By Michael Adeosun

Stop The Memes!

Amotekun Is No Laughing Matter.

Social media has being proven to be the most potent of platforms for the projection of causes. It’s ability and potency to project and galvanise ideas via virality can never be overstated.

However, on the flipside of this is also the fact that social media can be the death of noble causes. The tendency to trivialize serious issues is huge. Memes have become an integral part of the new media. These are those fun, unserious virally transmitted photographs embellished with texts that poke fun at social or political ideas.

Memes could seem so harmless that even social media users who are subscribed to an idea unwittingly jump on the bandwagon and help distribute and circulate the memes. Unbeknown and inadvertently help in ridiculing and killing an idea they are committed to.

The issue of Amotekun, the security initiative being put in place by the South-west governors to primarily counter the marauding criminals that have caused deaths and mayhem among inhabitants of the region. This initiative has so far faced serious antagonism from the north and it’s political and religious leaders. It has even become an issue of constitutional debates.

Amotekun has come to stay and the resolve of its promoters and supporters majorly from around the regions of Nigeria is strong, excluding, of course the northern part of the country – the Fulanis. And that is understandable. We need say no more.

What unwittingly now seem to be an existential threat to this noble cause is the trivializing of the idea on social media.

Memes of amulet decorated vest labelled as Amotekun jumper.
Memes of leopard print bedspread labelled as Amotekun paraphernalia for protection.
Memes of a tribal hunter with assemblage of charms and amulets labelled as Amotekun paramilitary officer.

Funny as these memes are, they are disservices to the idea. They trivialize and dampen the seriousness of the cause.

A people’s resolve to take their own security needs as paramount is not a laughing matter. Neither is it a material for jokes. Ask the victims of the marauding herdsmen. It’s nothing to laugh about.

We sure play too much on social media.

Let’s get serious when necessary.

Michael Adeosun (c) 2019

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