International human rights group, Amnesty International, has been given seven days to leave Nigeria for peddling fake news which almost plunged the country into anarchy during and after the EndSARS protests.
The Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights (CALSER) gave this ultimatum at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Executive Director, Princess Ajibola said Amnesty amplified the claim that 78 persons were killed at Lekki toll gate even without any tangible proof.
According to Ajibola, the consequence was an arson which paralyzed Nigeria’s economy with many businesses destroyed and dozens of policemen killed.
Worse still, Ajibola lamented that Amnesty has continued on this path, hampering the rehabilitation efforts of the government.
The centre, however, noted that the human rights group must depart the country before the nation can begin to rebuild.
CALSER, therefore, handed AI a seven-day ultimatum to leave, cautioning that failure do so will attract civil disobedience at its offices in Abuja and Lagos.
It further warned that “Amnesty International’s offices and those of all its affiliated organizations and known supporters in Nigeria will be set upon the same way that its agents destroyed critical assets in the country. Its staffers will be treated the same way that innocent policemen lynched by mobs were treated”.
Read the full statement below:
Gentlemen and ladies of the press, the Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights (CALSER) welcome you to this press briefing, one of our interventions since the start of the #EndSARS protests that have now been hijacked, repurposed and deployed as a destructive force by individuals and organizations that do not mean well for Nigeria.
By way of a quick clarification, CALSER is not opposed to genuine, legitimate and orderly protests against the incidence of brutality and human rights abuses irrespective of who or what the offending entity is. Our members had taken part in the peaceful protests to demand a cessation to arbitrary profiling and abuse of individuals by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), whose operatives harassed Nigerians without end.
We were surprised but gladdened when the Federal Government accepted the original five demands without the expected stonewalling or delay tactics. We had hoped that the 5for5 would open the way for the government to implement the first round of reforms after which Nigerians would have again delivered the demand for more reforms, not just in the Nigeria Police Force but in other spheres of the national life, all of which are indeed in need of rejigging.
Our shock was consequently profound when infiltrators took over the protests, raise the demands to seven, 12, 20 and eventually 23 before they drafter thugs in to attack those of us that originally began the agitation. We were shocked even further when celebrities and paid activists not only became prominent in the protests but also used their standing as persons with a large following on the social media to incite people to violence.
Things degenerated quickly after that. From protests that initially focused on relevant locations like key government offices of interests like the police headquarters, we got to a point where protesters were railroaded into obstructing shared infrastructure like major roads that threw other Nigerians into hardship. Even people with life-threatening hospital emergencies were unable to commute to access healthcare. We are still trying to verify how many people died from these irresponsible tactics.
We still feel scammed that protesters unwittingly ended up as human pawns. As part of the protests movement, we have reviewed the video footages shared by colleagues at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos state. The incident at that location Tuesday, October 20, 2020, opened our eyes to the reality that we were manipulated to joining with people who would have willingly shot us or any other group that has joined the protest just so they can have corpses to display. Thankfully, things did not get to that stage before we found out that we had been in bed with the enemy.
Yes, soldiers shot into the air at Lekki Toll Gate. But, no, we did not witness any massacre neither did we see any, not one, of the 78 people that the protesters used social media to mislead the world into believing were killed. The vehemence with which falsehood was peddled about the so-called massacre is what alarmed us that our members or any other Nigerians present at that protest location might have been killed if those behind the fake news of Lekki massacre had the slightest inkling that they would come under scrutiny and their misleading claims subjected to fact-checking.
We had engaged in a lot of introspection in our attempt to understand why protesters, who claim to be interested in a new and better Nigeria, will resort to launching a coordinated attack of fake news on their own country. The only reassurance we gave ourself is the knowledge that these people will live in chaotic Nigeria they were trying to create since they will live with the consequences of the lawlessness they tried to create.
We do not, however, find such logic in why Amnesty International, an international NGO, with a serial history of weaponizing fake news and publishing jaundiced reports about Nigeria, will deploy disproportionate resources to undermining the integrity of Nigeria even at such a trying time. The protesters might have made the misleading claim of a massacre at Lekki Toll Gate and the lie that 78 people were killed, but it took Amnesty International’s amplification of that lie for the international community and supra-national organizations to wrongly accuse and condemn Nigeria and its government.
