I was amazed seeing thousands of people in virtually all the six states that make up the South West geopolitical zone poured into the streets to demonstrate, and to express their anger over the decision of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to declare the Western Nigerian Security Network (WNSN), alias Operation Amotekun, illegal.
Looking at the faces of many of those demonstrators, you could see how worried the people were, which shows that they were indeed pouring out the innermost part of their hearts, borne out of genuine concern for the security of their lives and property.
For long, the people, not the South West alone, have been at the receiving end, in the hands of marauding Fulani cattle rearers, who audaciously rampage everywhere, kill, maim and kidnap people at random, without anybody coming to their rescue.
The people had looked to the federal government for protection, believing that its primary responsibility was the protection of lives and property, but the government was not forth coming. The people of the South West, then decided to take up the gauntlet, to ensure that they secure their lives and property by establishing Operation Amotekun. It was only then that the federal government woke up from its slumber, and gave them a red card! That’s the background to the whole scenario.
We were amazed at the demonstrations going on in the South West, not because we like or support the reckless killing of innocent Nigerians by the AK 47 wielding herdsmen. We were amazed because we did not know that the South West would ever disagree with the North. The two sections have all been dependable allies. Most times there were crisis in Nigeria, the South West would always team up with the North to box the South East to a corner, and made them to bear the brunt of such crises.
It happened during the First Republic, when following the intervention of the military to stop the bloodbath then going in the West in the wake of “Operation Wetie”, there was a military takeover of government. But they termed it “Igbo Coup”, which had necessitated the West and the North to team up and pushed the East out of the country.
For thirty months, the East was at the receiving end, as the war raged. At the same time, the West and the North also teamed up and took over all the positions that were abandoned by the fleeing Easterners. Even after the war, the two sections would still not allow the East a foothold, both at the economic and political levels.
The ACN/CPC/ANPP alliance that gave birth to the All Progressives Congress (APC) was primarily aimed at boxing the South East to the corner by both the West and the North, while the two sections continued to corner all the resources of the country. They had successfully done so, at least, in the first four years of the Buhari Presidency, where the South East was made to be content with 5% democracy dividends.
But what many people failed to realize is that it is always too dangerous to ride a tiger, because when the tiger eventually turns round, the person riding it may end up inside its stomach! That’s what seems to be happening now.
There is no doubt that the North is far ahead of every other section of the country politically. They know what they want, and they know how to get it. They knew that they had made a mistake in 1999 by conceding the Presidency to the South and they have now sworn never to make that mistake again.
Unfortunately, the South always plays into their hands, into the hands of the Northern oligarchs, through those, General T Y Danjuma had referred to as the “fifth columnists”. The North will give these people false of hope, that they are going to hand over political power to them, and in the process, will use them to penetrate the South, and divide them.
Have you heard about the East-West Alliance, or the Handshake Across the Niger, anymore? It was these “fifth columnists” that truncated that move. First, they promised them that they would serve only one tenure of Presidency, after which they would hand over power to them. Later, they decided to go for second term, and again, promised them that 2023 would be their turn.
Now, they have played into their hands with this launching of Operation Amotekun. They have seen reasons to puncture the outfit and to declare it illegal. With the war of words currently going on both sides of the political divide, accompanied by the bad blood it is generating, we do not see any future for the security outfit, notwithstanding all these street marches across states in the South West.
It has become crystal clear that things have indeed fallen apart, and that the centre could no longer hold. They call Amotekun “ethnic militia”, “Odua Peoples Congress” (OPC) in disguise, a prelude to secession, forerunner of the “Oduduwa Republic”, etc. They even called the people of the South West “primitive” and told them to choose between Amotekun and 2023 Presidency. They equally saw the entire concept of Amotekun as “treasonable”, and demanded that its promoters should be brought out and tried!
For now, we have not yet heard from President Muhammadu Buhari, and the man who is seriously eyeing his throne in 2023, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Until we hear from them, we hold our breath, and reserve further comments!