By Kaereen Goulding
By now no one should be in doubt that Amnesty International is Nigeria’s second terrorist group. The country has been the target of several horrendous attacks – failed Boko Haram attempts, armed bandits, killer herdsmen, kidnappers, robbers and other evil elements – without Amnesty International demanding that perpetrators of the acts stop. It has carried on the past months as if these elements, reportedly sponsored by some nefarious interests, are not depriving their victims of the right to life.
The interesting thing is that a well-known pattern will later ensue. The Federal Government, through the military, police and other security agencies will eventually get a grip on the crises, especially the aspect of decimating the killers, identifying those profiting from the spilling of blood as well as those financing the carnage against Nigerians. Just when the final blow is to be delivered against any of the groups troubling the country, Amnesty International will step out from the shadows to question why the rights of these terrorists and criminals are not being respected.
It will threaten the military and security personnel deployed to counter these nuisances with a date at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. Amnesty International will publish interim reports that will indict everyone from the government side and never one of the criminals, killers and terrorists that the government forces are after. These reports would of course be well marketed using a network of international media outlets that will suddenly make Amnesty International the global Supreme Court with powers to convict sovereign governments of war crimes and atrocities.
The objectives of this so called international NGO in Nigeria might have once been obscure but it is no longer so. Two of such goals are immediately identifiable from its mode of operation and the outcome of its operations in the country. The first one is that Amnesty International is desirous of truncating democracy in Nigeria or plunge the country into intractable chaos. Its second goal is to escalate whatever crisis exists in Nigeria, the reason for this second goal will be explained in later paragraphs. These two goals are shared by internationally designated terrorist group, Boko Haram with the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
In pursuit of its first objective in Nigeria, Amnesty International is implementing the truncation of democracy through the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), which happens to be an outlawed organization on account of its militarization and violence past based on the findings of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna state government. In spite of the belligerence of IMN extremists and the forced shut down they impose on parts of the country and put other citizens through hardship, Amnesty International has continued to defend the group, apparently as part of a strategic protection of its franchise.
It has been several days now and Amnesty International, in keeping with its tradition of selective responses, it is yet to censure the invasion of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by members of its murderous group. In the course of the invasion, under the usual pretext of protesting for the release of their leader – Mr Ibraheem el-Zakyzaky, they vandalized the premises of the most sacred of the institutions of democracy, overpowered the security in the premises and their action eventually forced the parliament to shut down. This is an attack on Nigeria’s democracy; but because it tallies with its long-term objective in Nigeria, Amnesty International sees nothing wrong in this.
Had the security at the National Assembly responded in equal measure Amnesty International would have screamed “war crimes”. Ironically, barely 48 hours after IMN members forcefully invaded the National Assembly, Amnesty International invited the police to forcefully evict protesters that invaded its London Offices.
A statement posted on its website said “Police were called to the scene as this could no longer be considered a peaceful protest and the safety of staff in the office could no longer be assured. The police assessed the situation and determined that criminal offences had been committed and took action to remove those occupying the building. Regretfully some of the protesters refused to leave and the police had to arrest and physically remove them.”
If this this is not double standard then nothing else is. Protesters at Amnesty International’s office, who were not destructive even from that organization’s account, can be forcefully removed and arrested but security personnel killing IMN extremists cannot be arrested for vandalizing the National Assembly, the height of Nigeria’s democracy? From the way Amnesty International had carried on in Nigeria, the impression created was that an “offence” can never be committed in the course of a protest.
As aforementioned, Amnesty International incentive for promoting crises in Nigeria is now well known. It is in a desperate bid to raise more funds; by the end of 2020 it faces a £17m deficit in its funding unless it can somehow ramp up its strategy to make donors part with more money when the destabilization agenda they earlier paid for had failed to produce the desired results in a place like Nigeria. This shortfall in spending is despite the intensive fundraising that the organization has embarked upon. If its outlook continues to remain dismal it would be forced to send as many as 70 staff home.
It therefore becomes imperative for Amnesty International that it is able to support dangerous groups, issues fictitious reports and make utterances that can worsen security situation in Nigeria so that it can hold the country up to its clients like a trophy that it will use to justify more funding. The longer it is able to make crisis situations persist in Nigeria the longer it has a bargaining chip with its clients.
The cash crunch facing Amnesty International is thus far from being a blessing in countries like Nigeria, where it is running deep state operation to undermine legitimate governments and institutions. Rather than making it fold up its terrorists financing gigs it would rather desperately throw in more of its remaining resources in the hope that the situation in Nigeria will become parlous enough to reignite its clients’ interest to commit more funds. It is a vicious circle that Amnesty International has become accustomed to it one that it knows always worked because without its toxic intervention of being the conduit for terrorism financing in Nigeria terrorism would have ended in the country long ago.
The decision makers in Nigeria must note and act fast because Amnesty International’s dwindling finances and the newfound boldness of its IMN franchise in attacking the National Assembly are not unrelated developments. In last desperate attempt to salvage its sinking ship, the organization is said to be on course to announce “a new strategic direction” which could mean just about anything from intensifying its current style of work to openly instigating wars so that it can report on the resulting human misery.
A strategic step that Nigeria must take to safeguard itself from whatever this dangerous group is planning is to begin treating Amnesty International as the second international terrorist group operating in the country after Boko Haram Authorities must contemplate and implement mitigating measures to ensure they are not caught flatfooted when Amnesty International unleashes its next offensive because whatever it is will be big and bad.
Goulding wrote this piece from the United Kingdom.