African Traditional Method of Social Control Mechanism: A Sociological Review of Native Charms in Farm Security in Ayetoro Community, Ogun State, Nigeria
The persistent rise in farm theft in rural region of Nigeria is attributed to the lack of adequate and effective policing in the regions; thus, this brought about the inevitable introduction of native charms on farmlands as a means of fortification of harvests against theft in Ayetoro community. The use of charm by farmers as security on farmlands is a traditional crime control mechanism that is largely based on unwritten laws which greatly influenced the lives of people, and their attitudes toward the society. This research presents a qualitative sociological study on how native charms are deployed by farmers for protection against theft. The study investigated the various types of charms that are employed as security measures among farmers in Ayetoro community and the rationale behind the use of these mechanisms as farm security. The study utilized qualitative method to gather data in the research process. Under the qualitative method, in-depth interview method was adopted to generate a robust and detailed data from the respondents. Also the data generated were analysed qualitatively using thematic content analysis and simple description which was preceded by transcription of data from the recorder. It was revealed that amidst numerous charms known, two major charms are used on farmlands as a measure of social control in Ayetoro community, Ogun state South West Nigeria. Furthermore, the result of this study showed that, the desire for safekeeping of harvest from pilferers and the heavy punishments dispense on offenders by native charms are the reasons why farmers deploy charms on their farms. In addition, findings revealed that the adoption of these charms for protection has improved yields among farmers in the community because the safety of harvest has been made possible by virtue of the presence of various charms in the farm lands. Therefore, based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that such measures should be recognized in mainstream social control mechanisms in the fight against crime in Nigeria and the rest of the world. Lastly, native charms could be installed in all social and cooperate organisation and position of authority to prevent theft of valuables and things hold with utmost importance.