Shockingly, this credibility challenged organization has continued to amplify the fake news it earlier published. We have seen Amnesty International’s operatives running the circuit in media houses to continue advancing the claim that there was a massacre. Yet, when Amnesty International Nigerian chief representative, Osai Ojigho was asked on Arise TV by the anchor, Charles Aniagolu, what the NGO’s evidence was she failed to provide a single shred of evidence. She was asked for evidence that any person had been shot by the Nigerian army at Lekki Toll Gate, and she spectacular failed to substantiate the claims she and her organization are still making without proof today:
Charles asked her, ”Do you have any bodies?” Silence. ”Did you SEE any bodies of any dead victims?” Silence. ”Do you have any names of people that were killed, even ONE name?” Silence. ”Have you been contacted by even ONE family that claimed they lost a loved one?” Silence. Ojigho then began saying ”oh well, the army has a history of shooting people and then taking away their bodies and hiding them etc”, to which Charles Aniagolu retorted, ”Sorry madam, but THAT is NOT evidence of anything. Can you come back to us when you have REAL evidence of an atrocity committed by the Nigerian army at Lekki?”
We have waited for several days and Amnesty International has not gone back to Arise TV and Charles Aniagolu with evidence that the Army killed anyone. It has instead ramped up its fake news and has further undermined security in Nigeria in addition to the wave of arson and looting that its lies against the Nigerian authorities had triggered. That wave of arson threatened the Nigerian economy. The mob that was incensed on account of Amnesty International’s lies killed dozens of policemen in different cities of the country.
This tradition of lying is not new to Amnesty International. In 2015 it issued a fictitious report, in which it faked interviews and witnesses to taint the Nigerian Army. Like its outing on Arise TV, it has not been able to substantiate any of the lies it told in the past. So it is out now trying to destabilize Nigeria with the same strategy that failed in t
Even the measure of peace and stability that returned is now under threat as the international NGO is doing its best to escalate its incitement and again fill the streets of Nigeria by people that have been made angry by fake news that was developed and unleashed by Amnesty International.
When we joined other Nigerians to protest against police brutality, we intended to demand a better country for ourselves, but not to begin killing policemen who are our fellow citizens. Our intention was not to destroy key institutions of our country like the Army, which is precisely what Amnesty International is attempting to achieve through the promotion of fake news.
Its refusal to desist from peddling these lies attests to its having a motive that is known only to those that gave it the assignment to compromise Nigeria and those working with it to achieve this evil agenda. It is a realization we cannot live with as patriotic citizens.
We want our dear country to begin rebuilding everything that has been destroyed in those days of violent protests when people could not filter truth from falsehood simply because they wrongly believed Amnesty International without realizing its larger agenda of destabilizing our country.
For Nigeria to rebuild, Amnesty International must be out of the way. CALSER, therefore, gives Amnesty International a seven-day ultimatum to leave Nigeria. The NGO’s failure to leave Nigeria will attract civil disobedience at its offices in Abuja and Lagos on a scale that will make the campaign of looting and arson it facilitated appear like child’s play. Amnesty International’s offices and those of all its affiliated organizations and known supporters in Nigeria will be set upon the same way that its agents destroyed critical assets in the country. Its staffers will be treated the same way that innocent policemen lynched by mobs were treated.
The countdown for the seven-day ultimatum has begun.
Bandits Lay Siege To Armed Forces Command And Staff College, Jaji
Some criminals, suspected to be bandits, are currently laying siege around the premises of Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) located in Jaji, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Their mission, according to some locals in the community who spoke to our correspondent during a telephone conversation, was to abduct some staff of the college and the communities around the area.
This is coming in less than two months after bandits stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Mando, also in Kaduna and kidnapped no fewer than 39 students.
AFCSC is a training facility for the Nigerian Armed Forces, including the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Navy.
A resident of the area, who simply identified himself as Adamu, told Daily Trust via telephone that the bandits have always surrounded the institution while terrorising the communities around the college.
