By Goodluck Ejiro
Worthy experiences are not only sourced from individuals. Nations of the world also provide veritable platforms which serve as rich fonts of great lessons which spur positive actions in reshaping the destinies of other nations. Even a heart infinitely prone to arcane impassiveness to issues would not escape notice of the glowing trend of negative perceptions of Amnesty International (AI) around the world.
The suspect roles played in recent times by the so -called international human rights watchdogs, AI in the guise of protecting human rights of citizens of nations which have welcomed their operations is becoming a source of great concern.
A world in the throes of terrorism is increasingly discomfited by the posturing of AI as veiled agents, sympathizers’ and covert mobilisers of internal or migrant terrorists in countries they have registered presence. An unsuspecting Nigeria is now inescapably confronted with glaring espionage and terrorism agenda of AI or, an AI that is prodded by external forces to work against the interests of a peaceful and unified Nigeria.
Recounting Nigeria’s years of gory experiences with the multiple terror sects operating in the country is repeating the obvious. But Nigeria had for years contended with terrors sects such as the Iranian- sponsored extremists called IMN, Boko Haram terrorists; the aggressively murderous terror gangs in the guise of Biafran agitators and the cruelly criminal militancy in Niger Delta.
The country has battled armed banditry and cattle rustling in the Northwest; ethno-religious cleansing in parts of the North, especially Kaduna; the Republic of Iran- funded Shiites Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and violent clashes between herders and farmers, particularly in North Central Nigeria. These are the layers of acts of terrorism which have descended and feasted on Nigeria. It is shocking why the country has not yet broken into pieces of unquenchable conflagrations.
But in all these instances, AI neither sights anything wrong with the acts of terrorists nor is it ever concerned with the fate of Nigerians and the majority subjected to terrifying levels of human rights abuses by these terror gangs. At all times, any report released by AI on the state of human rights in Nigeria like the latest in 2017, yawningly indicts the Nigerian military and other security apparatuses as well as the Federal Government over apparently fictional and unsubstantiated accusations of human rights violations. They paint a portrait of gloom where none exists and posture as if they head the executive, legislature and judicial arms of government in Nigeria.
AI sits in cozy offices in Abuja and churn out all manner of reports alleging human rights abuses in Nigeria. The most painful aspect of the damnable verdicts they pass is their overt helplessness in defending such reports on a neutral platform. However, overtime, when AI releases such falsified reports, the country either experiences a resurrection of repressed acts of terrorism or an upsurge in subsisting acts of terror unprecedentedly.
Scores of high-profile Nigerians, leaders and civil society organizations have consistently frowned at the obviously dishonorable conduct of the AI. About three months ago, AI’s Abuja country office was besieged by protesters who insisted the Nigerian government expel the corrupted international human rights watchdogs. But President Muhammadu Buhari never gave it a thought.
Today, AI’s gang-up with terrorists sects in the country has gone beyond pretensions. The organization is so obsessed with its sponsored role to assist terror sects destabilize and destroy Nigeria to the extent it has resorted to guess work in its resolve and determination to taint the image of Nigeria on human rights violations; but embolden terrorists with the feeling of protection.
AI’s shameful and despicable outing at the 2017 “International Day of the Disappeared” in Abuja amplified their intention to keep Nigeria perpetually on the boil by ennobling criminal dissidents and terrorists to take control of Nigeria. It guessed almost every aspect of the submissions at the ceremony and passed it as its official position.
Again, it lashed out at the Nigerian military for allegedly violating the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. AI also took a swipe at the FGN for failure to act, as it ordered the Nigerian government into action; arrogantly prescribing remedies, including compensation of victims for the perceived wrongs. The international human rights agency mouthed everything, but could justify nothing.
The extent Nigeria has tolerated the excesses of AI is beyond comfort. AI has exposed its rotten underbelly and Nigeria has to stand to erect defend its sovereignty from its fangs. Time has come for Nigeria to desist from playing the “good nation” because the fate of millions of Nigerians is threatened by AI.
Several examples are abound around the world where countries which failed to appropriately dissect and act on the evil agenda of AI timely suffered irrecoverable damages. These countries discovered belatedly that AI inspired toppling of the government and served as catalysts in the sustenance of acts of terrorism and consciously inspired the network of terrorism clients to torment such countries.
