it away because the duo also acknowledged that there were issues to warrant such strange steps.

From whatever angle one may stand to access it, Amotekun is a clear evidence of failed internal security structure in the country. It’s another substantial statement in support of a state police and a declaration of failure of the Nigeria police.

Amotekun is a quick response of a sensitive government to the people’s cry. Truth is that Amotekun happened because the central government is no longer responsive to the plight of the people.

Believe it or not Amotekun is the beginning of the restructuring of this country which is starting with national security. If Federal Government is astounded and uncomfortable with the development which enjoys wide support, they should see it as what you get when you operate a bias and insensitive administrative style.

Amotekun to me is an existential statement from a responsive government to the cravings of their people. Any attempt to this progressive wheel in the guise of Federal Government or security interest will amount to obstructing the will of the people which is overriding in a democracy.

All those who selfishly continue to hold on to the dogma of maintaining the status even when it’s evidently not working will soon realise to their shock and disbelief that the people have moved on, putting on their thinking cap in search of survival in a very extreme situation.

After all the legendary author and international novelist Chinua Achebe writing in his outstanding novel, Things Fall Apart told the story of Eneke the bird who said “that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching.” Since the Federal Government of Nigeria has selfishly blocked their ear to the cries of the people and closed their eyes to their agitations for restructuring for a workable Nigeria, like Eneke the bird the people of South-West has in putting on their thinking cap learned to fly without perching. God bless Nigeria.

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