In this 21stcentury we still believe that retaliation is to prove superiority in our society. Leaders who are to depose any form of aggression are now the warlords to call for it. Are we living in a Hobbesian state of nature? Can we continue with this abhorring behavior whilst we see our country as the beacon of democracy in Africa?
“Tit for tat” has resulted into vengeance politics which has jeopardized the administration of some countries in Africa as well as eaten into the moral fiber of their citizens. This can be related to conflicts in DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and others.
The incendiary and unfortunate pronouncements made by the Ex-president in the aftermath of the Ayawaso By-Election misconduct is a clear example of political retribution. Is this where we are heading to as a country? Vengeance!!?? Vigilantism in the country can also be attributed to leadership paralysis in our security services.
Relating to the increase in vigilante groups, the failure of the security services to guarantee safety is only a part of the matter, the rise of such groups maybe as a result of the transition from post-conflict and post-authoritarian rule to democracy and also the free market system.
Vigilantism in any form will cause more harm than good and will lead to shrinking state, self-policing, undue delegation of authority and many of it likes. Vigilante groups have become more pronounced in the Fourth Republic.
In the past, political parties hired violent men from the “zongos” to foment trouble and cause mayhem during elections. But now our political parties have formalized and standardized vigilantism by providing the various groups with all kinds of weaponries and arms to ease their movements in intimidating and thdreatening the lives of innocent people who are only trying to exercise their civic rights as responsible citizens. What a shame!! Who should be blamed? The state securities or the electoral commission? And now it has drifted into giving strong warnings to each other to prove an unworthy superiority, knowing so well that the well-being of the nation is at risk. Vigilantism can lead to anarchy in this country if stringent measures are not taken to curb this menace.
It behooves us, the youth of this country to fight the menace of vigilantism which is a threat to our democracy through education, sensitization exercises and political accountability from our leaders.
By: Yakub Mohammed Ayomide
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