Some stakeholders in social mobilisation have described music as a potent tool in tackling crime especially in violence prone areas as Zone II Command of the Nigeria Police demonstrated recently in Lagos with a concert.The stakeholders said this in a separate interviews across some South West states and Kwara, said the youth are passionate about musical messages directed at specific social issues concerning them.
The Ogun Command lauded the initiative of the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Zone II Command, SP Dolapo Badmus by organising a musical concert to highlight the evils of crime, saying it is an effective strategy of fighting crime among youths.
The PPRO of the command, Abimbola Oyeyemi,told NAN in Abeokuta that using the potency of music could be sustained by the Force to prevent crime in the state.
The musical concert organised by SP Dolapo Badmus of Zone II Command according to Oyeyemi was to dissuade youths from cultism, internet fraud and drug abuse, among other social vices.
Oyeyemi said that the police would continue to focus on the youth in its campaign against crime as most criminal activities are carried out or masterminded by them.
“Statistics have shown that 70 per cent of crimes are committed by the youth and so we will continue to beam our searchlight on them in order to check crimes generally in our society,” he said.Oyeyemi, who described the musical concert as being impactful, expressed optimism that it would be sustained in the zone and possibly replicated in other zones in the Force.
He said that the strategy had become necessary because many Nigerian youths look up to young musicians as their role models and adore the ways of life of these celebrities whom they religiously follow on twitter, facebook , instagram and other social media platforms.
“Our youths love the young and successful musicians and listen to their music.“When such people now meet with them in a concert and explain to them that crime does not pay in a manner that they are comfortable with, then they listen to them more and the message sinks in better.
“When other youths who have been successful and have become top celebrities through hard work preach to them, then they will realise that they do not need to toe the path of crime to rise to stardom,” he said.
The PPRO said that the police would sustain the strategy by continuously organising Musical Talent-Hunt among the youths with attractive prizes and sponsorship opportunities.
He noted that such programmes would also help some of the youths to actualise the potential in them and pursue a responsible life that would make them contribute meaningfully toward the development of the country.The PPRO said that the police had continued to collaborate with other stakeholders including actors and actresses in the Nollywood to reach out to the youth in the world of crime.
He explained that the police had continued to allow the artistes to use their formations in shooting films, particularly the ones that teach high morals and promote peace and progress as well as other societal norms
Oyeyemi added that the police have also partnered with school authorities and have continued to take the campaign against crime to primary and secondary schools as well as to tertiary institutions in the country.
ASP Olugbemiga Adejin, the Police Public Relation Officer of Zone XI, Osogbo, also described the music concert as “a laudable initiative”.
Adejin, who said the musical concert under reference was aimed at combating crime among the youth through entertainment, drew the attention of youths who always wanted to see their favourite artistes entertaining them on stage.The PPRO said the concert in a way had assisted the Zone II command in sensitising the youth on the evils inherent in crimes.Adejin said the zonal command had used different programmes to prevent crime among the youths in its own jurisdiction including visitation to places of worship to speak to the youth so that they stay away from criminal activities
Also speaking, DSP Folashade Odoro, the Osun Police Public Relations Officer, said that entertainment remains a veritable tool in sensitising youths to evils inherent crime.Odoro recalled her command’s effort at organizing similar musical concerts in recent times,saying Badmus’ initiative was a well thought out programme for the youths in the zone II.She said that the command had also been organising music concerts to sensitise youths against crime in the state.
According to Odoro , the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fimihan Adeoye, in December 2017, organised an end of the year party and music concert for the youths and parents in the state.She said the purpose of the party was to sensitise youths to stay off crimes.Odoro said that at various time, artistes like Korede Bello, Sean Sax, Olu Tera and Ola Oye among others had been invited for music concert on the state.
She said that the concert afforded the command the opportunity to speak and interact with youths on their challenges and the way out.Odoro said the command also have other avenues in reaching out to the youths on the negative impact of crime on the youths.Mr Oreoluwa Ayanda, a music instructor, said music could definitely play a significant role in determining right or wrong, adding that the musical concert organised by Zone II police command for youths was a welcome development.
Ayanda said since music has the potential to change a mood, using concerts in sensitising youths against crime would have a profound impact on their memory.“ The fact is that, the more intentional we become with the sounds, messages, and moods we create and release through music, the more powerful we will become in making deep positive impacts.
As an entertainer, we have the mandate and authority to change the world around us because of the influence we carry and that truly make music something worth dedicating a life to.And that is why I want to commend SP Badmus for taking up the instrument of music in sensitising youths against crime as it will no doubt go a long way in checking the menace,’’ Ayanda said.
