MY QUARREL WITH THE SPIRITUALITY OF ” AMOTEKUN”(Part One )
The universal acceptance of a practice does not necessarily make it virtuous. When the Israelites unanimously rejected Samuel’s heritage and clamoured to have the kings of leopard to rule over them like other nations,little did they realize that by that singular clamour they were indeed rejecting God . Since God would never stoop low as to strive with man, He directed Samuel not to bother or feel disappointed ; but should first of all explain to them the implications of their actions. The people consequently embraced the curse that went by their self- inflicted hazards, the same way the Jews chose that Pilate should release a notorious thief and rejected Jesus Christ with the attendant generational curses that went by their actions. If the chameleon which ( with all its motley colours) always wangles its way methodically through the jungle still suffers mishap in the hands of men, what would be the fate of the ugly frog which hops carelessly about the jungle of men ? Conversely, if the likes of Sage ,Obafemi Awolowo ; and the Nobel laureate ,Professor Wole Soyinka and their beautiful and masses-oriented projects still suffered misapplications of the unintended ( evil) consequences in the hands of lesser mortals ,what kind of fate do we think is patiently waiting to slaughter the masses in broad daylight through the unreasoning projects of those who can never think beyond pecuniary gains which today is offering ?
” The true man does not seek only where immediate gain lies but where duty lies; and such is the man whose dream of yesterday becomes the law by which today and tomorrow would be governed. Samuel Johnson also put it succinctly thus:” He who invests his labour on temporary gain easily finds customers but quickly loses them for where lies again the cap for which reason the head is traded away for pecuniary reward ? It was the legendary “apala” music maestro, Haruna Ishola who once put voice into microphone and sang that ” if the proverbial wind was strong enough to trouble the woman who carried yam tubers ,the crazy lady carrying yamflour delicately on her head must be pathologically foolish to think that the same wind would be gentle with her .”
Those who are today approaching their way to the promised land of security , thinking they could play on words arbitrarily may probably have some lessons to learn from the biblical spies whose own logo and vision did not qualify beyond the grasshopper mentality . They must have thought aloud in the inner recess of their minds that after all there was nothing spiritual in a name or in a logo .Not many people have realised that a whole lot of metaphysics (or call it spirituality ,) psychology and sociology lay behind what has today grown up to become the Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC conceived of by Wole Soyinka in his dream of a drama script titled ” The Road” . Most people may have foolishly believed that Awolowo was day dreaming when he chose palm tree as the symbol and logo of his political party ,being the Action Group which has today flowered and fructified into what politicians are branding as the “progressives” even though they all have bastardized both the legacies of firsts ( in terms of rapid development) which the defunct party enacted in the old Southwest region. Any time I reflect on what the Psalmist said in his longest poem ,I am always reminded of our political terrain which is daily running counter to the spirit of that golden verse . The Psalmist said he had more understanding than his teachers because he meditated on God’s testimony and was also wiser than the ancient because he had obediently kept God’s precepts . Even Jesus Christ said that if only we believe, we would do more goodly things than He had done on earth.
That we still cannot, today , match Awoism or think or grow beyond his philosophy( even in this new millennium) shows how stunted our political growth had been for many years . The tail of our secular inanities is today wagging the dog of our spirituality in the Nigerian society as pastors, imams and other clerics are today fighting over which of the few available charm- wielding night guards or gun-trotting herdsmen would guard their mosques,churches and farms . If the Babalawos and other native doctors among us in Yoruba land are already willing to donate drones of charms and other magical rituals to fortify the ” Amotekun” vanguards ,what are our churches and mosques going to donate ? When in the early 19 century, the British brought their fire power artillery to Yoruba land and routed ijebu in broad daylight, even in the face of amulets and other dangerous charms within the corridor of the native warriors, our religious voices changed songs with which they humbled the native doctors in the land. “…Are owo ni e sa; are owo ni e sa; eni sare Ogun , ara re loun tanje , igba lonigba nlo; are owo ni e sa.” Translated in English, the popular song with which religionists walloped the native warriors read:” let’s run the race of money; let’s run the race of money; he who runs the race of charms deceives nobody but himself; let’s run the race of money “. But the stark reality assailing us individually and collectively is that even though we have today pretended to have thrown away our charms, our situation can be likened to the plight of a man who jumped from frying pan to the naked fire. This is because even though we have openly professed to have left Satan, the avarice that we have today embraced is more satanic than satan himself in one thousand different ways. This is the naked fact. The matter is even worse for us today for the fact that, those who said they have abandoned Satan for avarice, (the king and root of all evils) are shuttling between the houses of Satan and avarice, playing the proverbial nihilist who is tired of living yet he’s afraid of dying, whereupon he stays put in the middle of the express way to hell , propounding a theory of nihilism which neither puts him here nor there.
Why I am opposed to the ” Amotekun” mentality is reasoned out of its spirituality ; not for its legality as it’s a mere waste of time for anybody contesting its constitutionality . It is constitutional. But given the enormity of our security problems nation wide , it is ridiculous for one section of the country to place an army of leopards at its own base in a world that has shrunk into a global market ,and the danger of which our forefathers in their wisdom, one thousand years ago, had foreseen .
If you hear our forefathers ,put mouth to proverb , saying ” owo omode ko to pepe; tawon agbagba kowo keregbe” they are not just daydreaming on the communality of criminality peculiar to the global world in which an event in one land ripples into another one ;world without walls . .There is a millennium words of wisdom behind it . The curiosity to know the relevance of the above Yoruba proverb that ” the hand of a child does not reach the rafter while the hand of the adult does not equally enter into the gourd ” would for now remain unsatisfied until we study the spirituality of the “leopard of our Amotekun”