The invasion of the United States’ Capitol by pro-Trump protesters has exposed the hypocrisy of Amnesty International, Femi Falana and others in the forefront of the EndSARS movement against the Nigerian military.
This was the submission of the March4Nigeria Movement in reaction to the violent attack of December 6 at the U.S Congress aimed to overturn the presidential election.
In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Richard Augustine Adie, on Thursday, the group wondered why AI, Falana, Omoyele Sowore, Aisha Yesufu and others have suddenly gone mute after troops were deployed to forestall law and order in the Capitol.
Adie recalled that these group had criticised the military for doing the same in Nigeria despite more wreckage, arson and killings.
According to Adie, the Capitol invasion shows that it isn’t unlawful for the government to deploy troops when the other agencies have been overwhelmed in a situation that requires urgent action.
The group, however, advised the activists and all the EndSARS protesters that the country will no “longer tolerate their madness as the government lives up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property”.
It also warned those who want to destabilise Nigeria that a tall task awaits as they will be met with “Citizens’ Soldiers” who will address their madness on the streets of Abuja without hesitation.
Read the full statement below:
The so called international human rights and civil rights groups and their leaders in Nigeria are not sincere.
During the Anti-SARS protests which rocked major cities and towns in Nigeria last October, these so called civil rights activists and groups frowned at the deployment of troops to quell the violent riots which had claimed the lives of innocent persons and some security agents.
To people like Lagos based lawyer, Femi Falana, online publisher, Omoyele Sowore, BBOG campaigner, Aisha Yesufu, Amnesty International and the rest, it did not matter that people were being killed and multi million dollar edifices and other facilities were being burned while economic activities were grounded.
The only evil they saw was when the government deployed troops to disperse the mob who have overpowered other security agents and restore normalcy.
Then, it was common to hear from the tribe of these activists, that in saner climes like the US and UK, the government would not send troops in such circumstances, but would have invited the rioters to negotiate ways of discontinuing the protests.
Falana even described the mobilization of troops to contain the excesses of the hooligans who had taken to the streets and were burning public property as illegal saying it is oppressive and despotic.
When the Nigerian army announced its plan to carry out operation “CROCODILE SMILE V1” from 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020, the civil rights groups misinterpreted the action and said it was targeted at the EndSARS protesters even when the army explained that it is a yearly exercise that is pre-planned regardless of what is going on in the country.
Said Falana, “The so- called Crocodile Smile VI exercise should be shelved as it cannot be justified under the Armed Forces Act.”
Amnesty International on it’s part says it has been investigating alleged rights violations by Nigerian forces and disapproved of the deployment of troops saying it would rather that the police be strengthened to handle such matters.
The Nigeria Centre for Liberty, led by one Ariyo Dare, also complained about the measures taken by the government to restore normalcy in Lagos.
But the hypocrisy of these activists have been exposed with the recent invasion of Capitol hill by supporters of President Donald Trump in part of an insurrection aimed at shutting down Congress as it formalized President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
The insurrection, just like the EndSARS protests led to several deaths including that of a Capitol Hill police officer, after the pro-Trump mob overwhelmed security lines at the Capitol.
As the hoodlums broke into the complex, the US Government immediately mobilised a quick-reaction force assembled by the Defense Department which moved against the rioters. The Force was stationed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and authorized for use by acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller.
It was also established that the Pentagon also approved the use of 154 members of the National Guard at the Capitol who were sworn in to work with Capitol Police.
The combined forces were able to arrest people suspected of involvement in the breach and through that, brought the situation under control. It has been reported that more arrests are expected as investigators scrutinize photographs, videos and social media posts to identify the protesters while the F.B.I. has received more than 40,000 tips, including photos and videos of suspects.
To forestall further breaches, the Pentagon is even moving ahead to review agents who will be a part of the security detail for the Jan. 20 inauguration to ensure security.
From these, the Nigerian activists should know that Nigerians have now realised that there’s nothing wrong for a government to take an action that would ensure the safety of citizens and prevent chaos.
Nigerians now know better how their government should handle any security threat and that what matters is the overall interest of the country.
They know what constitutes unpatriotic actd and that it is not unlawful for the government to deploy troops when the other agencies have been overwhelmed in a situation that requires urgent action.
In the past, the civilian government of President Shehu Shagari had deployed troops to quell the Maitatsine riot in Kano when the police were overwhelmed.
The deployment of troops in the US, serves as warning to people like Falana, Sowore and the rest who would rather the country goes up in flames.
These activists and all the endsARS protesters should note that Nigeria and Nigerians will no longer tolerate their madness as the government lives up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property.
Those who want to destabilize Nigeria will from now on have a tall task as they will be met with Citizens’ Soldiers who will address their madness on the streets of Abuja without hesitation.
Current Service Chiefs More Mentally Prepared To End Boko Haram Insurgency – Security Expert
The efforts of the Service Chiefs at ending insurgency in Nigeria have been commended by Philip Agbese, a Middlesex University London trained human rights lawyer and security expert.