Contributing, Dr Olaoluwa Senayon, a lecturer at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, believes music plays a major role not only in entertainment but as well as in education. Senayon, who is also the Coordinator, Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the university, said musicians play a major role in educating the young and the old by engaging in expression of morality.
The expert said music also “ helps speak truth to power’’ to enable leaders lay good examples that the youths would learn from.“For instance, Fela Anikulapo’s activism throughout his life time was geared toward fighting criminality in government and corrupt politicians.
“ Fela’s music not only fights crime among the youths but as well fights corruption in government and exposed corruption among the people in authority,’’ he said. Senayon said that music could also discourage the youths from illegal migration in search of greener pasture.
“The youths are always eager to travel out of Nigeria having no idea of what they are travelling out to do apart from the thinking that there is greener pasture out there and eventually end up becoming criminals.
“The music of Adekunle Gold in his latest track titled “IREN BEN-ILE’’“ meaning “ so much fortune back home’’ educate the youths about various opportunities in Nigeria and discourage them from illegal migration,’’ Senayon said.
The don said that it would be a welcome development if the police authority could fight crime through the power of music and change their orientation by adopting a radical approach in policing Nigeria.
He said Nigerian musicians had proven to be creative and innovative, adding that a number of them would be ready to collaborate with the police in fighting crime through the music.
Senayon said when music is taken from the perspective of morality it would go a long way in assisting the police in fighting crime in the society.
“ I will urge the police to partner with talented musicians who can use their music to impact positively on the society,’’ he said.Mr Femi Joseph, the PPRO of Ondo State Command, also applauded the concept of using musical concert to combat crime among the youths.
Joseph, who expressed his personal opinion on the issue in Akure, said the Zone II command should be commended for the initiative.The PPRO said that such music concert would go a long way in curbing the high rate of crime in the society
“I may not be able to speak authoritatively on this issue, since the concept was organised by Zone II Command, but nobody can deny the fact that musical lyrics can change the life of people, especially if the musician is popular and he is using his music to preach good morals.
“Such a musician can preach against drug addiction, fraud or cultism, and there is every tendency for him to impact on the youth positively since they are the ones who listen to music oftentimes.
“For me personally, it was a job well done and a well thought idea from the organisers,” he said.
According to Joseph, if artistes are invited to come and speak to people through their music, especially our youths, there is a tendency for them to listen.
“You know that youths love music a lot, so anywhere they hear music being played, their hearts are always there.
“So, there is tendency for them to listen to what the artistes are saying against a particular crime and the message will sink into their heart,” he added.
Also commenting, Chief Bisi Adeyemi, a community leader in Omu-Aran, Kwara, described musical concert as “a powerful tool” that could bring about the desired transformation, if genuinely harnessed.
Adeyemi, who is the Akeweje of Omu-Aran particularly commended the Zone II Command of the Nigeria Police for exploring the use of music as a formidable tool to sensitise the youth to evils inherent in crimes.
“The same thing was introduced by the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in the area of grassroots sports development.
“This is a development whereby musical rendition is included in grassroots sporting events in both primary and secondary schools across the country.
“This initiative, no doubt, has become the magic wand that has continued to attract younger ones to actively partake in sporting activities, especially at the grassroots,” Adeyemi added.
He emphasised the need for government and other stakeholders to channel resources to distract the youths away from crime and criminality.
“Parents, teachers, government alone cannot shoulder this enormous responsibility.
“Every channel or avenue must be explored to curb youth’s involvement in any act that is detrimental to our national survival,” he said.
Mr Olusegun Ajinoye, a social critic, described the use of musical concert to fight crime as highly commendable and worthy of emulation.“As a veritable organ in crime fighting and prevention, the ZoneII command, to me has blazed the trail with such musical concert initiative.
“Such musical concert should also be extended to schools and colleges, especially tertiary institutions.
“Candidly, it could be a sustainable measure to address and sensitise the students on dangers of engaging in armed robbery, cultism and other illicit acts,” he said.
On her part, a parent, Mrs Abimbola Adebayo, urged musicians to always use their works to preach love, tolerance, good morals and uprightness in the society.
She expressed dismay at some musical lyrics which are aimed at promoting negative manners and immoral acts for the purpose of making money.
“It is one thing to organise a musical concert purposely to sensitise the youths, it is another thing for the lyrics and rhythms to be in tune with the realities on the ground.
“The contents in music played in such concerts should be devoid of promoting gangsterism, violence, immoral acts and nudity, ” she advised.
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