Government Is Panicking: Nigerian central seat of power, the Presidency, is obviously panicking and trivializing the ongoing genocide against Christians in Nigeria. The Presidency is also deliberately diverting the attention of the international community over same. By the international statement released on Sunday, 7th June 2020, the body language of thecountry’s Presidency is clearly understood and has internationally confirmed its ‘inability and unwillingness’ to stop the anti Christian butcheries, fishout the perpetrators and have them punished. The statement also ended up exposingthe remorselessness, complicity and inactivity of the Presidency.
Killing Of Christians Beyond“Igbo-Biafra Affair”: Reducing thefacts laden genocide against Christians in Nigeria to ‘IPOB’s 85,000 GBPmonthly international sponsorship and conspiracy against the Federal Governmentof Nigeria’, is a clear indication of how remorseless and unrepentant thePresidency is, concerning the referenced butcheries. It further showsGovernment’s affront and total disregard to sanctity of human lives and theirdignity of human person, particularly those of the butchered and mutilatedChristians. It is also an attempt to reduce the anti Christian butcheries to ‘ethnicor Igbo-Biafra affair’.
Presidency Has Failed In ItsInt’l Commitments & Made Mockery Of Same: There has been total negligence, disregardand undermining by the Presidency, of Nigeria’s commitments to the AfricanUnion and the United Nations. The Presidency’s statement specificallyconstitutes a threat to the Purposes of the United Nation and its internationalpeace and security. This is on account of the hopelessness of the statement;with capacity to embolden the perpetrators to kill more and encouraging thevictims’ communities and threatened others to resort to ‘self help’ defensive methods.The statement also exposes the ‘willingness’ of the country’s Presidency to sitby and allow the country to explode into ‘complex humanitarian catastrophes oremergencies’-whereby the control capacities of the AU, the UN, the West andtheir humanitarian and crisis management agencies will be overstretched, ifNigeria exploded into full scale or widespread religious violence.
Treaty Laws Observed In Breach: Nigeria has signed and ratified ordomesticated the following international rights, security and humanitariantreaties and protocols (treaty laws); but have them substantially observed inbreach. They include the UN Covenant onCivil & Political Rights and the UN Covenant on Economic, Social &Cultural Rights of 1976; the UN anti Genocide and Torture Conventions of 1948and 1985; the UN Convention for Protection of All Persons from EnforcedDisappearance of 2009; UN Women & Child Rights Conventions of 1984 and1990; the UN Statute on Refuge of 1951; the Int’l Criminal Court of 1998; UNCode of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials of 1979 and UN Basic Principleson the Use of Force & Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials of 1990. Othersare the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948; the AfricanCharter on Human & Peoples Rights of 1981 and UN Declaration on the Rightsof Indigenous People of 2007 and the Geneva Conventions or Laws of War of 1949,enacted to regulate inter State and intra State conflicts and treatment of noncombatants including refugees and IDPs affected by intra and inter State conflicts.
Breach Of The Int’l Principle OfComplementarity: Under theInternational Law especially the Rome Statute for Int’l Criminal Court,ratified by Nigeria in Sept 2001, Nigeria is obligated, under ‘the Principle ofComplementarity and No Impunity’ not to shield state actor and non state actorperpetrators of atrocity crimes such as ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ perpetratedunder no situations of intra state warfare and ‘War Crimes’ perpetrated undersituations of warfare; but to ensure that they are fished out and brought tojustice using local criminal legislations and courts. From available recordsand evidence, the two sets of heinous crimes are substantially perpetrated inNigeria especially under the current central Government. The Principle, on theother hand, directs firmly that whereby the country becomes ‘unable’ and‘unwilling’ to have the perpetrators fished out and brought to justice, theNigerian Government must fish them out and hand them over to the ICC or allowand cooperate with the ICC at ensuring that they are fished out and made toface international trials at The Netherlands. It is sad to say that this grandPrinciple has been grossly observed in breach.
Rights Abuse Somewhere ThreatensHuman Rights Everywhere: We had expectedthe Presidency in its statement to show genuine concerns over the antiChristian butcheries and expressed profound gratitude to all those that haveforensically documented the butcheries and spoken out. They include local andinternational rights and religious NGOs and the media; the internationallyrespected persons including politico-legislative actors and diplomats; as wellas local and international Christian leaders and leaders of the victims’communities (i.e. Adara Dev Association and SOKAPU in Southern Kaduna and BeromNationality in Plateau, etc). The Presidency also pretended to be unmindful ofthe fact that human rights concerns are jealously guided and can be likened toa famous Chinese adage that says “it does not matter whether a cat is tall orshort, fat or tin, black or white, as long as it catches a rat”.
