When one think of warlords and private armies, one generally think of war-torn
Is this the
Without these armies, Obasanjo and Peter Odili and others like them couldn’t have gotten certain things accomplished. Even the oil companies are in on this as they too have standing private armies that look after their interest, (and in some cases terrorize private citizens and members of other groups). Sorrowfully, the monster is now on the loose, on the rampage. In all of this, it is the people, innocent private citizens that are bearing the brunt of this attrition.
In the 1960s when Idi Amin was doing Milton Obote’s dirty works, Amin was considered a good fellow; but when he turned against Obote, Amin became the serpent, the monster. But really, neither Amin nor Obote were aberrations in politics, more so in the politics of the developing world.
The reality is that if you create a monster, the monster will devour you; if you personalize the rule of law, you encourage mayhem; if you make honest political struggles impossible, you make banditos possible; and if you pollute the wind, the contaminated winds will envelope you, too. Obasanjo, the oil companies and the Niger Delta governors made this round of
Along with private armies are the various cults. Some cult members are also members of private armies. And unlike some well-established and “well-behaved” cults, most of the cults in
Long before the all-out-war several things became observable: (1) the head of these private armies became too powerful to control; (2) having tasted blood, money and influence, some junior officers decided to form their own posse, and like viruses they kept multiplying; (3) due to ideological differences, some of these armies started turning on themselves and on their rivals; (4) some gangs have no rules or creed, what matters is how high they can raise their savagery or the amount of money they make; and (5) in pursuit of their goals, they no longer discriminated between ordinary people, government officials and their sworn enemies. Anything and everybody became fair game — to be exploited, killed, maimed or destroyed.
What are the lessons for
From all indications, we have not seen the end of this wahala. The solution is not in the militarization of