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Interrogating Nigeria’s security initiatives

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Several arguments and conversations have trailed recent security developments in Nigeria. The book, Rethinking Security Initiatives in Nigeria, written by Babafemi Adesina Badejo, and published by Yintab Books, Lagos, 2020, is a prompt and authoritative response. The book is as a result of Badejo’s passionate followership and response to current socio-political developments, especially in Nigeria.

Presented in six chapters, and in a manner characteristic of the author’s usual deep analysis, fearless presentation of facts, a hybrid style of excellent and engaging depiction and precision in documentation that reminds the reader how refining scholarship should be.

The author succeeds in demonstrating the failure of Nigerian security architecture. This failure is inextricably intertwined with an age-long politico-economic crisis.

Two in-depth forewords by Prof Adeoye A. Akinsanya and Oluwamakinde Akinola Soname, whose passionate contributions provoke a richer understanding of the Nigerian political trajectory, nourish the book.

The prologue and introduction prepare the reader for deeper revelations of the deplorable state of security all over the country as revealed in chapter one. Chapter two examines the inaction, weakness and limitations of the Nigeria police. The chapter is presented clearly in a way that shows how expedient it is to begin to rethink other options, given the increasing security challenges. This leads to chapter three, where the author reveals the numerous reactions from groups and individuals to the Federal Government’s inaction. This analysis includes, quoting copiously from an open letter from former President Olusegun Obasanjo as well as from a roundtable of 50 eminent Nigerians on how to address the problem of insecurity in Nigeria.

The author calls on government at the Federal level to be more responsive, even as individuals and groups, who are becoming increasingly skeptical on the commitment of the government, are leading the way in finding solutions.

Chapter four addresses the numerous cases of institutional reactions by different state governments in protecting the lives and properties of their people, by resorting to self-help initiatives. The cases of the Civilian JTFs, the Hisbah corps in some states of the north, etc. were examined. Chapter five leads into the precursors and justification for Operation Amotekun, and the effective inauguration of Operation Amotekun by the governments of the six Southwestern states. Chapter six follows with an examination of the numerous reactions to the inauguration of Operation Amotekun.

In totality, the book is straightforward and thoroughly engaging. It is a good read for everyone who follows the society and political developments in Nigeria. Scholars and public policy practitioners, students of social sciences, legal, strategy and security studies will also find it a great asset. The book is indeed a description of how timely and responsive scholarship should be, in leading the way for objective and thoroughly analysed conclusions on major issues.

In deed, the book has not only created vistas for future research on the security architecture in Nigeria, but will bring immense contributions to further studies on Operation Amotekun.


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