In otherwords, Human Rights are globally indivisible and indissoluble and a violationof them or any of them somewhere is a threat to them everywhere. Issues ofHuman Rights are also beyond borders, boundaries, rivers and oceans, cultures,political territories and religions. Human Rights are better practicallyexplained and understood using the Abraham Maslow’s Fundamental Human NeedsTheory. In Nigeria, there presently exists in the country’s Human RightsEnforcement a principle of ‘Be your neighbor’s keeper or watchdog’. In theenforcement of Section 46 of the 1999 Constitution under the Chapter IV orFundamental Human Rights, issues of ‘biological locus’ as mandatory ground for parties instituting rightsabuse court cases have been laid to rest or expanded to include ‘any concernedbody or individual citizen can sue’.
Local &Int’l NGOs Are Also Victims Of Jihadism In Nigeria: By the United Nations Declaration of BasicPrinciples of Justice for Victims of Crime & Abuse of Office (1985):“victims of Crime and Abuse of Office are persons, who, individually orcollectively, have suffered harm including physical or mental injury, emotionalsuffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights,through acts or omissions that are in violation of criminal laws operativewithin member-States, including those laws prohibiting abuse of power. Thevictims include, where necessary, the immediate family or dependant of thedirect victim and persons who have suffered harm in intervening to assistpeople in distress or to prevent victimization”.
Presidency Cannot Beat A Child& Ask Him Not To Cry:The Presidencyshould have in its international statement admitted its colossal failure ataddressing the killings with a firm promise to make amend including going hardon the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen who have been responsible for most of the antiChristian killings particularly in Southern Kaduna, Plateau and Benue where theJihadists kill, maim, abduct, rape, rob, loot, plunder, seize, occupy, possess,rename and religiously convert at will with impunity and under state cover. The Presidency’s statement is nothing but ‘beatinga child and threatening him not to cry’. The Presidential statement was also anindirect way of describing Nigeria as ‘a zoo or animal kingdom’; a sort of‘Hobbesian state of nature’ where the mighty rule and crush the weak, makinglife short, nasty and brutish and the society riotous and anarchical.
Foundation Of Presidency’sJourney To Nowhere:It is onrecord that the present Nigerian Government murdered sleep when after grabbingthe country’s Presidency in late May 2015, it introduced and institutionalized‘Fulani governance style’ instead of governing the country conventionally andpluralistically. This is more so when Nigeria is a country of 200 millioncitizens, 386 ethnic nationalities and multi-religiously and culturallycomposed. Nigeria also has 36 States and 774 Local Government Areas. Forpurpose of running limited government governed by Democracy and Social ContractDoctrine, “Chapter 11” or Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles ofState Policy was enshrined in the 1999 Constitution; likewise Section 14 (3)for purpose of preventing lopsided composition of key federal offices ordomination of same by a particular ethno-religious section.
Section 10was also enshrined to prevent adoption of a particular religion as ‘Statereligion’. It is in defiance of these multi socio-religious compositionsand multi socio-political friendly constitutionalprovisions that the Buhari Presidency came up with unwillingness to practicallygovern the country with the subsisting Constitution of 1999 and othercompatible body of laws. Instead, the central Government discretely adoptedwhat looked like ‘sentiments and biases’ and ‘self help’ methods as itsgovernance modes. This is to the extent that the country’s Constitution is nowapplied or enforced selectively or according to whims and caprices of thecountry’s present leaders. Although theConstitution (1999) as it is, is not a perfect document, but it is likened to “worstcivilian government being better than the best military regime”.
Jihadist Fulani Killings As‘Legitimate Policy’: The worstof it all is that the Government of Nigeria does not listen to informedopinions, pieces of good advice and constructive criticisms offered. As amatter of fact, the Nigerian Government wears the sackcloth of impunity andincorrigibility, to the extent it does not see the atrocity crimes as‘leadership failures’, or ‘governmental anomalies’, or ‘atrocities by itsaffiliated renegades and their patrons in its corridors of power’. Rather,these conduct atrocities are seen and treated by Presidency as ‘a legitimatepolicy”; the same way the West regarded‘Atlantic Slave Trade’ of 1441 to 1888 as “legitimate trade”. Totality of theseexplains why it is like hitting the rock advising the present Government orgetting same to change and make amend. Graphicexamples abound; with Southern Kaduna as one-where no fewer than 116defenseless Christians have been hacked to death by the Jihadist FulaniHerdsmen since the beginning of Jan 2020 with over sixty others still missing.The Jihadist Herdsmen have also killed not less than 500 defenseless Christianssince the beginning of this year or past five months. This is on average of 100defenseless Christian deaths per month. The Nigerian Presidency is soconspiratorial or inactive that the Jihadists now operate unchecked. They havemoved further southward where they were recently surveyed and found to haveviolently occupied not less than 400 Igbo communities and villages.
Gov Ganduje Of Kano State Says ItAll: Just fewdays ago, the Governor of Kano State in Northwest Nigeria, Mr. Abdullahi UmarGanduje confirmed officially that the “Presidency has opened the country’sborders and allowed the ‘Herdsmen’ from neighboring African countries to entermassively and settle in Nigeria with arms or assault rifles; resulting in(religious) killings’. The worried Governor who governs the country’s largestMuslim State, also called on the Federal Government to stop and discontinuewith the policy. With all these said we still wonder why the Presidency hasdecided to go ahead and make international mockery of itself in the referencedstatement.
