By Alfred Babalola
Those searching for the freest people on earth, should come to Nigeria. In this most populous black nation, even prominent citizens refuse regulation by any standard of morality and laws.
And examples of such abnormalities would full a basket and overflow, like the blessings of Jehovah God! Nigeria is democratically governed now. But it is only in Nigeria, the few wealthy and disgruntled citizens covertly seek a violent and bloody means to dethrone an elected government implanted by majority of the populace. No one cares about the violence, mass deaths and destructions such actions would cause.
But once the intentions of opposition element are not met, its easy to see more devious plots mounted against the incumbent leader, by these stealthy forces. It begins with organized arrangements to thwart the ballot, which is the only weapon of democratic change to clandestinely sponsoring the mass restiveness, upheavals and anarchy to cause destabilization.
Never mind that the enemies of a state or any nation are usually very few. But in this part of the world and Africa to be specific, there is always a maddening rush for the satanic illumination, rather than truth. Therefore, the secret sponsors of violence and bloodbath against compatriots under a particular Government mistakenly believe, the ICC at the Hague would always side them when the chips are down against all odds. That’s misplaced judgement.
So, characteristically, the opposing elements of state pose and pretend fighting a populist cause to extents of violence and bloodbath. They bargain through the sponsorship of a complete breakdown of public law and order; they angle for genocide to attract the attention of the United Nations (UN) so as to find instigated reasons to write volumes of petitions to the ICC and eventually drag their political foes before the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague for prosecution.
It is what is happening to Nigeria at the moment over the pretentious #EndSARS protests initially meant to scrap the Police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for brutality and also, totally reform the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
But most of those who delight in the feast of bloodletting, the exponents, the espousers of this retrogressive agenda hardly believe the ICC can also prosecute masterminds and inciters of violence anywhere to genocidal magnitude for crimes against humanity and war crimes. The ICC prosecutors investigate silently and stage out in action. It does not matter whether the leader in power is faulty and so, the rebellious actors who trigger mass deaths would go scot-free. All are suspects based on the level of culpability of each individual.
Femi Falana and his assemblage of thoughtless followers should beware. Protesting violently, burning police officers and their stations and other acts of arsons, killing of security personnel and innocent Nigerians in the guise of democratic protests or marketing inciting words by masked actors have never changed the narrative and focus of the ICC. The court at the Hague prosecutes even leaders of rebel gangs, provided enough evidence is gathered.
Other African countries have experienced the prosecution of those who insidiously sponsor violence and bloodshed to genocidal levels. And in Nigeria, those who claim to hate President Muhammadu Buhari and think the only way to get back at him is by barbaric bloodshed should be mindful of the likely repercussions of such destructive actions.
The self-righteous Obasanjos , the Falanas, the Tinubus and other acolytes who incite youths to violence and mass killings should take judicial notice of this timely reminder because Nigeria is a signatory to the ICC. African history is replete with the ICC’s prosecution of prominent opposition figures or rebel leaders who induce mass violence and genocide in their countries even years after the act. Charges of crimes against humanity or war crimes are slammed against them.
In Sudan, the ICC opened an investigation into crimes committed in the Darfur region in 2005, after the UN security Council referred the case to the international court under Resolution 1593. Among those who faced criminal charges were rebel commanders like Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus. Abakaer Nourain was the former military commander in the rebellous Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and Jerbo, a former leader in the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)-Unity faction among others who stirred more than a decade conflict in Sudan.
Also, after the five-year civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DCR), the ICC commenced prosecution of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the alleged founder and leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) and leader of its military wing, the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC). Alongside with Dyilo; Germain Katanga, the commander of the Force de Résistance Patriotique en Ituri (FRPI) and Ngudjolo Chui, the alleged highest-ranking commander of the Front des Nationalistes et Intégrationnistes (FNI), as co-conspirators in committing crimes against humanity as well as Calixte Mbarushimana, a militia political leader.
And the ICC also fenced Bosco Ntaganda, the alleged former deputy military commander of the FPLC militias and different other rebel groups under the auspices of the National Congress for the People’s Defense (CNDP), which operated in North Kivu.
In the Central African Republic (CAR) , the ICC, commenced prosecution of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, former DRC rebel leader and later politician and successful businessman in CAR. Although Gombo became an influential person in his home country of CAR, but the ICC held him accountable for his cruel acts as commander of the rebellious Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC)during Congo’s civil war (1998-2003) and charged with crimes against humanity for alleged rape, pillaging and murder.
