The creation of Amotekun as regional Security outfit in the south west is a wake up call to every state rather than Political resentment. Community policing is about the safety of Communities not about of politics of safety after all self preservation is the first law of nature. The fear of the unknown is a constant threat, but confronting such fear with courage is great wisdom. Let every community be protected against external and internal threats either originating from the unscrupulous activities of syndicates or satanic actions of individuals. The incessant killings of innocent lives by bandits could have been prevented if we had similar Amotekun in our communities in Northern Nigeria and indeed other parts of the Country. We have lost glory over the time.
The norm in our society was anchored on morals and fair judgements that seperates rights from wrong not minding personalities involved. These virtue were significant and served as guide to society on the basis of moral practice and good conduct. Parents were helpful, guardians were supportive and the security agents were warranties.
Every criminal is identified as a culprit irrespective of his/her faith, status or background. But in recent times the situation we find ourselves as a result of immoral acts and issues of corruption of the very fabric that kept society strong and focused is one that can be attributed as miserable. We are living in an insecure environment where crime rate seems to overwhelm our capacity. Bad boys engaged in social vices such as; snatching of bags, phones, wristwatches and valuables from unsuspecting citizens roam the street freely. Stealing, raping, kidnapping, drug abuse, thuggery, cold blood murders and banditry are increasing by the day. And it seems that security outfits have been overwhelmed and inadequate or even incapable of curtailing the menace or protecting our communities.
What we need to do is restructure our vigilante arrangements. Create ownership of the structure expand their operations to truly be community centred and community driven. I believe that the motive behind the formation of Vigilante groups had been inspired patriotic ideals and community acceptance. Therefore our governments must discount some of the augments the challenges advanced by security agencies and see to reform and mainstream the system rather than ignore it as a veritable tool for effective community policing. These vigilante groups comprising devoted young and old, men and women volunteer to commit to the service of protecting our communities and also very passionate about the duty to combat crime. They engage in combat operations with enthusiasm even without adequate support from the citizens and the government.
One good thing about vigilante groups is that they are neither alien nor strangers but are people living in the same environment with us. Effectively, the best spies to identify everyone roaming around in the day time likewise also to engage with every suspicious movement in the night. These qualities give them an edge over state institutionalised structures of security. What is needed is just training and a synergy to established funtionality with security agencies.They are worthy to be praised, respected and honoured for the magnificent and great job they have been doing for the nation free of charge
But, do we really treat the vigilante groups with a kind gesture? I doubt much, some people see them as enemies. Perhaps, because they are not unaware of our weaknesses and strengths. They know the good, the bad and the ugly situations and elements within our communities and even our houses. They know our inside and outside. They are our community Police.
It is worthy of note that these volunteers are our defenders in hard times. They identify criminals among Communities, expose wrong actions and protect our collective norms and values. Some parents are not helping matters and so also community leaders as they always seek to shield criminals and give protections under all sorts of primordial reasons and sentiments.
One thing we must understand about these vigilante groups is, they are not professionally trained in the modern sense and they are highly skillful in crime identification and fighting.
Sometimes the vigilantes experience some form of misunderstanding between them and the people in the community. Sometimes it may lead to enimty and animosity. These inevitable disagreements shouldn’t be taken as personal; it should therefore be seen as deliberate, but rather they should be seen as necessary consequences of community action by committed individuals.
In a bid to re – enforce and reconfigure vigilante groups the government at all levels must have a rethink and factor a strategy to make them effective in the light of our history and the challenges of insecurity.
It’s also required the legislations to make a law that suits recognition and consideration of vigilante groups. They must evolve into a disciplined and structured group. We already have templates to learn from, the KAROTA, KASTELA, HISBA, OPERATION RAINBOW etc are there to study and improve upon in terms organizational structure and legal framework.
As individuals the least we can give them is maximum support And cooperation in our various communities.
As wealthy people we must give them welfare and prosperity in our communities.
As community leaders, we are obligated to give them much desire endorsements and encouragements.
As for security agencie, it’s a mission to cooperate, to dispense guidelines, supervision and instructions.
Let us all understand that security is everyone’s business. Our understanding of security from an institutionalized perspective starts with community organization which is typified by the existence of vigilantes’.
The recent killings in some parts of the nation is undoubtedly the prognosis of the worse to come if we relent. It’s obvious our security challenges is craving for community policing. And the Vigilante groups are fully ready to take the Oath and protect our Communities.
Abu Maigoro is a concerned citizen writes from Jos
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