Wake up: Amotekun controversy and the rest of us; By Bashir Adefaka, an Akure Ondo prince legal practitioner.

by Adabanija Kamorudeen

have decided that I will not comment on establishment of Amotekun that is the security outfit put together to secure the states of Yoruba Land by the six governors of the region for one singular reason. We have insecurity in the region which ranges from kidnapping, human trafficking, ritual killings, hoodlums stationed everywhere under the guise of paraga joints and who seize the unnoticed opportunity to smoke Indian Hemp and from there move into all sorts of criminalities. So, we need a concerted effort to tackle the menace.

But, alas! my expectation was not to come with what I later found coming from the effort of the governors who happen to be members of our South West communities that we voted to go into government and use the instrumentality of power to defend us against the wicked who choose criminality as trade and to manage the resources for our good.

I expected that in a region where an Igbo was arrested in Evans, known to be billionaire kidnapper, and for three years running he has not been convicted as efforts are going underground – to the watch of our Yoruba governors – to ensure justice will not be done against him, effort on security in the region should focus on things like this with a view to identifying why the delay knowing that justice delayed is justice denied.

People leave their homes in Lagos or other parts of Yoruba Land in the morning and do not return. Before you know it they are found dead with parts of their bodies severed or are completely consumed in the ritualist den. It is appalling that our governors and those they take advice from: Afenifere and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) do not see this as a major security issue because it has no connection with other tribe. All we hear is baby buried alive under a church pulpit, a Muslim cleric, of course in the garb of Muslim cleric, engage in selling human parts and one big name in the region caught pounding human skull in mortar or one Badoo or herbalist agent using grinding stone to hit people in their sleep.

They would not need to be acted upon until the cries of the same people, whom the governors take security votes to protect but who they left to the mercy of those evil agents, reached the Federal Government. The Federal Government then get some of those problems solved from its own share of the same resources and security votes that the states also have but failed to spend for their purpose, as it looks.

Many good minds of South West who refuse to go into politics in the region are so refusing because they complain that if you do not belong (to what?) you cannot play Yoruba politics. Now, the problems created by those politicians, who belong and who regularly fund their own Garrison Commands away from what is recognised by law, have gone beyond hand. It baffles every reasonable sense to see that even when they would rise to act, they still act based on misdirection, hypocrisy and unacceptable sentiment.

That is what we have when some misguided Yoruba now come out to compare Amotekun with “herdsmenism” which in their intention is a security outfit for Islamisation and Northernisation.  Some other ones compare it to Hisbah that Northern states use to enforce their Sharia law. This is even a clear show of hypocrisy or lack of knowledge because none of their comparison tallies with truth. Not even some of the journalists who help them air or write their stories in this regard show capacity for professional sincerity and patriotic concern. They are as lazy as the vulnerable members of the public who listen to or read their messages about what they compare.

Before I continue it is vital to clarify their confusion in “herdsmenism” and Hisbah.

One, herdsmenism that is mainly known to be Fulani trade is today a branch of farming that is embraced across the regions. Many non-Fulani in North Central, South West, South East and South South now have herds of cows. Yes, Fulani are best to herd and so they are naturally employed by these cow owners to take charge. They are as employees as an account clerk in an office and the rest. They are all over and not most cases owners of the cows they herd.

Because the impression we are given is that Fulani herd from Futa Jalon or Sokoto to Abia but it is not true. If non-Fulani owners of cows know they cannot own up to claim of ownership in time of controversy, why do they own cows and employ those people to herd them without providing grazing land to stop them from encroaching beyond necessary? No one supports the unfortunate experience of farmers but it is not only Yoruba Land, Northern farmers also cry over this problem.

So, herdsmenism is not a security outfit and if you insist by taking the criminals known generally as cattle wrostlers to be security outfit of Northern Nigeria aided by Federal Government, you are criminally wrong because you commit misinformation which is punishable by law. Is there any government security agency that is called “herdsmen”? Answering is yours.

Two, Hisbah is just like LASTMA of Lagos or Trace of Ogun, established by legislative act of government in states of the North. They do not carry arms and those who compare them with Amotekun know that Hisbah do not carry arms like Amotekun and are strictly religious minded people for Sharia enforcement purposes. What is the purpose of an Amotekun that is populated by OPC who many Nigerians continue to see as opposition members and former government contractors now in opposition and who love not Nigerian Police for one thing and whose purpose is to, some of the times, be available for secessionism. Where do they compare to Hisbah?

