Nigeria

The missed role of Amotekun…

SUDDENLY, the police are no longer favoured to secure lives and properties. Hitherto, the signs were ominous to discerning minds. The prerequisite trust much needed in safeguarding and protecting the people has been tattered and lost to institutional indiscretion, systemic failures and dearth of re-engineering of mindset and precepts. The chicken has come to roost. The Nigerian Police has been in the eyes of the storm for more than three decades now with wide ranging accusations of extortions, extra judicial killings, bribery, pollution of the security architecture and non-performance among many damaging accusations. There were rampant accusations and finger pointing, plausible and forensic consequences of their misdemeanors. Eventually this sad trajectory culminated in the movement of ‘end police brutality’ by a Segun Awosanya popularly known asSegalink about four years ago.

This movement had traction in the human and civil rights organizations and movements but with little purchase in the consciousness of the general populace until very recently. The Special Anti-Robbery Squad popularly known as SARS was established by the Nigerian Police to tackle serious incidences of armed robbery some years back. Their success are widely known and acknowledged while their notoriety was indelible in the minds of their unfortunate victims and hapless citizenry. Their imperviousness became so pronounced that it bothers the police high command and the presidency to warrant a surgical procedure. But it was rather a bit too late as youths under the aegis of the hashtag #EndSARS started a mass youth protest to condemn and asked for the outright proscription of SARS. This request was granted by the presidency but the movement wanted more.

Somehow along the line hoodlums and miscreants jumped on the bandwagon to perpetrate criminal activities leading to curfews in some states that were breached and exploited by these same miscreants. So in the absence of a cogent response team, Amotekun though in its infancy would have effectively helped in policing the state and douse palpable tensions thereby safeguarding lives and properties. At the start of the peaceful protest and the realistic approach of the government to abide by the protester’s constitutional rights Amotekun could have protected the protesters from the influx and the pollution of unwanted elements that seemingly impugn on the honorable quest of the protesters. The presence of Amotekun operatives would have dissuaded the energies and initiatives engineered for the wanton looting and destructions witnessed subsequently.

Amotekun could have served as the steel and spine for other security agencies that were deployed to maintain peace and order. In the case of the eventualities that followed, Amotekun would have proven its mettle significantly. How one may ask? Right from inception the Amotekun commandant had held wide reaching consultations with various groups and interest associations to be able to enjoy local theatre knowledge and easily identify criminal elements thereby preventing their involvements. This knowledge is acquired via the trust and respect reposed by the groups and associations in the Amotekun high command. Consequently, this would be beneficial to the security architecture of the state with collaborations and partnerships in areas of intelligence and information gathering. Even as things are Amotekun networks, initiatives and some tested candidates are helping to secure a number of facilities both sensitive and the not too sensitive.

While it may not be out of turn to conclude that Amotekun does not have the operational capabilities to carry out these assignments as it were, it should be noted too that there are available mechanisms and abilities that can suffice accordingly and sufficiently. Amotekun has crossed the extraordinary divide of physicality to a consciousness that is viable, fertile, sustainable and rewarding. This tells how good, powerful and impressive the backing of His Excellency Engr. OluseyiMakinde, and how far the high command of Amotekun has gone, and the level of confidence radiating in the agency that has connected emotionally with the people. From opinion samplings, content analysis of traditional and new media as well as mild surveys it is easy to conclude that a new security outfit like Amotekun would have helped a great deal to prevent or lessen the level of carnage witnessed recently in the country. This proposition may seem too suggestive but it is plausible and possible.

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