By Philip Agbese
Amnesty International, the all-knowing international non-governmental organization, is apparently experiencing the human equivalent of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) going by the way it is suffering an increase in hallucinating things that do not exist. It suddenly struck on the idea of accusing the Nigerian Army of sponsoring other NGOs against it instead of addressing the real issue, which is the sustained war of attrition it has been waging against the Nigerian state while posing as a partner.
The NGO broke even its own record for bold face lying as it claimed, in its trademark manner, that 78 people were “massacred” at Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday October 20, 2020. The Oxford Learner Dictionary defined massacre as “the killing of a large number of people especially in a cruel way.” Amnesty International deployed all its assets in Nigeria to perpetrate the lie of a massacre. That lie was amplified by contractors and consultants on Amnesty International’s payroll.
But the joke was on Amnesty International, its posse of chorus singers, commercial activists and the large following of clueless victims of groupthink, automaton components of the hivemind that Amnesty International is exploiting to trouble the peace of Nigeria. The staffers of the NGO are aware that not even hard facts will make these captive followers of its rouse from the deep intellectual and mental slumber into which they have fallen.
It is no wonder that Amnesty International believed in its own lies to the extent that it thought repeating these lies will elevate them into becoming the truth. Thus, the day after it crowed that over 78 people have been killed, it was unable to show any evidence. No bodies. No bloodstains. No families declaring loved ones missing. No grave to show secret burials like it always claim in other instances. The only proof Amnesty International has of its well-advertised Lekki Toll Gate massacre was to rehash its lie that the Nigerian military has a tradition of being complicit of the things Amnesty International accuses it of.
Interestingly, it is not a first for this NGO, which has the notoriety of once hiring a movie director to coach its witnesses in order to indict a targeted government. `It apparently has similar designs on Nigeria but for some of us that did not allow it the wriggle room as we kept on demanding that it backs its allegations up with facts, which it has never succeeded in doing till date.
Its insistence on being vested in Nigeria’s affairs is akin to a spouse that persistently express frustration in a marriage but is not willing to do the logical thing, which is to leave the marriage and find fulfilment under a different arrangement.
The marriage of convenience between Nigeria and Amnesty International broke down since the Goodluck Jonathan era when the organization authored a deadly report against Nigeria to the US government about human rights abuses that never took place. They had informed the US authorities that Nigeria and its Armed Forces had committed war crimes against humanity and will use arms sold to her to kill innocent Nigerians instead of fighting Boko Haram. That lie led to Nigeria being denied access to buy sorely needed military hardware to fight terrorism. The impact was that Boko Haram terrorists were able to carry out deadly attacks without being challenged, a situation that resulted in more civilian deaths than necessary, for which Amnesty International should accept responsibility but never does.
That embargo was in place before the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came on board. The implication was that Amnesty International’s report left at least 10,000 men, women and children dead between 2014 and 2015 when the current government came into power. For each single day that the misleading Amnesty International’s lies prevented Nigeria from buying weapons, people died. So, who will hold this nefarious NGO accountable for this murder of Nigerians by proxy?
The organization has remained above the law and openly in bed with terrorists through the falsehood it usually publishes as reports and the media appearances of its operatives. To counter its lies is immediately branded as “government sponsored” while those critical of its anti-Nigerian stance are hounded and vilified on social media and other spaces of public engagement. But this has not stopped those that have conscience from asking that this aberration leaves the land and allow Nigerians rebuild their country in peace.
The call for Amnesty International to leave Nigeria has been on for over a decade, well before the present dispensation came to office. The only thing that has changed is that more individuals and groups have sprung up across the length and breadth of the country making the same demand. That is what an organization gets when its motive in any country is not clear enough. It is what becomes of an entity like Amnesty International, which has been caught flat out on too many instances engaging in lies, manipulating respondents and interviewees and supporting terrorism under the guise of observing adherence to human rights requirements.
It is really simple. All Amnesty International has to do is to leave Nigeria and relocate to one of those countries it considers as perfect, likely one of those sponsoring it to destabilize Nigeria so that it can become a conquered territory. Afterall, these countries are in need of being monitored so that they do not descend to the level of Nigeria.
I am therefore at a loss as to why Amnesty International is behaving like a partner who wants to remain with their spouse at all cost, even when they gripe daily about not being satisfied with the state of affairs. Something simply has to give. My position is that the recent calls by some Nigerians for citizens to engage Amnesty International until it leaves is the equivalent of a couple becoming verbally abusive of each other; that Nigeria and Amnesty International have reached this point is an indication that it is time for them to amicably divorce. Amnesty International should up and go.
You cannot force anyone to love you. Amnesty International cannot force Nigerians to appreciate what it is doing in the country. No matter how useful it claims its work in Nigeria is at the moment, the citizens are simply saying that it is time for Amnesty International to quit. This is not too much for any nation to ask. This is my two cents.
Agbese is a human rights activist and wrote from the United Kingdom.