Nigeria is not bigger than Russia. Yet, Russian authorities shut down the office of AI in Moscow. It practically vandalized it and deactivated all electronic gadgets over claims of AI’s rent indebtedness. And the notice pasted on the building which AI rented from Moscow’s City Government sternly warned against any attempt to enter the building without a Russian official, as the notice on the wall read it is the “property of a city of the Russian Federation.”
AI’s proof it had no rent debt burden was not sufficient to compel a re-opening of the office and no one should think the AI office was sealed by mistake. AI had issues with the Russian Government over its operations in the country, which appeared to compromise internal security, as its operations in Nigeria have indicated.
Morocco, an African nation also had running issues with the operations of AI in that country for several years since 1990. It peaked with the expulsion from Morocco of AI’s two experts, John Dalhuisen, Director for Europe and Central Asia and, Irem Arf, Refugee and Migrant Rights Researcher. They were hurled into flights bound for London and Paris.
But it is instructive to understand that from 1999 to 1993, Morocco restricted AI’s visit to it. And in September 2014 the Moroccan government banned an Amnesty International youth camp, and AI acted suspiciously by voluntarily cancelling a scheduled visit of its fact-finding delegation to Morocco, when the country reeled out conditions under which it would undertake the assignment.
But the expulsion mail to John Dalhuisen provided an official insight into his forced eviction and by implication AI, as it read ‘a threat to public order.’ He was thereafter accorded persona non grata in Morocco. Further inquest into the plight of AI in Morocco indicated that the government was piqued with its “Stop Torture Campaign,” of 2014 which exposed Morocco’s unabated use of torture. Plausible as it sounded, Morocco considered AI a threat to public order and acted accordingly.
But no international exposure of AI that draws suspicious of its affiliation with terrorism than what happened in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey. The country’s court ordered the arrest of AI’s chairman Taner Kilic, with five other Attorneys in Turkey, over charges of affinity with a terror organization.
Kilic was accused of using the ByLock device, an encrypted mobile messaging App allegedly also utilized by the network of adherents of the American -based cleric Fethullah Gulen. The application had been on Kilic’s phone since August 2014. But he denied ever downloading or putting the device to use.
Turkey had earlier pointed accusing fingers at Gulen as the mastermind of coup in that country and leading a terrorist’s sect. But Gulen profusely refuted it. Of course, no one expected the duo to plead guilty to the allegations anyway. And AI responded by claiming there was no substantiated evidence; yet is the same organization that bandies up falsehood on human rights violations against nations of the world without supporting evidence like in the case of Nigeria.
These experiences are enough to prod Nigeria into action. Countries that have taken such proactive measures to defend their sovereignty and protect their citizens against looming mass crisis and genocide arising from AI’s instigation and support of terrorists’ sects are also member-states of the United Nations (UN). These countries are also signatories to the human rights conventions AI accuses them of violating, just like they partially and wrongly accuse Nigeria, in protecting their terrorists’ clients and dampen the morale and resolve of the military to battle terrorism.
It is not sound logic for Nigeria to keep running to foreign nations for assistance to battle terrorism; while it retains and sustains individuals and international undercover organizations’ which actively deploy their energies for the festering of terrorism in the country. Peace may continue to elude Nigeria and her peoples unless Amnesty International which has certified itself as the patron cum godfather of all terrorists sects or incendiary dissident elements in the country is expelled.
The Federal Government of Nigeria under President Buhari cannot afford to keep glossing over this sensitive security matter or sustain its indifference to the disguised atrocities of AI . And this is a wake-up call to all civil society organizations’; activists, students groups, youth groups, the religious, traditional leaders; political leaders; public- spirited individuals and Nigerians generally to rise to save Nigeria from the satanic and destructive grip of AI now.
And the message is simple and clear; AI must be expelled from Nigeria for the peace and unity of the over 180 million Nigerians on the danger line from its atrocious operations in the country. They must leave for Nigeria to finally salvage itself from terrorism. Nigeria’s expulsion of AI would neither by abnormal or awkward decision because more influential countries in the world which could no longer bear AI’s evil agenda expelled them, but the world did not cease to function.
Ejiro is a forensic psychologist at the Centre for Peace and Strategy, Lagos.