The destructive hypocrisy of Amnesty International (AI) is no longer hidden to Nigerians. Not long ago, Nigerians rose in unanimous condemnations of weird reports of the organization which reeled out malicious statistics of human rights abuses or crimes against humanity in Nigeria.
It’s like AI has no any other job to do elsewhere in the world than in Nigeria. When AI is not accusing the Nigerian military of crimes against humanity in the prosecution of Boko Haram insurgency and other terrorists’ acts in the Niger Delta, it faces the Nigerian Police alleging phantom acts of brutality in detention cells.
The anger of Nigerians against AI has been expressed more bitingly by the coalition of Civil Society Organizations in the country. It at various times described such reports not only as untrue, but as cooked lies which indirectly exposes AI’s sympathies for outlaws, who have launched unrestrained and unprovoked war to destabilize the Nigerian state .
Specifically, AI’s engagement with Nigeria, especially in monitoring Nigeria military’s engagements with militants in the Niger Delta is perceived more as nocturnal spying on Nigeria for their international agents and sponsors of terror groups in the country. Despite this suspicion, AI has refused to disguise itself with the portrait of a neutral, credible and dignified human rights watch body.
An African proverb says, “Only the person who wears the shoe that knows where it pitches.” Nigeria is facing sickening insecurity challenges, where citizens have developed an inexplicable passion for all manner of violence and crimes against their own fraternity.
The unusual deployment of the Nigerian military to different parts of the country is expression of the country’s last resort in quelling these meaningless internal insurrections.
And the aggressors fight battles of this nature with different strategies. There is the ample use of sophisticated conventional weapons and also, the resort of the aggressors to voodoo or charms to remain protected. Very often, these aggressors abuse the human rights of their victims through cruel deaths, mutilation and undignified/inhuman detentions. But curiously now as ever before, AI has never reported such abuses emanating from the caves of the terrorists, militants or violent secession campaigners.
The Nigerian soldiers burst of two militants shrines in Cross River last week, where at least 23 human skulls, human parts and decomposing bodies were found is incontestable evidence of the intensity of the problem. It expresses everything, but more than anything else, the extent terrorists gangs, which the AI rush to protect like prized jewels, also abuse the sanctity of lives of other Nigerians who fall prey to their traps.
Officially breaking the news, Acting Commander of Operation Delta Safe (ODS) in Southern Cross River State, Brig. Gen. Kelvin Aligbe revealed that the raid on Ikot Ene Idem, Abakpa and Ikang Inam communities in Bakassi and Akpabuyo LGAs of the state, led to the discovery of these human parts in just four militants shrines/camps.
In the Bayelsa incident, Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, Lt. Col. Olaolu Daudu, reported that troops of Sector 2, ODS in the State acting on intelligence reports trailed and arrested the 44 members of the proscribed Nnamdi Kanu’s Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) secession campaigners’ at Lakeview Club on Mabinton Estate.
There is a striking link of the separate incidents in the two states. The arrested IPOB members were allegedly plotting to establish its Bayelsa wing. And tentative investigations unveiled these IPOB members as agents and spies of Bakassi Strike Force Militants, at a time the raid of only four militants camps had that quantum of human skulls and body parts.
It is indication of the devilish affinity of IPOB with militants who are terrorizing the Niger Delta. It means IPOB is not after any secession dream as played in public domain, but purely a criminal gang of economic saboteurs, which AI wants the Nigerian Government to treat with kid gloves.
It is curious that AI has remained silent since the horrific discovery of the cruel murder and mutilation of human beings by militant groups in the Niger Delta, which it delights in protecting and defending their human rights each time they engage Nigerian soldiers in gun battle. Is AI’ blind to justice when crimes against humanity are perpetrated by terrorists and militants on victims in the Nigerian state?
The recent incident has further exposed the hidden agenda of AI’s mission in Nigeria. Justice ought to fair and equitable to all persons and groups without disparity. When justice is selective as Amnesty International is inclined and overtly portraying in the Nigerian instance now, it creates more problems than imagined.
In the warped sense of AI, only the Nigerian government and its security agents are capable of committing acts of human rights violations. But similar crimes against humanity by organized criminal gangs in Nigeria is overlooked as nothing serious by AI, thus revealing its hidden, destructive motive, which emboldens the criminal gangs.
The posture of AI on the Cross River incident has sparked fresh concerns over the roles AI is playing in worsening insecurity in Nigeria.
Nigerians and a civil Society group, Advocates of Social Justice for All (ASJA), has frowned at the silence of AI over the discovery of the human skulls and human parts in militants’ shrines in Cross River state, an unmistakable crime against humanity .
ASJA Executive Director, Mr. Patriot Andrew James was apt in calling on the Government of Nigeria and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to fully investigate incident and punish the culprits and their sponsors.
The Group intoned, “It is unfortunate and very disturbing that people have misinterpreted the Human Rights charter of association and freedom of worship to take the lives of other innocent citizens while some international human rights organizations maintain an undignified silence.”
This is the plea of Nigerians. President Muhammedu Buhari should ensure he unmasks the brains behind such barbaric acts, including their foreign allies, as AI’s selective justice seems to suggest in order arraign to them before the ICC for prosecution.
Onoja is National Cordinator, Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism and writes from Abuja.