DEFENCE AGAINST RISING CASES OF ROBBERY AND BANDITRY BY AWAWA AND ONE MILLION BOYS
Campaign for Democratic and Community Rights (CDCR), Ifo LGA, Ogun State
* CDCR CALLS FOR FORMATION OF DEMOCRATICALY-CONTROLLED COMMUNITY DEFENSE WITH RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS WHERE NECESSARY
* DON’T RELAX THE DAILY PATROLS AND BONFIRES! ALL STREET DEFENSE COMMITTEES TO BE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE COMMUNITY AND LINK UP TO FORM LEADERSHIP STRUCTURES AT LGA AND THE STATE LEVEL
* FOR A MASS STRUGGLE TO FIGHT FOR ADEQUATE DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD PALLIATIVES AND A N50, 000 CASH GRANT TO ALL WORKERS AND POOR HOUSEHOLDS IN OGUN STATE
Fellow residents of Agbado/Oke Aro LCDA, Ifo LGA, Ogun State Nigeria,
It is no more a news that following the two weeks lockdown announced by President Buhari in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, hoodlums and bandits popularly called “Awawa” and “One Million Boys” have attacked our community terrorising, looting, raping and killing our people.
We have heard cases of robbery attacks at Sango, Ope Ilu, Ososun, Ifo, Agbado, Adiyan, Randle, Alagbole etc. people’s shops and homes are being looted and valuables stolen. Unconfirmed reports say a number of people may have been killed during these attacks. Sadly, the police have not been effective in containing this crisis. Rather, it has taken the mass mobilisation of the people to ensure that a number of these invaders are arrested and life and property protected.
WHAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR INSECURITY?
We must not deceive ourselves. The major reason for the insecurity is the fact that the anti-poor federal government and the Governor Dapo-Abiodun-led State government decided to lock down society without making adequate provision for food and other means of sustenance. Governor Dapo Abiodun claims that his government intends to distribute palliatives to 500, 000 poor and vulnerable households in Ogun State. Meanwhile in Ifo LGA alone, we can count more than 500, 000 poor and vulnerable households. As foodstuffs and money are getting exhausted, a lot of people have no choice but to rob and steal in other to survive. With the extension of the lockdown by another two weeks, many more poor people will get desperate and the anarchy will increase.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
As things stand today, we cannot rely on the police and army to defend us. There is even no police station in many of our communities. As they say, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. We must begin to establish democratically formed communal defence committees or brigades at all streets within our communities. These committees and brigades will have the responsibility of organising daily bon fires and patrols around the community. Additionally, these defence committees also need to exercise control over the increasing prices of goods and services in order to ensure that shylock traders do not take advantage of the situation.
As a fact, committees or brigades of this nature have already emerged spontaneously. We must now begin to ensure that these defence committees have recognizable leadership structures which are elected to prevent abuse and corruption. These defence committees must also be subject to the control of the communities. Also there is the need to begin to link all street defence committees up with recognisable and elected leadership at LGA and State levels for better coordination and accountability.
MASS STRUGGLE NEEDED
The immediate cause of the insecurity and daily robbery attacks is the lockdown without adequate provision of palliatives. Now another 14 days lockdown has been announced by President Buhari which means that we will be indoor till the end of this month. This means many of us are set to face a life of hunger for the next few weeks. No matter how much patrol and bon fire we do, if adequate palliatives are not provided, the insecurity situation will only worsen.
The CDCR calls on all of us to be prepared to be part of a serious struggle to compel the Governor Dapo Abiodun-led Ogun State government together with the Federal Government to provide adequate food palliatives and a N50, 000 cash grant to workers and poor people’s households.
As we come together in the night to patrol the streets in order to protect ourselves from hoodlums, we also must utilise the same unity to organise a serious campaign to place demands on the government. This can take the form of a public letter to the government signed by all households, rallies and peaceful protest marches. We need a joint protest of all youth and working people in Agbado/Oke Aro LCDA and Ifo LGA of Ogun state to begin to challenge the Federal government and Ogun State government on all of these issues.
The ongoing crisis of COVID-19, hunger and insecurity has shown that we cannot continue to tolerate anti-poor and irresponsible government. The system of capitalism which prioritises profit over people’s need is the reason why government decided to lock us down without adequate palliatives. Otherwise, given how enormously endowed Nigeria is, there is no reason why anyone should be hungry or poor.
We need a workers and poor people’s government which prioritises people’s needs over profit. Such a government will nationalise the commanding heights of the economy under democratic workers control and management in order to ensure that Nigeria’s enormous wealth is actually deployed to meet people’s needs.
JOIN CDCR TO FIGHT FOR:
(1) Adequate provision of palliatives to all workers and poor people’s households in all communities in Ogun State
(2) Monthly N50, 000 cash grant to all workers and poor people’s households.
(3) For a N100, 000 monthly special hazard allowance, life insurance and protective gear for all health professionals and workers on the frontline.
(4) Free distribution of face masks and hand sanitisers. For non-discriminatory mass testing in order to hasten the defeat of COVID-19
(5) Provide standard government hospitals in our communities. For more isolation centres and equipping of all public hospitals.
(6) Provision of free, adequately-funded and democratically-managed health care
(7) Nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy under democratic workers control and management
(8) A workers and poor people’s government armed with socialist policies