Home Crime Amotekun, Ekun: A Missing K’ajola Spirit | Festus Adedayo

Amotekun, Ekun: A Missing K’ajola Spirit | Festus Adedayo

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Southwestern Nigeria, last week, in an act that was alien to it in the last decades, came together with one voice to tackle a budding menace native to its collective environment. It successfully launched a security outfit it code-named Amontekun to tackle the horde of security challenges that had been bedeviling it in recent time.

Now, there had been teething bothers on how southwest traced the etymology of Amontekun or even the appropriateness of its choice to the problem at hand. Why Amotekun and why not Ekun (lion) for instance? The lion is reputed in the animal world for its pride of hunting its own prey afresh and never eating any venison it cannot ascertain the source of its hunt. Could the West have chosen this totem as a demonstration of its pride of place in the old Western Region and its distanciation from others?

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In its choice of Amotekun, did the southwest mean the leopard, the cheetah, the jaguar or merely the family that the trio belong called black panthers? Was it mindful of the hunting or frightful credentials of the Amotekun while settling for this code-name, the amimal’s ability to sprint at a speed of up to 58 kilometres per hour, its precision at hunting its prey down, or it could not be bothered about these details?

Anyway, there are other issues of concern which should bother Amotekun. A nice step, no doubt, the governors of the west must know that collaboration in the area of security without collaboration in the areas of a collective wealth and wellbeing of their people would ultimately come to naught. Being very educated persons, the governors should be abreast of the newest rendition or reading of the concept of security in the globe today.

Security is beyond the securing of borders and environments alone, as it used to be known in the era of military autocracy. Security is a total package and which includes the wealth and welfare of the people. It is encapsulated in the Yoruba spirit of K’ajola, the spirit of collective wealth. You cannot secure a hungry people if you don’t collectively ward off the patrolling preys of hunger, poverty and lack that hold the jugular of the southwest, otherwise, the people would be the ones to alert the foreign invaders of your whereabouts and stratagems.

Second, we all know that even though tribes and tongues may not differ in the southwest, these governors are not united but facing fissiparous tendencies of political parties, political leanings, different ounces of political greed, varying nodes of political gods where they pour libations on a daily basis and different levels of wealth. While Osun is beholding to a political groove where it tethers its goats, palm oil and sacrificial ointments and has a sidekick in Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo and Ekiti are controlled by different fiddlers with their marionettes, Would they unite enough to achieve this common destiny for their people? Would some of them, in pursuit of their political greed, not squeal to the very sponsors of violence and criminality in the southwest, in the bid to achieve their lifelong ambitions?

Again, agreed that natural rulers, who used to be the spirits of major togetherness enterprises like the Amontekun have, in today’s world, become virtually irrelevant due to their wobbly and corrupted system of choice, what is the role of natural rulers in the security outfit? While the Egbe Omo Oduduwa was being put together in the Western Region under Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as he chose as its symbol a lamp with five wickets, which symbolized the five-pronged aims of the Egbe which were Love, Charity, Concord, Friendship and Posterity, the leaders of the West at this time also chose the five wickets to initially symbolize the five prongs of Yoruba rulers, which the Action Group called the five “fingers of the Yoruba hand” (perhaps where Late Chief Bola Ige got the descriptive epithet he tagged the General Sani Abacha’s five political parties which he called the “five fingers of a leprous hand.”)

These rulers were the Ooni of Ife, the Alaafin of Oyo, the Alake of Abeokuta, the Awujale of Ijebu Ode and the Oba of Benin. For this, the Egbe made a ritual sacrifice of five lambs.

However, some of the other Obas later complained about the exclusivity of the symbol which shut them out of reckoning. As such, the Egbe had to make an about-turn to aver that the five wickets symbolized the virtues, aims and objectives of the association earlier stated above. So, where are the roles of natural rulers in Amontekun, knowing that these rulers are close to their people and are security chiefs of their domains.

Aside other fundamental problems of coordination, funding and fear of its being used to fight political enemies, Amotekun must be commended as a right step in the bid to bring out the mucks from the face of Nigeria’s pseudo federalism. If it is true that its Chairman, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, indeed told the Inspector General of Police who summoned him over Amotekun, to go jump inside the Zambesi River, we may be on our way to calling the bluff of the malu (cow) even when we eat its meat as delicacy.

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