Phillip Agbese who is also the President of the pan-Nigerian group, Nigeria First, spoke with select journalists on the sidelines of the occasion of the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebrations in Lagos. He stated that Nigeria has indeed made substantial progress in the prosecution of the war against insurgency in the country and contributed immensely to the global war against terrorism .
” The 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day is indeed a time to reflect on the sacrifices of our soldiers in preserving the territorial integrity of the country, and there is no doubt that the Boko Haram insurgency has indeed brought to bear the invaluable role of the Armed Forces in keeping Nigeria safe and secured for all. ”
He further added that Nigeria had made substantial progress with the present crop of Service Chiefs’ efforts in the country.
“The efforts of the present Service Chiefs have been outstanding so far, and this is largely responsible for the numerous gains that have been recorded in the prosecution of the war against insurgency in the country.”
“I would like to mention that the Nigerian Army, which is at the forefront of the war against the Boko Haram insurgency, has displayed a great commitment which must be acknowledged by all well-meaning Nigerians.”
The President, Nigeria First also noted that competence, character, credibility, and confidence remain the game-changer in the war against insurgency.
“We must admit that there was a time where the Boko Haram insurgents ran riot and took over local government areas in parts of North-East Nigeria. That was also a period where the leadership of the Armed Forces was at its lowest.”
“That there is a turnaround in the fortunes of the country is not by accident, but rather a function of sound leadership provided and the Nigerian Army comes to focus under Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai who led by example in addressing the threats posed by the Boko Haram insurgents.”
“Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai has no doubt redefined the rules of engagement through measures that emphasized competence, strength of character and confidence that indeed boosted the morale of the troops in the prosecution of the war against Boko Haram insurgency in the country.”
“As we all know, there is no Nigerian territory that is under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents, and we are all witness to the fact that the activities of the group have been restricted to the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region.”
When asked if there is a need to rejig the operational strategy towards ending the Boko Haram war in the country, he stated that current Service Chiefs are mentally prepared to end Boko Haram insurgency.
“For those of us in the security sector, we have followed with keen interest the operational strategies deployed by the Armed Forces and I dare say, it is top-notch and yielding the desired results. If this is not the case, I am sure the Boko Haram insurgents would have run over Nigeria going by the sophistication of their operations and the numerous external support they have been receiving locally and internationally.”
“This is a function of leadership. Like I mentioned earlier, the Chief of Army Staff has indeed distinguished himself in this regard. His strength of character is infectious, and the confidence with which the Nigerian troops display in battle is also worthy of commendation.
He further added that if the current tempo is sustained, the war against Boko Haram insurgency would be a thing of the past by December 2021.
“I am of the considered opinion that the mental preparedness of the present crop of Service Chiefs in leading the war against insurgency is excellent. We should do well to analyze issues objectively. And not until we do that we would still be carried away by the mischievous narrative and propaganda been peddled by associates of the Boko Haram insurgents under various nomenclatures in the country.”
“We must also have at the back of our minds that there are conspiracies against the efforts of the Armed Forces and despite this fact, successes have been recorded in ways too numerous to mention.”
He advised Nigerians to extend their support to the Service Chiefs’ efforts in the final push for the decimation of the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents.
“We all have a role to play. We cannot afford to continue to join the bandwagon of those mischief makers against the country’s interest. We must extend our support and see to the end of the Boko Haram insurgents in the country. As for the Service Chiefs’ mental preparedness, I say that they are more than prepared in this regard and the end of Boko Haram Insurgency might be in sight. This is what Nigeria needs at this critical point of our existence.”
It would be recalled that in some quarters they have been widespread criticism of the commitment and efforts of the Service Chief towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
Armed Forces Remembrance Day: Pigeons Released By Buhari Refuse To Fly
The doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by the President thereby sparking a debate on social media on Friday.
The President had opened the birdcage at the National Arcade, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.
Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof.
The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Moments after the President had left, however, some of the birds flew.
The ritual of releasing doves is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one and is common at significant events like funerals or memorials. It also signifies peace.
Studies show that domesticated doves which are used to living in cages are not always keen on flying.
In 2014, the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them. The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, described the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan.
The refusal of the birds to fly on Friday, however, sparked thousands of comments on social media.
A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adamu Garba, said the birds should be eaten if they cannot do what they were trained to do.
“The pigeons are tired and overtime became lazy, they don’t want to fly the spirit of The Nigerian Flag. We should roast them at Suya joint and deploy Crowwe for action,” he said.
Social media personality, Morris Monye, said the Department of State Services would have arrested the pigeons for embarrassing the President if they could.
“I guarantee you… If it was possible, the DSS would arrest the pigeons for such an affront on the President. But really, is there peace, harmony, and security in the land?” he asked.
A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who is a known critique of the President, also tweeted, “Hmmm. Even the pigeons in Nigeria.”
Religious Freedom: Centre Ranks Nigeria Under Buhari As Most Tolerant Nation In The World
No country in the world enjoys religious tolerance, freedom of speech and political association as much as Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari, the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has said.
The centre, in a strategic report on the state of the nation, on Thursday, ranked Nigeria as the most tolerant amongst other nations across the world.
