AMOTEKUN Is Here To Stay, By Chris Adetayo - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Friday, January 10, 2020

AMOTEKUN Is Here To Stay, By Chris Adetayo



I can never understand why Northern elements are always fearful when other parts of the country seek to assert themselves. 20 years ago, the Zamfara State Govt went over and above the Constitution to impose Shariah into the States’s criminal code. Protests from other parts of the country, worried about how this will impact non-Muslims, did not change anything. In fact, within months, the Shariah law was applied to cut off the hand of a certain Mr Jangedi because he stole a goat.

Since then, virtually all the States in the North with preponderant Muslim population now enforce Shariah Law. In the process, many have set up a “Shariah Police”, designed to enforce Shariah in their States. The most notorious of these is the Hisbah in Kano State. 

In all these, the Federal Government has never raised any opposition - even when rights of non-Muslims are trampled upon. The Hisbah in Kano issues edicts at will, arrests with reckless abandon, and seizes properties without justification.  Yet the victims get no protection from Federal agencies. 

Surprisingly, attempts by States down South to set up bodies to cater to their own peculiarities are often met with opposition from a Federal Govt that turns a blind eye to what goes on up North. When the Rivers State Govt sought to set up a Neighborhood watchdog in 2018, the military swooped and dismantled same.

Now, it’s the set up of Amotekun, a Community Protection agency, by the States of the South West that is drawing angst and opposition by the Federal Govt and elements from the North. Lost to those who oppose the idea is the basis for setting up this agency. For over a year, the South West was virtually under siege. Criminal gangs had taken over major roads and forests in the region, making travel hazardous. Many were kidnapped and had to be ransomed. Not a few lost their lives. As these troubles raged, Federal security agencies threw their arms in the air, unable to effectively protect lives and property. It is this huge gap that the South West Govts are now filling up. 

For 5 years, many complained about the oddity of having the whole security architecture of the country being run by persons from one section of the country. Studiously, the Federal Govt ignored these complaints. Now, were things to be working as expected, no one will care where these people are from. But that’s far from the case. To now have the same ineffective security leaders complain when others seek to provide alternative solutions to the problems they cannot solve borders on callousness. To that is the hypocrisy of never complaining when similar outfits were set up in their own part of the country. 

The Govts of the South West States have done exceedingly well. They have listened to the cries of their people and acted like leaders should to provide security for them. For when security is guaranteed, development is possible. That’s their next challenge - the development of the South West!

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