By Yinka Odumakin
A TERRIBLE group known as Badoo cult group has been terrorising Ikorodu area of Lagos for the past two and a half years with sorrow,tears and blood trailing their activities . Their modus operandi involves using stones and big sticks to kill their victims. After killing them they remove some parts of the body. They also use white handkerchiefs to take the victims’ blood. They are said to take the white handkerchiefs to their godfathers for ritual purposes. The deadly group were above the law as they murdered victim after victim with the police most of the time helpless because of the unitary structure of our policing which makes the capacity to deal with such crimes very difficult or practically impossible .
The free reign of the evil gang however came to some curtailment recently when the Lagos Police Command chose to collaborate with the Oodua Peoples Congress OPC, to deal with the menace.
Over 100 members of Badoo were arrested during a raid following a meeting between the National Co-ordinator of Oodua Peoples’ Congress, Chief Gani Adams, and Onyabo leaders, with security chiefs in the state.
The synergy created between the police and the OPC in dealing mortal blows against the group was explained by Adams thus :
“If the police do not have the support of the OPC that has structure everywhere, it would be difficult to curb crime. I am very sure that after the operation, more information will come out because the Ikorodu people have realised that the OPC is working with the police. Those who do not have confidence in giving the police information will give to the OPC. Those who don’t have confidence to provide information to the OPC will give to the police. So, when you talk of security, it goes beyond law enforcement “.
For people like Basorun Dele Momodu who ask “What are we restructuring?”, the effective cooperation between the police and OPC in dealing with this criminal gang shows the effective security we are guaranteed when we remove the police from the exclusive list and place it on the concurrent. A state police would ensure that local personnel who understand their terrains and local Languages would be able to deal with the issues than what we currently have where you take a man from Ibadan to go and curb crime in Maiduguri.
Atiku on restructuring
I remember Alhaji Atiku Abubakar saying a while ago that there were only five policemen in his home town when he grew up but they were so effective because they knew everybody in the community. If something was missing, they knew the thieves in the neighborhood who could be responsible.They listened to local conversations to pick the right intelligence to smash crimes .
He added that there are over 100 policemen in the same community today who are drawn from all over the country but are not as effective as those five because they are blind because they don’t know the terrain and deaf because they don’t hear the language.
The 2014 National Conference looked at what is not working now and recommended that the establishment, funding and operation of state and community police based on state laws.
The Indian example
India is one federation that has practiced this so well and a very good example for Nigeria.
Each of the 28 states and 7 union territories of India has its own police force. Each state legislature has exclusive power to make laws relating to the police force and its functioning. Since the executive power of the state extends to subjects in the State List (list 2), it is the responsibility of the state governments to establish and maintain police forces and exercise superintendence over them. Rules and regulations governing the state police forces are framed by the state governments and contained in their Police manuals.
However, regarding internal security, the Indian Constitution bestows extraordinary powers to the central government in case of a crisis that allows it to take over the police powers of the federated states. And last point to make which is quite important is the quasi federal character of the Indian polity with specific provisions in the constitution, implying a coordinating and counseling role for the centre in police matters and even authorising it to set up certain central police organisations.
A country that is under the siege of different crimes has a lot to benefit from having decentralised police system and it is one of the loaded benefits of restructuring towards a federal constitution we advocate. And speaking about true federalism,I got into this conversation with Professor Adele Jinadu at the sideline of a conference at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies the other day in Abuja over “true federalism”. Prof. insisted there is nothing like “true federalism” and that federalism is federalism. I insisted that it may be so in countries practicing federalism the way it should be. But for Nigeria that parades a unitary constitution and federal system,we need true federalism.
….The urban slum called Ikoyi
I HAVE had to visit Ikoyi frequently for meetings in recent times and I shake my head every time seeing what the colonial elite settlement has become in our time. Apart from the few major streets like Awolowo Road,Bourdilon Road,Alfred Rewane Road and a few others,most of the inner streets in the neighbourhood today are not different from what we used to see advertised in Ayobo and some other slums of Lagos.
Ikoyi still boasts of houses that reek of opulence and high-rise buildings springing up here and there but the roads within Ikoyi are some of the most terrible in the state today. And it says a lot about our fake elitism that with all the wealth they parade, they are comfortable living in such a mega slum where drains do not flow and they have to drive through gullies and bumps.
Even before the flood that recently rendered the Lekki ,Victoria Island and Ikoyi inhabitable,Ikoyi residents had been swimming with their cars in flooded roads with terrible stench oozing from clogged gutters.
If the British who built Ikoyi were to come around the place today, they would not recognise the neighborhood they kept so clean,well laid out and so green.
Every time I go through the jungle these days I always remember some lyrics from Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s “Just Like That”.Abami Eda sang “White man rule many years we get electricity constantly, our people take over dem come build Kainji Dam. Since dem build the dam no electricity for town…..”
And the lines of Segun Lee-French in “Ikoyi Blindness” ring true:
“Hold onto my white coat tails
And cast your garbage on the surf!
This is our waterworld,
Give me your tithes & I will transform your lives.
We will be reborn into amphibious glory,
We will navigate by sonar & second sight
We will walk across the stagnant water, on the waves
on plastic cartons from Mr Bigs,
a master race of Kung Fu Messiahs”
Igbos, restructuring and the expulsion
LET me first of all on behalf of southern Nigeria express our profound appreciation to you for your unprecedented expository (facts) espoused in your piece, Vanguard, 27 June 2017. You patriotically articulated the truth, nothing but the whole truth.May the truth never depart from your family.IBB have said it all….restructuring is the only viable and progressive option for this country. The vituperations of northern elders who are known to perpetually oppose any progressive move in Nigeria should be ignored.The north has held us down for too long……They are a threat to meaningful political, economical development of this nation and they should be subjected to political oblivion, which IBB’s position on restructuring has done.
I campaigned vigorously for President Muhammadu Buhari PMB, during the 2015 presidential election, because I see in him a man that is a fighter for the rights of the poor and vulnerable. But his Inaction in the face of sustained Fulani herdsmen(terrorists), wanton destruction and killings of innocent peasants in Christian communities has proven me wrong.I wept profusely watching on TV death, destruction, raping by Fulani herdsmen from one state to another , while those who should act decisively to curtail this senseless killings turn a blind eye. The blood of innocent children, women, men who were murdered in their sleep, farms by this evil herdsmen are crying for vengeance. The Inaction of PMB further embolden these merchants of death and they continue their evil campaign of ethnic cleansing. PMB has the state security apparatus to deploy to stop these killings, he blatantly refused………..hence his present predicament (innocent blood he failed to protect are crying for vengeance). We are watching as events unfold.
Thank you so much for that wonderful exposèè,it was latent and laced with unbridled historical facts, bringing to bare the seismic evilly institutionalised hegemony of the Wahabis in the north.
The blood hounds whose grandfathers found our land all the way from the Futon Jalon mountain shall always grit their teeth at this piece but the Sons of the most high love it.. Live long Yinka Odumakin.. You are the Son of your Father and progenitors