“It is only Allah that has been saving us. They (bandits) have always rustled cows in our communities. Military operatives do engage them in gun battle anytime they come around, that is why we don’t have major casualties yet,” Adamu said.
The Commandant of the college, Air Marshal Olayinka Alade, confirmed this on Wednesday in Abuja when he visited the Army Headquarters to brief Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim, on the development and other issues in the institution.
Alade said the institution has decided to launch impromptu searching and clearance operations in some communities where the bandits are operating around the college having informed General Officer Commanding 1 Division.
“There are some communities around the school that have developed and because it is like part of the college, maybe they are hiding under that cover, so some bandits are there. Because of that, there is collaboration with other institution’s heads in the college. Constantly, we try to conduct an impromptu searching. We conduct search and patrol from time to time.
“What we discovered now is that, not too far ahead, some communities… it is like all these bandits have made all that place their aim, so I discussed with GOC 1 Div. From time to time, we need to carry out clearance operations,” the AFCSC Commandant said.
The Commandant further disclosed that the bandits rustled some cows behind the college on Tuesday, April 13 – a development that led to gun duel between them and the military operatives.
He, however, did not disclose whether there was any casualty, noting that he came to brief the COAS so as not to be surprised if he hears anything subsequently.
According to him, “In fact, yesterday (Tuesday), I was told that some bandits came to come and rustle some cows just behind us. There was an exercise that was carried out by the NACI. They actually encountered these bandits, they had to exchange fire during the exercise.
“Those are the things we’re trying to ensure that we are not surprised if they have come that close, then, we need to sit tight and ensure we clear that place.”
$1bn Arms Procurement: Clear Your Name Now, Coalition Charges Defence Minister
The Coalition for Truth and Justice (CTJ) has called on the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magashi, to clear his name from the controversial purchase of security equipment.
The group noted that Magashi must explain how his ministry expended the $1billion approved by the Federal Government in April 2018.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, national coordinator, Timothy Charles, described the minister’s silence as “unholy” and an “embarrassment” to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Charles said the group is alarmed that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim is carrying out acts to shield the minister.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice, therefore, advised the COAS to be bold enough to stand by the truth instead of being clever by half and attempting to insult the sensibilities of Nigerians.
The group also urged all well-meaning Nigerians to demand that the minister comes out clear by providing facts and details on arms procurement under his watch.
While absorbing the former service chiefs of any involvement, the Coalition for Truth and Justice added that Magashi must come clean for Nigerians to take the FG more seriously in its quest to address the security challenges in the country.
Read the full statement below:
The Coalition for Truth and Justice, a non-governmental organization in Nigeria dedicated to the entrenchment of transparency and accountability in governance in Nigeria, welcomes you all to this important press conference that is intended to address some of the pertinent issues that have surrounded the $1 billion released for the purchase of arms in the prosecution of the war against terrorism and other acts of criminalities across the country.
We must agree that these issues are of great importance to the well-being of the country at large, given the country’s security challenges in recent times as well as the government’s efforts in addressing these challenges.
It is common knowledge that the Muhammadu Buhari administration had in April 2018 approved the release of $1 billion to Nigerian Defence authorities for the purchase of security equipment to fight insecurity in the country under the purview of the Ministry of Defence.
Thus, it is pertinent to state that since the coming of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, arms purchases have been domiciled with the Ministry of Defence and not individual services as erroneously projected in the public space.
It is also succinct to state that the Honorable Minister of Defence, who is in charge of the Ministry of Defence, should provide answers to questions surrounding arms purchase in the country. It is thus despicable that there has been some well-orchestrated attempt by some vested interest to divert attention from the Minister of Defence.
We are constrained to add that the statement credited to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, during his appearance before the House of Representatives is diversionary and an indication that he is carrying out the whims and caprices of the Honorable Minister of Defence.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice views the recent happenings as a sad development in the sense that as a high ranking officer of the Nigerian Army and one who is conversant with the operational procedures in the Nigerian Military would elect to feign ignorance to an issue as sensitive as arms purchase in the prosecution of the war against terrorism in the country.
