shade of doubt, notably the resilient Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in
the north east, long-running banditry in the north west, increasing
violence between herders and farming communities spreading from the
central belt southward, kidnapping in the south west and separatist
Biafra agitation in the Igbo south east.
This has pitched religious associations against themselves, promoted
rancorous relationship between the dwellers in the regions, created
suspicious mentality among ethnic groups and laid the foundation of
armament race between the emerging geopolitical zones security outfits
factioned along ethnic line.
On 3rd February, 2020, the President of Christian Association of Nigeria
(CAN), Rev. Supo Ayokunle, during a prayer walk organised by the
organization for Nigeria had said that the killing of Adamawa State CAN
Chairman, Rev. Lawan Andimi, the incarceration of Leah Shuaribu and
other Christian fellow massacred in the recent time further justify the
notion that Boko Haram is set up to eliminate Christians in Nigeria.
In reaction to this, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs
(NSCIA) through it’s Director of Administration, Alhaji Yusuf Nwoha, on
5th February, condemned CAN’s statement and advised that “rather than
playing to the gallery as ethnic irredentists and religious bigots would
do, Nigerians should support government to eliminate insecurity”.
Statistically, President Mohammed Buhari also berated the claim by CAN
and stated that 90 percent of the victims of Boko Haram are Muslims.
While this might be true, the question bears asking- is there any
Nigerian worth sacrificing on the alter of Boko Harram or any deadly
group under the disguise of any name?
Since 2009, Boko Haram has killed over 25,000 people, displaced over 2
millions, destroyed property worth millions of dollars, and created
spite between the North and the Southern part of the country. These
nefarious activities contributed to the collapse of People Democratic
Party (PDP)’s government and the emergent of All Progressive Congress
(APC)’s government in 2015 with a view of putting an end to this mess on
the shore of Nigeria.
However, the recent acceleration in the rate of killings, kidnapping,
crimes of different manifestations across the country shows that the
devil is still very much with us. No wonder different regional security
outfits continue to receive resounding applause from the rules and the
Just of recent, the Southwest Governors lunched Western Region Security
Network, code-named Operation Amotekun (Leopard), which was replicated
by the Coalition of Northern Groups on 5th February, 2020 with a
code-named Operation Shege Ka Fasa which means “I dare you to attack
or surrender” in Hausa. While the remaining regions are warning up to
lunch their own.
Though, these security outfits are good because they further bring the
security measures closer to the people but at the same time, they can be
inimical to the peace, progress and unity of the country if they are not
properly guided because they can be used by some irredentist
individuals, warlords and sectarian militias to inflict violence on
another ethnic group.
For instance, the code named given to the so called Northern Security
outfit, ‘Shege Ka Fasa’, lunched on 5th February, by the Coalition of
Northern Group (CNG) barely less than a month after the inauguration of
Amotekun seems to suggest that the formation goes beyond security
reason. Infact, it shows how unguided proliferation of security outfits
in disguise of regional protection can lead to anarchy in the country.
Starting from the name of the security outfit, Shege Ka Fasa, which
means “I dare you to attack or surrender”, it is crystal clear that
it is an unguided response to the operation Ametokun in the south west
and not a response to the growing insecurity in the North.
Abdullazeez Suleiman, the spokesman of the group partially stated this
on 5th February, when he said: “In the prevailing circumstances, the
only option is to resort to voluntary self-defence mechanisms in line
with initiatives taken by other regions that are even least affected in
comparison to what is obtained in the North.”
Apart from this, the gestition period of the group also calls for a
concern. Before, the formation of operation Ametokun, there were series
of meetings with the Governors of the six States in the region, the
traditional leaders, civil society groups among others. These were
largely missing in the formation of the operation Shege Ka Fasa’.
In the case of operation Shege Ka Fasa, most of the stakeholders were
not informed. Even those that were informed were informed through the
back door. That was the reason the Sultan of Sokoto and Alhaji Balarabe
Musa condemned the outfit publicly on 7th and 8th February,
However, both the operation of Amotekun and Shege Ka Fasa would have not
being a public discuss if the issue of insecurity had not become a
national anthem in the country. And that is the reason, the government
has to intensify it’s effort in fighting insecurity because where there
is growing insecurity as it is in Nigeria, automatically self-help will
become an option. Thereby leading to Hobbesian State where ‘life is
solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short’.