March 24, 2017
Political analysts and social commentators were surprised to hear the news of rented mob by the Buhari-led government against Amnesty International (AI) in Abuja. Those who are acquainted with the dealings of this reputable international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) will tell you that the Nigerian state as an independent state is just ten months older than AI. While the former was birthed on 1st October 1960, the later was birthed on July 1961. Within this period of time, Amnesty International has evolved and sailed over different turbulent waters of most brutal dictators in Middle East and Africa. Her staunch position and steadfastness in the midst of these challenges have attracted over 7 million members and supporters to her.
AI was founded by Peter Benenson not to be involved in internal politics of nation states, rather campaign in a strong term against human rights abuses and through pressure compel governments found guilty of rights abuses to comply with international laws and desist from such menace. While those states like Britain and others which by the Geneva Convention are supposed to stand for human rights have traded such moral position for politics and interest, Amnesty International stands among few NGOs whose perseverance in the face of defending human rights knows no bounds.
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Though it is in the bloodline of dictators and human rights abusers to pick fault with such a reputable organisation whose work opposes their evil deeds; various Nigerian regimes had in one way or the other been called to order by AI. None has gone madly lose in launching barbaric reprisal attack on AI like the present regime of Muhammadu Buhari. His human rights abuse record surpasses all other regimes in all forms. While previous governments had launched their protest against AI in a civil manner like “protest letters”, summoning of AI representatives, etc, the present regime, in outright disregard to all the existing decent channels decided to rent miscreants on the streets of Abuja to cause mayhem at AI office.
In what seems to be a well-coordinated melodrama by Aso Rock, the protesters were given a security pass even when their posture was to constitute nuisance at AI premises. If those who were armed could not be gunned down or intercepted by the notorious Nigerian Army and DSS as they did during IPOB-Trump solidarity Rally of 20th January, where is the locus standi of today’s regime of Buhari to challenge Amnesty International?
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Why should Buhari and his cohorts seek the head of AI when there are pictorial evidences of the carnage they meted out on Biafran people as reported by Amnesty International? Instead of mobilising and trying to bully down AI and other Civil Society Groups, Buhari-led government should issue a counter report. They should prove that they have not killed thousands of Biafrans, that they are not detaining Biafrans unlawfully, that they are not torturing them crudely in their various secret cells. This is what the civilised world wants to hear and know, not paying street urchins and criminals to disrupt activities at AI's office in Abuja.
As a dictator whose aim and mission is to destroy democracy and impose Islam, Buhari’s intention is to clamp down on CSOs and action groups, and make the vibrant ones go deaf and dumb through the kind of threats they are unleashing on AI since their monetary bribes could not afford them their way. Also in their plans is the idea of raising and registering some groups as CSOs which exist only on pages of newspapers as counter pieces to the likes of AI. It will be important for Buhari and his Human Right abusers to refrain from fighting AI as such fight can only lead them to their waterloo.
By Chika Austine
Edited By Uche Nwosu
Published By Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers