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Amotekun: Almost A Missed Opportunity - Politics - Nairaland

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Amotekun: Almost A Missed Opportunity by MrPristine: 10:11am On Feb 05, 2020
Nigeria’s history is replete with a catalogue of missed opportunities and outright mistakes with our survival as a nation boiling down to the small matter of divine providence!Today,directly resulting from the federal government’s inability to provide basic human security,states in the Southwest region of the country have come up with a solution, Amotekun. Indecisive in contrast to the initiators of Amotekun, the federal government has lost an opportunity either to speedily take ownership of this contraption and give it legitimacy, or to decisively declare it illegal and then provide an alternative road map to peace and security.

While seeking to build public confidence and establishing the much-publicized 2019 defense/security strategy as a national working document or policy.FROM CONTRAPTION TO SOLUTION Almost lost in the euphoria celebrating its launch and the ensuing confusion surrounding its legality, especially while his kinsmen awaited the Asiwaju’s position on the matter, is the fact that Amotekun is one of the few great initiatives of an otherwise forgettable 2019 that started with possibly well-intended promises by the president but ended with the usual thud.With rising inflation, flailing security institutions, a noticeable lowering in the quality of life and standard of living of Nigerians due to a combination of global economic failings and half baked polices,the result is a frightful breakdown of law and order in many parts of the federation.

Oblivious to the fact that resolving our security challenges perhaps requires a shift in thinking alongside a grand strategy that clearly defines the type of peace and security sought for our people, our only consolation is that the Southwest has found a bold solution to its security problems in Amotekun. UNBUNDLING THE NARRATIVE Or is the government unaware that ungovernance prevails in large swaths of the country? That our security institutions are overstretched and underfunded with poorly equipped, trained and motivated personnel despite best intentions over the years. Necessitating the fundamental question who created the dilemma (Amotekun)? Governors of the Southwest states or the federal government through its inaction? In my professional opinion, managing this fault line now requires a come clean from the presidency.

Firstly, by acknowledging the utter failure, in clear terms, of its much-publicized National Defense/Security strategy document released in 2019 while figuring out a way to incorporate the concept, Amotekun, into our currently inflexible National Defense/Security strategy because of the brittleness exhibited by our security agencies in crime fighting. THE NATIONAL DEFENSE/SECURITY STRATEGY DILEMMA Inflexible for adaptation because it doesn’t critically consider broad and constant changes in our society, culture and politics as well as the security environment and emerging threats even if its makes reference to it in the Executive Overview, our current National Defense/Security Strategy is nothing more than an inoperable essay with no clear solution sets or pathways towards achieving basic outcomes. And once again, herein lies the challenge for the presidency.

With the presidency unable to decisively lean on its 2019 strategy document, evaluate its own options and proffer solution sets to counter the initiators of Amotekun, this viable self-help option is here to stay. Not only because it has been institutionalized, but because it has actually been operationalized. ASTUTENESS REQUIRED? Now any right thinking policy maker should consider Amotekun complimentary to the government’s security aspirations. Because it will lead to accountable hands on management by those directly under threat,within a regulatable framework, applying unified and standardized policies on funding, inter-agency cooperation, tactics, legislation, procurement, Command & Control and Rules of Engagement(ROE). So why not embrace it? Is it because it’s a novel concept? Would the presidency have reacted differently had Amotekun been initiated by states in the SouthSouth or Northwest? WILL IT HELP CRIME FIGHTING? The fundamental point here is its value addedness! Though I feel it was an opportunity lost on Amb Joe Keshi and his team at the BRACED Commission, many many years ago. Because it would have proved a novel and easy sell in the SouthSouth, then, where the local geopolitical conditions were more permitting and the initiators would easily have become rock-stars rather than antagonist.

As far back as 2012, I felt the smart way to go was to establish a regional security framework through Governors of the BRACED states. With an obviously open to ideas Governor General of the Southsouth, securing buy-in’sand contributory funding from the conglomerates and leading businesses in the region was a no-brainer. It appeared a logical next step as we approached the SouthSouth Economic Summit in Warri, where security was key on the agenda; but sadly we missed the boat. Indeed with the right Command & Control structure,backed by standardized operational procedures, in addition to a proper governance frame work to appease the multinationals. The shared financial burden enabling operational effectiveness for any broader security contraption, would clearly have addressed the issue of abdication of responsibilities.

Fast-forward to 2019, and governors in the Southwest have achieved this commendable feat. Once, which deserves commendation. CONCLUSION The presidency has adopted a hawkish stance to the concept of Amotekun yet without a plan to address the main reasons why the solution has become an uncomfortable reality. Yet one has to appreciate the government’s dilemma in the context of constitutionality. Additionally, there is a real fear factor in allowing Amotekun become a viable model because it takes away from the centre, by suggesting the centre is incapable of securing the people while the unresolved issue of “state police” looms large; oh,there is the small matter of the social contract between a government and its people!Nevertheless, in the realm of necessity,the reality remains that something positive has finally happened and one cannot blame the initiators of Amotekun for being proactive!

Calabar, January 2020 William Ernest Etim-Bassey is a thought leader on national defense and security policy; he was until 2019, SSA Security to the Governor of Cross River State


Re: Amotekun: Almost A Missed Opportunity by slimfit1(m): 12:03pm On Feb 05, 2020
If I was the governors I will make sure these men are more advanced than Nigerian police officers more trained technology-wise as well. I would invest in drowns with infrared cameras to see hideouts. Not just buying vans and dressing it up. Train them and pay them.
Re: Amotekun: Almost A Missed Opportunity by ProjectNaija(m): 6:49pm On Feb 05, 2020
Àmótékun is here to stay, even the North as just launched there own regional security outfit and the southeast is doing the same thing. It's also evidence that the federal government under the leadership of Buhari has failed in providing adequate security for Nigerians.

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