We are aware that the Ministry of Defence is responsible for arms purchases and the unholy silence of the Honorable Minister of Defence in this regard leaves many questions unanswered. This is also an embarrassment of unimaginable proportion to the Muhammadu Buhari administration that the Honourable Minister of Defence cannot articulate a response to the questions surrounding the monies meant for arms purchase.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice uses this medium to call on the Honorable Minister to come out clear by providing the much-needed information surrounding the $1billion released to purchase arms.
If this is not the case, we then wonder why the Honorable Minister of Defence has elected to play to the gallery in a case as sensitive as this. More alarming is that the Chief of Army Staff has been carrying out acts that aim to shield the Honorable Minister of Defence.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice frowns at such display and wishes to advise the Chief of Army Staff to be bold enough to stand by the truth instead of being clever by half and attempting to insult the sensibilities of Nigerians.
We are constrained to add that if the Chief of Army Staff who has barely spent months in office would not be bold enough to call a spade a spade, we are afraid that his ability to lead the prestigious Nigerian Army is indeed questionable.
It is also curious that the Chief of Army Staff could ask that the past service chief be invited to answer questions on arms procurement during their tenures. This is indeed an anomaly that all well-meaning Nigerians must resist.
This also goes to the Honorable Minister of Defence, who, by his actions, has displayed that he does not have a grasp of the operational strategies of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
It is our considered opinion that the Honorable Minister of Defence must, as a matter of necessity and urgency, provide the general public details on how the $1billion was expended under his watch in the spirit of transparency and accountability.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to demand that the Honorable Minister of Defence come out clear by providing facts and details on arms procurement under his watch.
Therefore, it would be inexcusable for the Honorable Minister of Defence to continue to shy away from his responsibilities by pushing a distractive narrative in the public space. And not until this is done, the government’s seriousness in the prosecution of the war against terrorism would always be called to question.
The general public must also be aware that the former service chiefs were never involved in arms procurement and must do good to ignore the well-orchestrated campaign in this regard. Consequently, the Honorable Minister of Defence must come out to clear the air if we are indeed serious in addressing the security challenges in the country.
This is the position of the Coalition for Truth and Justice as critical stakeholders in the entrenchment of transparency and accountability in governance in Nigeria.
We thank you for your time and charge all present to take this message to their various constituencies.
God bless Nigeria.
God bless the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
UK Group Task Ibomites to Support Their Leaders
The people of Akwa-Ibom state have been urged to celebrate their own rather than castigating leaders who have sacrificed for the development of their region.
The president General, Global Peace Movement International UK, Dr. Mike Uyi made this declaration in a statement on Thursday in London.
According to him, the people of Akwa-Ibom should see themselves as a region in Nigeria that are lucky to have a leader like the former governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio now minister of Niger Delta.
He said, “People of Akwa-Ibom state should learn to celebrate what they have. For any reason whatsoever, Sen. Godswill Akpabio is a palm tree, an iroko which is known by every native and international farmer”.
“Akpabio is tested and trusted. As commissioner, Governor, Senator, now a minister of Niger Delta, he performed excellently and still have outstanding performance among his minister counterparts. So, why attack him?”.
Uyi said assessing Akpabio’s political journey so far, one will not be wrong to call Akpabio a successful politician because of his antecedents.
“If not for anything else, he puts Akwa-Ibom state in the Guinness book of record. The state or region is currently enjoying what Akpabio left on the ground”.
“Global Peace Movement International UK is saying clearly that the future of Nigeria is in Akwa-Ibom”.
Dr. Uyi said Akpabio’s progressive portfolio has added a label (GSM) to his personality. The label GSM stands for: Governor (G), Senator (S) and Minister (M).
“His starling performance can not be compared to any in the history of democracy in Nigeria and in Akwa-Ibom state since the creation of the state”.
Uyi further stated that Akpabio has long transcended state or regional barriers. “His sole motivation has been raising the standards of living of Nigerians, promoting the good image of the country and empowering ordinary citizens of Nigeria to not only pursue their dreams but more importantly in providing them with the means to achieve these dreams”.
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