I will then wrap up my intervention with my response earlier today (Wednesday January 15, 2020) to a friend on Facebook on this same topic.

HakimKolawole Odeyale, my lovely Facebook friend unsettled me with a bomb of sentiment when he compared Amotekun with what was until we saw the truth in recent times called herdsmen. He said in his post: “Different laws for different folks. Amotekun can’t carry arms,but Fulani herdsmen could carry AK47 rifles. 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️”

This prompted my response as follows:

Please brother, let us do our argument in ways that we can be seen as reasonable. Now you make my worry justified because I had said Amotekun was established for a purpose because some Yoruba believe that the insecurity in the South West is Fulani. It worries me because these same people had several times proclaimed that “Fulani have lived with us for ages and can’t be carrying AK47 against us”. They however agreed with even Fulani leaders that criminals should be treated as criminals and that a single tribe should not be tagged as responsible for insecurity in the country where AK47 guns shared to political thugs are in circulation in all the geopolitical zones of the country. What then is all the going back and forth that we do? Don’t we see we can’t go for long before we crash with this kind of thing? Are we Yoruba now ready to be tagged the next civil war mongers after Igbo? If we want to show sincerity we will look at Kebbi where Fulani is 100% population and ask ourselves why the same Fulani state has 80% inmates as Fulani? Why do we see people as major victims of a crime and we still go ahead stoning them as the problem themselves? Is Allah comfortable with this kind of attitude? What is our problem? Idolatry mentality being that our race is founded on idolism?

Unfortunately, this same race founded on idolism takes its direction guide from Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) which does not have a direction but is set out for causing confusion and Afenifere which has only Christians in his membership in a tribe that has Muslims in the majority, arguably. And arguably because the only states of Yoruba land that are Christian dominated are mine, Ondo, and Ekiti. I ask: Can we comfortably claim that Muslims are today in the minority in those states? This is where you see what those that founded Amotekun for South West security on sentiment without carrying all along, socially and religiously as wrong.

Where then did you see your comparison of Amotekun with “herdsmen”? Are you insinuating a return to putting our peaceful Fulani neighbours to risk again after it has been solved? How come it is at this time that we no longer have even what we wrongly tagged “herdsmen kidnap” in our region that we went ahead and created a security outfit just for the purpose of trailing people of other race? From the look of things we Yoruba appear to be of no difference from Igbo in terms of being difficult to be trusted for long. The hate in our minds is bigger than that of the Igbo, except that in our own case we pretend a lot. This is wrong.

And when a Northern group complained we shouted why? If these disturbances we are embarking upon were to come by any part of the North, I surely know that not only Afenifere but also hugely our “human rights” lawyers (that never fought rights of Muslims of Yoruba race) and all the civil societies would rise in war. What manner of a race?! At all cost some of our people just want the rest of us to believe that Hausa/Fulani are not fit to be part of this country. Okay, when you send them away, where do you out their vast land and where do you send them to? And if you can’t send them anywhere because you cannot, then will you succeed in not having them as your neighbour? How come it is now that we have a Muslim and Northerner in government (because Afenifere’s pact with Ohaneze Ndigbo with the Christian-Ethnic sociocultural group must be implemented) that we Yoruba are now being loudly agitating. On what ground again? Because Igbo claim because they are deprives of presidency and development. Are we Yoruba deprived of presidency and development? Do we not know that those two groups we follow, Afenifere and CAN, are opposition party members and attack dogs in our national democratic politics?

Please South West governors, if you want to help us with security of lives and safety of our properties, face the cultists that operate with guns you politicians gave them and with which they disturb our peace in the various communities. Many of those you have as fanfo drivers in Lagos are touts who carry guns I the night to rib our homes. Face that and stop being like your counterparts in South East who supported IPOB on ethnic sentiment until they pushed themselves to dangers.

*Bashir Adefaka, an Akure, Ondo State Prince, is a Lagos based media practitioner. Reach him via WhatsApp: 08163323906.

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