By Segun Ige
Obviously inspired by South West’s Amotekun and North’s Shege Ka Fasa, South East’s Ebubeagu would sooner or later trigger South South’s peculiar security outfit. In the meantime, while we await that unshakeable expectation, it’s indeed becoming clearer and clearer – perhaps oblivious to the great Nigerian government – that the country is practically gradually moving towards what’s obtainable in the so-called First World nations in terms of a decentralised policing architecture.
Indeed, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single indelible step. I could see Nigeria in the making of a polity in the same pedestal of competitive classical democracies, say, in the U.S., or in the U.K., and, of course, the creation of regional policing is a benchmark for such unmistakable classification and calculation.
I must immediately remark that insecurity is increasingly serving as a springboard to launch into the oceanic depths of our linguistic national consciousness. It shows that irrespective of our diversities in terms of culture, ethnic group, religion, etc., we have a common denominator which facilitates and fertilises our unison – language. And quite funnily, the same language of abuse and oppression of mankind is the same we bring to bear in fostering our ideas, ideals and ideologies.
The underlining impression of these zonal security outfits shows, as a country, that we have a common command and integrity of purpose. The purpose of not letting evil perpetrators prevail is not usually an easy one. I don’t believe it can be singlehandedly handled by an individual, region, state, or local government. It’s a big task that demands all hands to be on deck. And all hands being on deck is not a wish or maxim we should mouth. There has to be a deliberate decision on dealing with insecurity, strategically, tactically and intelligently. And I must commend the guardian-spirit of Nigeria in bringing to limelight the proper, appropriate, acceptable decisions to make in governance and leadership.
Piercing them asunder, Amotekun, Shege Ka Fasa and Ebubeagu are obviously capitalised on the word “lion” but differently occasioned by distinctive occurrences. Every nation has a peculiar problem or challenge that bedevils it. The challenge or problem tends to happen seasonally and occasionally. The fact that a country is “great” doesn’t warrant or guarantee problem-free intercourse and discourse between the habitants. Take, for example, the crackdown on the U.S. Capitol Hill on January 6. Oh it was tumultuous period for Americans! Oh it was an eyesore! Oh it was the coup de grace to America’s ‘Hail Mary’ exceptionalism of democracy! But ultimately, it did show how delicate and fragile democracy could be, after all; it showed that as human beings, the systems and structures that govern us should be handled with proper care, attitude and disposition. The Trump season of leadership, by and large, was a grave resurrection of the “greatness” of America.
Guess what? The killing and shooting hasn’t as yet been arrested even in the Biden administration. Mercilessly, the masochistic gun-violence insurgents, who have been inoculated of any doctrine of peace and unity, have more powerfully taken to streets in fervent contradistinction to the Biden ‘repentant doctrine’ of equality and tolerance. President Joe Biden stormed out to the error and horror of white supremacy terribly as an “epidemic” and “embarrassment” of gun-violence. To mention the least, I’ve not seen or heard one country more systemically divided and institutionally discriminatory, not even Nigeria, and yet the unwavering resilience and uncompromising hope of having the American Dream of a ‘United States of America’ fulfilled is deeply rooted in the firm persuasion of the American soil of oneness. And actually, that’s where the strength of the country lies.
So we need to take a cue from their mass-pooling style of policing. As an inverted-pyramid technique, a U.S. police structure is fundamentally filtered into every nook and cranny of the country such that you have the New York City Police Department, the City of Minneapolis Police Department, and so on. The May 25, 2020 event is a clear fact of this: We could see how then-President Donald Trump precociously and impetuously took to Twitter, as it were, giving a straightforward suggestion of dispensing the Military or National Guard. He did charge Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey of “abusing” the state and local security forces and that the Military had been given to them all the way to have prevented such abysmality and abnormality of mayhem.
Think about what happened in October 2020 at the Lekki Tollgate, where supposedly peaceful protesters were mopped away by angry Army mob in what Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed deemed “bodiless” and “bloodless” ramping up. The drive and dream of the #EndSARS protest, I believe, is a will-o’-the-wisp. To start with, a regional security force, like Amotekun, should have been in charge of ensuring that law and order was maintained and that the law was not to be taken into anybody’s hands. Better still, which is the grundnorm of my submission, there should be an establishment of fortified state and local policing. With this, the firestorm and thunder of Fulani-herdsmen crisis; kidnapping of schoolboys and schoolgirls; bandits bursting into people’s homesteads and abodes; and other nefarious acts particularly holding grips of Northern territories would have definitely been eased off, except (which is not impossible) these events are independently instantiated and motivated for political ends meet.
Ige writes from Lagos via [email protected]