In the wake of 2019, South Western Nigeria saw an outbreak of security threats, crowned kings were Kidnapped, high ranking Police officers, Pastors and politicians were rattled up, and huge ransom paid to regain their freedom, and in some cases, their deaths happened.
It wasn’t news to hear robberies on the highway, there were times I had to consciously keep my phones and bags under my seat in the car whilst traveling through the Lagos-Ibadan expressway because of the gory stories that filters the atmosphere from there.
The Death of an Afenifere leader’s daughter was also recorded in this period. It was sincerely a very dark part of history. But I won’t entirely describe it as historic now, as it has only temporarily reduced. There were times when the Vice President came to town, but wouldn’t travel by road from Lagos to his home town, rumor has it that he was scared of the notorious activities on that route.
Furthermore, are areas known for unscrupulous activities, places parent tells their kids not to pass, but the security apparatus of the state hasn’t besieged .
This, I believe led to the emergency security summit of the South Western Nigeria Governors, and for the first time since the days of Awo and Zik, we had a regional coordination.
Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn is the Yorùbá word for a Leopard. I read that it will incorporate the vigilantes, OPC, and other local forces into an intelligence gathering unit. Some months back, when the mayhem came down on us, I saw a video by BBC Yorùbá, with Sunday Igboho, the famous warrior who single handedly led the Ife-Modakeke war, saved the life of Gov. Ladoja at the height of his political unrest, and fought several battles in Oke-ogun, Oyo State.
The greatly feared warrior told the whole world that they(himself and his likes) are ready to defend the South Western Nigeria, if the government does what is necessary.
Few weeks afterwards, Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn springs forth on the news. Ordinarily, I would have had fears of what danger it poses to leave our security in the hands of OPC and charm carrying folks, but when I studied the structure and operational objectives of the outfit, I see it as the best approach to solving Insurgency and criminal activities as they are mostly caused by terrorists or unrepentant criminals who disguise as locales.
I read that Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn officers are allowed to use Dane guns and make arrest but will only submit the arrested to the police as they lack detaining power.
The good news however, is not in the creation of a Yorùbá security unit, it’s the fact that Governor Lalong of Plateau state, was quoted in the news yesterday, to have also lobbied the Northern Governors to create a Northern security outfit, to battle Insurgencies and crimes. This is a pointer to the fact that we need regional leadership to grow.
It will sprout competition and patriotism on the part of indegents, this is what we need to reciprocate with Health, Power, Education, Housing and so on. Imagine a code name – Ìmọ́lẹ̀ dé- for Power in the SW. Or ìwòsàn ọmọ oodua- for health, and Àigbodọ̀ má kà’wé- for education, and other regions get challenged, I read about how University of Zaria has translated some major secondary schools textbook into Hausa, and how same is in the pipeline in the South Western Nigeria too.
The breakthrough we need, is actually in regional cohesion, issues with power, terrorism, underdevelopement, education, employment, and so on can be resolved with this. we need restructuring along this path.
And as I conclude, I wish to congratulate the six governors of the South Western Nigeria, on this laudible move and charge them more to toe the path of regional cohesion in other challenging issues in this region.
God bless Africa!
*Olusoji DANIEL writes from Abeokuta, he is the chairman of the Ogun State chapter of Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP)