Actions have consequences. Amotekun will have consequences. We have to work to make the consequences of establishing Amotekun positive. Deep thought should be given to the economic side of Amotekun. Amotekun should be seen as the precursor for an overall ideology that will drive the Yoruba to sustainable development and competitiveness.


A society without regard for consequences cannot thrive. In this republic, the public conception of security has been situational, until circumstances birthed Amotekun in the West of Nigeria. Amotekun is a shift in the , infrastructural and public conceptions of security, away from the situational approach to community safety and security. Community safety is predicated on the societal contexts of crime, crime prevention, and consequences of preventive measures, in the light of a pluralism of values, dynamic change, and cultural diversity. For a comprehensive approach as this, it is important to examine the economic consequences of community safety and security.

For the six governors of the Yoruba states, it is important to understand security, sustainability and competitiveness as key drivers of the common output and development. Beyond rhetoric, we must begin to look at Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn as a comprehensive statement on Yoruba security, sustainability and competitiveness. There are no short cuts to success and greatness. The region’s productivity will be determined by the strength of its institutions and policies. The Yoruba level of productivity will determine the sustainable level of prosperity that can be earned. Self-serving ego trips and empty posturing will do no good. In an attempt to create and build institutions, hastily cobbled outfits like the proposed South West “Development Commission” may end up as a crass opportunistic diversion to create a self-serving bureaucracy, instead of real development.

There are social, economic, financial and environmental dimensions to security. Sustainability intersects with security in economic, social and environmental ways. For the region to be secure and become a sustainable and competitive economy, there must be an immediate interventions on illegal gold mining in Oṣun State, logging in our forest reserves, horrendous land use practices and indiscriminate tapping of aquifers across the region. Without forest guards, our forests are ungoverned spaces and prime rendezvous for criminals and land grabbers. The State of Oṣun is fast becoming an example of large scale environmental degradation, due to the activities of illegal miners and prospectors in search of alluvial gold. Unfortunately, the state government seem oblivious of the nexus between illegal mining, crime and terrorism. Traditional rulers are sadly complicit in ceding their domains for this activity and are either greedy or ignorant of the economic consequences of illegal mining and the bio-hazards it poses to humans and the tropical biome of Western Nigeria. Oṣun river has become contaminated as mercury washes into it and many other rivers and streams the people of Oṣun State depend on for drinking water.

Before Amotekun takes off, the governors, policy makers, political and socio-cultural elite must understand the economics of criminal and terrorist behaviour. Economic models have been used to predict and explain the behaviour of criminals and terrorists, the causes of crime and terrorism and the dynamic interaction between criminals/terrorists, and security measures to employ.


As undocumented Chinese prospectors and other artisanal miners prospect for gold, children who prowl these sites are exposed to unsafe levels of lead and other heavy metals. Without undertaking a social and environmental impact assessment (EIA) of mining on the people, the ecosystem, and how mining can be done under registration, regulation and oversight, our region cannot grow and thrive sustainably. Under the prevailing circumstance, minerals, gems and precious metals extracted from Yoruba states cannot be said to be ethically sourced. Gold from the region is at risk of being labeled blood gold. A people so blessed must not develop an extractive mindset where profits are taken from a captive resource, with the mentality of take it now, or someone else will. The, when the reserve is depleted, move to the next field, the next market or the next locale.

Before Amotekun takes off, the governors, policy makers, political and socio-cultural elite must understand the economics of criminal and terrorist behaviour. Economic models have been used to predict and explain the behaviour of criminals and terrorists, the causes of crime and terrorism and the dynamic interaction between criminals/terrorists, and security measures to employ. As soon as Amotekun takes off, economic models indicate that criminals and terrorists will alter their behaviour in reaction to Amotekun. When certain objects are protected against threats, we can expect a new and very different target or they would employ different tactics. Criminals and terrorists are rational economic agents. Economists call them homo economicus. As rational economic agents, criminals and terrorists have defined set of preferences, and they will always select their preferred choice of action to maximise their utility. Economic theory teaches us that a change in the relative price (Amotekun in this case), will result in a shift of criminal and terrorist action towards a relatively cheaper activity, be it legal or illegal. We also know that the economics of terrorist behaviour is similar to the economics of crime. Crime is influenced by poverty, wage and income inequality, level of education, etc. In like manner, the roots of terrorism can be traced to economic factors, as well as political and social factors like ethnicity, religion and geography.

The Yoruba embraced Amotekun wholeheartedly because they see it as a framework for regional safety, security, development and progress. We must not disappoint them by allowing corrupt elements and fifth columnists infiltrate Amotekun. We must not crush their hopes in the recruitment, training, operation and maintenance of the Amotekun corp.


Actions have consequences. Amotekun will have consequences. We have to work to make the consequences of establishing Amotekun positive. Deep thought should be given to the economic side of Amotekun. Amotekun should be seen as the precursor for an overall ideology that will drive the Yoruba to sustainable development and competitiveness. British economist, John Maynard Keynes, in his book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919) wrote that Europe could not prosper without an equitable, effective and integrated economic system, which was impossible by the economic terms of the Versailles treaty after World War I. The Yoruba will not prosper without a secure, just, equitable, healthy and educated populace, with equal opportunity for all. The Yoruba embraced Amotekun wholeheartedly because they see it as a framework for regional safety, security, development and progress. We must not disappoint them by allowing corrupt elements and fifth columnists infiltrate Amotekun. We must not crush their hopes in the recruitment, training, operation and maintenance of the Amotekun corp. The Treaty of Versailles was a notorious historical disaster. Its failure led to the rise of Hitler and World War II. Years from now, Amotekun must not be viewed as a misstep or a historical disaster but as a successful intervention that created a secure and prosperous region.

Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú a farmer, youth advocate and political analyst writes this weekly column, “Bamidele Upfront” for PREMIUM TIMES. Follow me on Twitter @olufunmilayo