Maiwada Dammallam

To say that Amnesty International is desecrating the sovereignty of Nigeria is an understatement. The penchant of the overbearing, self-appointed global human rights watchdog to stand logic on its head each time it has issues with Nigeria is so glaring. The motive of its evangelism of freedom and human rights is lost in its glaring partisanship and lack of balance in its reportage on Nigeria. Even more glaring is Amnesty International’s over reliance on unreliable and unverifiable social media snippets to build serious opinions on matters that could endanger the existence many 3rd world countries in their moments of challenges in total negation of the seemingly credible aims and objectives it built its global reputation on. In other words, AI has lost its credibility.

To volatile countries like Nigeria, AI is more a problematic and subversive organization than a partner in progress. AI was reported by Channels News and other news platforms to have raised the bar from falsely accusing the Nigerian military of attacking the #EndSARS protesters in the Lekki epicenter of the protests to insisting the government must identify and punish the “killers” thereby, summarily convicting the Nigerian military of an unproven crime that’s only a figment of its imagination. If anything, this should put to question AI’s reputation as a watchdog or an unbiased arbiter.

It’s disingenuous and self-indicting that, despite numerous contrary attestations by credible stakeholders like Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, AI is still insisting protesters were attacked and killed. By virtue of his office as the Chief law officer of Lagos State and one on whose table the buck ends, Sanwo-Olu, more than anybody, should know the finest details of the protests stories and would certainly know if as little as a rat was killed. Yet, AI chose to ignore his zero killings report after the Governor’s effort of going round hospitals and mortuaries in Lagos to confirm the social media allegations of the killings but couldn’t locate any victim of the Lekki attack. Even more questionable, AI chose to neglect this vital verdict in favor of social media snippets it picked some from outside the country.

No wonder AI refused to also consider the verdicts of local NGOs that debunked the killings. Its stance only exposed its questionable motives when it refused to acknowledge, much less, consider the numerous social media disclaimer by many ‘dead victims’ of the so called attack who took to Twitter and Facebook to protest their ‘deaths’ and confirm they are hail, hearty and not involved in anything close to what AI is propagating across the globe against Nigeria. So AI picks and chooses its information sources and believes only what it wants to believe.

AI’s relentless efforts to paint the Nigerian military black in recent years cannot be overemphasized even by most pessimistic of minds. Only few years ago Amnesty International spuriously accused the Nigerian Army of killing about 5000 in Maiduguri in the army’s battle against the terrible Boko Haram insurgents. One could only imagine how 5000 dead bodies or their burials could be concealed even in a full blown war situation. In any case, Boko Haram insurgents are not exactly the idiots fainted by AI else, they couldn’t have sustained their campaign of fear and wanton destruction of lives in the West African sub-region.

It’s a known fact they operate in small units thereby making it impossible for 5000 of its members to be killed even in a military campaign with a success rate of 500 per outing. And it’s dumber to assume the military could have as many as 5000 of Boko Haram members in its custody to kill at will to achieve the phantom 5000 figure claimed by Amnesty International.

The truth is, AI is using strife situations like Nigeria to attempt to enhance its credibility as a global watchdog without the slightest regard to the internal security of its victim-nations. The military is our national symbol of unity and power and no logic will allow a Non Governmental Organization without any interest in our country’s wellbeing subject this symbol to ridicule and disrespect. Nigeria is a sovereign country whose national security must be protected using legitimate and globally accepted methods. No nation will allow dangerous tendencies like those exhibited by the #EndSARS protesters which led to the deaths of many innocent policemen who were mobbed and brutally murdered by one part of the protesters while the other part recorded the despicable events with their phones and upload same on the internet for the world to see. Didn’t you see those scenes Amnesty International?

This raises another question. Why is AI more concerned about the rights of the Lekki victims that exists only in its imagination at the expense of real victims of the protests caught on video being butchered by the protesters while the madness lasted? AI won’t claim not to notice the gory videos of law officers being chased and butchered like fowls by the protesters. Even with his despotic, brash and unconventional attitude to leadership, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State had to subdue his tendencies and commendably donated N20m to the families of each victim killed by the protesters. Was Wike kind to families of “ghost-victims?” Is AI not convinced about unlawful killings of policemen perpetrated by the protesters or is it just unconcerned about the rights of victims of the protesters where it is all over the global media fighting for the rights of the murderous protesters?

And if I may ask, did AI watches any of the Lekki videos that captured the protesters preparing their minds for the protests with assorted drugs, liquor, smokes and despicable nudity? Just how does AI expect security officials to respond to a clearly charged and uncontrollable community of marauders disguised as protesters? By singing lullabies to send them to sleep? For all its insistence about excessive use of power, the military didn’t make a Tiananmen Square out of Lekki toll gate even when the Lekki situation was more volatile. I’m sure the Chinese Army would have given AI a story long enough to outlive its existence as an NGO with a fraction of what happened in Lekki repeated in Tiananmen Square.

The truth is, the events of Lekki toll gate that went out of control and quickly spread across Nigeria were deliberately designed to go out of control and make Nigeria ungovernable to effectively embarrass President Buhari. Viral videos by advocates of the protests like Aysha Yesufu calling youth in the northern part of Nigeria to join the protests should now make sense given the manner a protest disguised as a genuine concern to do away with a unit of the Nigerian Police Force and to reform the entire NPF degenerated into a spree of looting warehouses and the despicable vandalization of public and private properties not to mention the senseless killings of innocent security officials on lawful beats.

More astounding, how does breaking of correctional centres and releasing convicted deadly criminals fit the protesters’ agenda of reforming the NPF? How does targeting and killing minorities on highways either fit the so called reformation agenda or pass AI unnoticed? Nigeria is a fertile ground for agents of mischief and the government need to do anything under its power to prevent foreign sponsored NGOs from destabilizing the country. By the way, why is AI not worried about subversive elements like Nnamdi Kanu who are relentlessly trying to set Nigeria on fire from outside Nigeria — right under the nose of AI?

It’s neither accidental nor coincidental that the protesters kept increasing their demands with each concession given them by the President. It was a ploy to provoke the government to unleash the army on the protesters with the hope of a Nigerian version of Tiananmen Square. What the authors of the anarchy didn’t consider is the professionalism of the reinvented Nigerian Army and its insistence to make accountability its watchword. Perhaps, AI, in the absence of a backup response, is only reading a pre-arranged script written long before the drama started hence, the obvious lapses contained therein.

Whatever, the need to identify and punish the subversive elements behind the events of the past few days cannot be overemphasized. It doesn’t matter if AI will assume the powers of the UN and the combined desperation of subversive elements of all political situations across the globe, this job should be done and done thoroughly no matter whose ox is going to be gored! Nigeria’s respectability and sovereignty is entirely rested on that.

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Danjuma Katsina, Dan Jarida, Manazarci, Marubuci, Mamallakin Jaridun KATSINA CITY NEWS, JARIDAR TASKAR LABARAI, THE LINKS NEWS, a karkashin Kamfanin MATASA MEDIA LINKS NIGERIAN LTD


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