In the report signed by its Executive Secretary, Isaac Ikpa, the CESJET revealed that the level of religious tolerance in the country is unprecedented and an indication of the numerous efforts of the Buhari administration in creating the enabling environment for Nigerians of different faith to co-exist.
The centre, which based its report on primary sources of data from individuals, groups and associations in sectors critical to the research work also noted that freedom of speech and political association has received a massive boost in recent time.
This, it said, is despite the grand plot by disgruntled politicians and their foreign collaborators to undermine the current administration.
The report, however, assured that the country is on the path of greatness thanks to the unalloyed commitment of President Buhari in formulating and implementing policies that translate the hopes and aspirations of the ordinary Nigerians on the streets into tangible realities.
Read the full report below:
The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency in a bid to assess the state of the nation under the Muhammadu Buhari administration undertook a critical assessment of some key indicators of democratic ideals in the country.
In this report, importance was given to facts on the ground derived from first hand and primary sources. Emphasis was also placed on geographical spread to make a balanced judgment in the final analysis.
This report is consequently the outcome of a detailed and rigorous assessment of the issues surrounding religious tolerance, freedom of speech, and political association in Nigeria.
In a bid to have a detailed outcome that would stand the test of time and put issues in proper perspectives, a data collection method with multilayer mechanism for screening was deployed by the team of researchers’ that combed the nook and crannies of Nigeria.
It relied on primary sources of data derived from individuals, groups and associations in sectors critical to the research work. Material evidence was also gathered from credible secondary sources and analyzed by an independent team for accuracy.
In Nigeria, there have been widespread criticisms of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in its commitment towards sustaining the ideals of democracy such as religious tolerance, freedom of speech and political association. It must be noted that the bulk of the narrative has been centred on conjectures, which, to a large extent, has contributed to disquiet in the country.
The issue of religious tolerance evokes sentiments across the country; there is no doubt that there is mutual suspicion amongst the major religious groups in the country. And this fact resonates in almost all the nook and crannies of Nigeria. However, it was observed that the perceived tension is a function of political intrigues and religion is identified as that basis for the settling of political scores.
In our assessment of religious tolerance in the country, it was observed that under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, there had been series of attempts to attribute disagreements between the major religious bodies to President Muhammadu Buhari himself. It was observed that most times, these insinuations are not substantiated by any verifiable facts.
Our assessment also revealed that since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, there have been concerted efforts to rebuild trust amongst the country’s major religious groups after decades of hostilities. This fact was buttressed through extensive interactions with religious leaders whose opinion supports the fact that under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, the country has witnessed religious tolerance and the indicators for rebuilding trust are high.
Freedom of Speech:
Freedom of Speech is guaranteed for every citizen of Nigeria in the Constitution. This much has been practised in Nigeria over the years. However, in the analysis of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, it was observed that freedom of speech had not been stifled as speculated by some segment in the country.
From our analysis, Nigerians have indeed expressed themselves feely since the advent of the Muhammadu Buhari administration. The bulk of the misgivings are hinged on unsubstantiated cases that were best pushed in the public space for mischief purposes.
Our researchers carried out a comparative analysis of freedom of speech in Nigeria from 1999-2020. It was discovered that from 2014 to 2020, Freedom of Speech in Nigeria was unhindered.
It was also discovered that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has indeed displayed a strong commitment towards ensuring that freedom of speech was unhindered. Our findings also indicated that the bulk of those insinuating gaging of freedom of speech in Nigeria is doing so not for its merit, but rather as a tool to score political points.
Political association in Nigeria has remained the backbone of our nascent democracy, and this much has been practised in Nigeria. It was observed that this trend had received a tremendous boost in recent times with an increased rate of 65% going by the statistics at our disposal. This is a considerable improvement over the years and an indication of the level playing field created by the present administration.
Extensive research was also carried out in this regard. The consensus is that political association in Nigeria has received a tremendous boost. This fact indeed resonated across the country with various stakeholders in uniformity in this regards.
After extensive analysis of the issues highlighted above, the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency herby states that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has witnessed a transformation in critical sectors.
The issues of religious tolerance in Nigeria were very prominent in all of our analysis. It thus suffices to state that the level of religious tolerance in Nigeria is unprecedented and an indication of the numerous efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in creating the enabling environment for religious tolerance in the country to thrive.
We also conclude that freedom of speech and the political association has received a boost in recent times. From our interactions and detailed scrutiny of issues in this regard, it is our considered opinion that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has displayed an unalloyed commitment towards setting Nigeria on the path of greatness through the formulation and implementation of policies that translate the hopes and aspirations of the ordinary Nigerians on the streets into tangible realities.
This report states that Nigeria remains one of the most tolerant countries in the world. This is indeed a statement of the fact that has been objectively scrutinized to put issues in proper perspectives.
This report also states that there is a grand plot to discredit the Muhammadu Buhari administration as most of the issues advocated in the public space regarding religious tolerance, freedom of speech and political association have been a conflagration of political intrigues that is common with most developing democracies in the world.
We conclude that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari remains one of the most tolerant nations in the world.
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