Presidency’s Int’l SponsorshipBlackmail Is Dead On Arrival: On the issueconcerning the Presidency’s allegation of international and ‘IPOB’ sponsorshipof “Christian NGOs”, we are not surprised. It is a tragedy in Nigeria thatthose in the position of leadership are never interested in renderingleadership services, but to rapaciously enrich themselves through state coffers(borrowed and generated public funds). To them ‘leadership position is allabout how much that enters your pocket from Government coffers’ and not theamount or quantum of leadership services rendered to the citizenry. Theseexplain why they see the legitimate activities and services rendered byindependent bodies including rights and democracy NGOs as “sponsored”. Becauseevery aspect of their public office dealings is heavily monetized or quantifiedin monetary terms, they see any other societal service as ‘sponsored’.
Amnesty International Was Also Falsely Labeled & Accused: The Nigerian Government’s frivolous accusation of respected local and int’l rightsand democracy NGOs as ‘being sponsored’ has become widespread and its trademark to the extent that Amnesty International has consistently been threatened and accused of “supporting Boko Haram and ISWAP and their terrorist activities against the Nigerian State” or “being sponsored by local and int’l terrorist organizations” including Boko Haram, ISWAP and ISIL. There has also been stateactor clandestine sponsorship of hired protests against the internationally respected human rights watch dog as well as Government sponsored publications against the group.
Intersociety therefore makes bold to say that in its advocacyactivism, “sponsorship” is a strange language. This is because we exist not to makeourselves billionaires using the cover of ‘activism’ but to render record timeand lifetime services to humanity. This is to the extent that we have operatedand still operate without any foreign body or international grant sponsorshipsince 2008 when Intersociety wasformed. That is to say that we have never received a Euro, or a British Pound,or a US Dollar from any international grant body. This explains the independent,thoroughness, credibility and detribalized nature of our research works andpublications. It is not as if we are opposed to legitimate foreign grants, butour clear message here is that wemustfunction and do our advocacy activities with or without foreign grants.
Forinstance, all our computations and advocacy campaigns concerning the massacreof Christians in Northern Nigeria particularly in Southern Kaduna, Plateau,Benue and others were done free of charge or without group sponsorship;likewise our campaigns against the massacre of Shiite Muslims in Nigeria,dating back to Dec 2015 in Zaria. The wide foreign and local media coverage ofthe named advocacy activities was also done free of charge, as we were nevercharged or asked to pay a dime. In our recent research works concerning theinfiltration and forceful occupation of 400 Igbo communities and villages, byJihadist Herdsmen, published with wide local and international publicity on 27thMay and 4th June 2020, about N200, 000 or equivalent of $500 wasspent.
How Intersociety Survives:For the avoidance of doubt, in doing ourworks, four sources are used to have them successfully executed. They are: in-kind supports or free professionalresource donations including expert advice and technical assistance; individual cash donations or cash sumsperiodically and voluntarily donated by some concerned citizens (usually less politicallyexposed persons) in appreciation of our works; headship funding or periodic cash sums allocated to Intersociety by the founder and hisfamily; and headship skills/goodwill/ICTor deployment of field and educational skills from the founder who has beenrights and democracy campaigner since 1995 or past 25 years.ICT or Information CommunicationTechnology also plays pivotal role in the activities of Intersociety where it is maximally deployed for purpose of ‘activismmade easy’.
Commendation & SpecialAppeals: Wehereby commend all those that havelocally and internationally researched and documented the anti Christian butcheries by JihadistFulani Herdsmen and others especially in Southern Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Taraba,Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Kogi and Nasarawa States; and lately Niger State as wellas the Southern parts of Delta, Edo, Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi and Abia States;and spoken out against same. They include local and international rights andreligious NGOs and the media; the internationally respected persons includingpolitico-legislative actors and diplomats; as well as local and internationalChristian leaders and leaders of the victims’ communities (i.e. Adara DevAssociation and SOKAPU in Southern Kaduna and Berom Nationality in Plateau,etc). We passionately appeal to them not to rest on their oars and leave nostone unturned until the Nigerian Government is compelled to do the needfulincluding apprehending the group and individual perpetrators (i.e. JihadistFulani Herdsmen) and ending the ‘industrial scale’ violence against Christiansin Nigeria or any part thereof.
For: Int’l Society for CivilLiberties & Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Criminologist& Graduate of Security Studies/Master of Science, Peace Studies &Conflict Resolution (Board Chair), Barr Amaka Damaris Onuoha (Head of Campaign& Publicity), Barr Ndidiamaka Bernard (Head of Int’l Justice & HumanRights), Comrade Samuel Kamanyoku (Head of Field Data Collection &Documentation), Barr Chinwe Umeche (Head of Democracy & Good Governance)and Barr Obianuju Igboeli (Head of Civil Liberties & Rule of Law)
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