By Sylvanus Ochojila
International human rights organization, Amnesty International just overdid itself in its campaign to undermine peace in Nigeria. With its latest hatchet job, a report titled “NIGERIA: Government failings leave rural communities at the mercy of gunmen”, the organization has erased the last doubt as to whether it will put up the pretext of being impartial. Amnesty International is incapable of being impartial and its partiality is in favour of terrorism.
“NIGERIA: Government failings leave rural communities at the mercy of gunmen” is a report in which Amnesty International practically oozed and drooled over the sheer scale of human misery that its terrorist clients have visited on families, communities and entire swathes of geo-political regions in Nigeria. Nothing in the report suggested that the intent was to raise help by drawing attention to the suffering of victims of terrorism and banditry. What is obvious instead is the deployment of a mishmash of news reports, with all the sensationalism of the original stories still intact, to deliver the crudest shock and awe possible. The objective is to terrorize the citizens.
This organization will rehash its tired script. Pseudo analysts will be dragged from their beds into television and radio studios to justify and validate the fiction that has been packaged as a report. Then other reports will spin of it and so on and so forth until a lie takes on the appearance of the truth. The circus to be unleashed in promoting the report will distort fact to an extent that people will become fearful and be forced to doubt what the government is doing to keep the country safe. Like other reports before it, this is basically what the latest “bestseller” is meant to achieve.
It was essentially Amnesty International picking up from where the terrorists left off. The organization showed its entrenched incapacity to be empathic by twisting the knives that terrorists and attackers left in the gaping wound of victims. From the accounts it attributed to interviews with survivors and relations of victims, it is apparent that the NGO squeezed the last drop of misery out of the pains of people that are possibly still too traumatized to coherently express what they experienced. Which raises questions as to whether its staffers and researchers actually conducted the claimed interviews or that they simply got actors and actresses, Amnesty International’s fashion, and created scripts for them to cause the drama that the compromised organization wants.
How convenient is it that the organization could quote and interviewee, who said “the soldiers did not waste time and they came but when they came and saw the type of ammunitions the attackers had they left,” it did not add even a footnote to question the source of the weapons that the attackers came with? There has been allusions that Amnesty International and the terrorists are in reality joined at the hips and nothing proves it like the manner in which it is quick to shop for indictment against government forces while glossing over the atrocities of terrorists and bandits and would even go out on a limb to canvass for the rights of any of their fighters apprehended or arrested by law enforcement agencies.
In running its errand for terrorists, the folks behind the questionable report gave the impression that the government has failed, which they could then interpreted to mean just anything about their arch nemesis, the military. The military has been at the forefront of frustrating repeated attempts by the terrorists to establish themselves in communities from where they are regularly dislodged from. It is increasingly being established that the objective of making Nigeria into a failed state, as the NGO desires, will never be realized for as long as the government of the day refuses to cave in to blackmail and the military resist harassment.
But even in Amnesty International’s deviousness there is a warning for Nigeria. The alarm bells should go off for our policy maker with the rider to the organization’s headline that “Attacks pose threats to food security in rural areas” is something that should genuinely worry them. It should worry them because this is a clear indication that the organization is on the verge of weaponizing hunger and would do anything to precipitate a food shortage or food crisis just so it can point to its report and brag that it warned about an impending catastrophe.
One thing it will not own up to however is how it used the instrumentality of reports, similar to the fictitious one it just issued, to cripple the ability of government troops to respond appropriately to the threats constituted by the Boko Haram terrorists operating at its behest, or at the very least at the behest of its associates.
Only the false sense of comfort will make the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, to descend into the unprofessional behaviour of pouring insult and his undiluted venom on the government and military institutions without acknowledging that they had been pivotal in preventing the cataclysm that his organization wants for Nigeria. Ojigho will also never admit that Amnesty International and her cohorts are responsible for the killings in Nigeria.
The remedy to this treasonable behaviour is as clear as day. The government of Nigeria must call the errant NGO to order and demand that it ceases and desists from further backing terrorists against the state. This step is in the interest of the Nigerians that are being killed by Boko Haram and bandits as well as it is in the interest of the staffers of Amnesty International. It was not long ago that some citizens resorted to self-help to protest against its subversive activities in Nigeria and there is all the likelihood that a similar protest to send this organization packing is again brewing.
Ochojila is a diplomat and wrote from New York.