In Uganda, rebel commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army(LRA) like Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Dominic Ongwen and Raska Lukwiya had a date with the ICC. Most of the suspects hedged prosecution and have remained in hiding. Many other opposition figures and rebel leaders in other African countries suffered similar fate in the hands of the ICC at the Hague.
Therefore, prominent Nigerians who covertly sponsor or incite violent protests, leading mass killings in the guise of exercising democratic rights are also not entirely free. The #EndSARS protests in Nigeria resonates with such echoes and those who erroneously think it ends with the veiled inflammation of the protests, violence and killings have miscalculated.
The likes of Femi Falana and the band of Nigeria’s street activists used as springboard to cause mass deaths should be guided accordingly. The fake news vendors, who circulate on social media cooked stories and videos of killings to incite protestors into insane vengeful violence and killings should know, there is always a price to pay after the act. So, Nigerians who shout hoarse and threaten other leaders with ICC prosecution should know their undercover roles are also documented.
Babalola Esq is a public affairs commentator based in Lagos.
Buratai, Other Former Service Chiefs Have Passed Test, Ready To Serve Foreign Missions – Nigeria First
The Nigeria First movement has welcomed the confirmation of former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd) and other immediate past service chiefs as ambassadors designate by the Senate.
By their confirmation, the group noted the ex-COAS and his counterparts have passed the test, “unblemish in character and therefore fit to serve as heads of our foreign missions”.
Th group made this known on Thursday in a press statement in Abuja signed by its president, Chief Philip Agbese.
Owing to their trackrecord from a highly professional background, Agbese expressed optimism that they will deploy their wealth of knowledge and experience to bear on their new assignments.
He, however, urged the Federal Government to ensure that the diplomats are deployed to countries where their impact will be most felt.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for finding the former military chiefs worthy, Chief Agbese added that he should deploy them to countries with the needed military technology relevant to Nigeria’s current security situation which will help improve military cooperation between the two countries.
Read full statement below:
On behalf of NIGERIA FIRST, May l commend the Senate for performing this important function. This is a patriotic act.
One of the important ingredients of democracy is the separation of powers.It is on this tripod of this power separation that good governance thrives. The confirmation exercise by the Senate is therefore, a confirmation that arms of the Nigerian government are working in the overall interest of national development.
Ambassadors are important in world affairs.
They represent and protect the interest and nationals of their states. They also initiate and facilitate strategic agreements ,treaties,conventions,promote information, trade and commerce, technology, friendly relations etc.Their negotiation skills and expertise are therefore significant in meeting these functions.
Having been confirmed as Ambassadors,the next thing is posting to their respective states. By their confirmation, Lt. Gen TY Buratai (rtd) and others have passed the test as unblemish in character and therefore fit to serve as heads of our foreign missions.
It’s instructive to note that these Nigerians have been called from highly professional backgrounds for this important assignment. We are optimistic that they will deploy their wealth of knowledge and experience to bear on their new ssignments
We therefore call on the federal government to ensure that our diplomats are deployed to countries where their impact will be most felt. This can be done by taking advantage of their background to decide which country each is posted to.
For instance, our immediate past service chiefs can be deployed to such countries where their military background becomes handy in negotiating military pacts on behalf of our country more so that our dear country is passing through security challenges. As service chiefs,their involvement in the nation’s defence system must have placed them in a strategic position to further improve our security architecture.
In view of their background, we are tempted to conclude that posting them to countries with the needed military technology relevant to our current security situation in the country will help improve military cooperation between the two countries.
This is why we passionately appeal that the background of the Ambassadors be used as a yardstick for their posting .This way,we will feel the impact of their representation.
Once again, we commend the Senate for performing this important assignment of their confirmation .
We also most humbly commend President Buhari for finding them worthy to serve as our representatives abroad .
Thanks and God bless you.
Ambassadors Designate: Sowore Suffering From Failed Revolution Hangover – NICreL
The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICreL) says Omoyele Sowore’s attempt to incite Nigerians in the diaspora against the ambassadors designate shows that he is yet to recover from his failed insurrection bid.
The group, in a statement on Wednesday, said the former presidential aspirant is suffering from a waned revolution hangover, one that has impaired his capacity to process ideas, thoughts, utterances and actions expected of right-thinking members of the society.
According to the statement signed by its Executive Director, Rev Steven Onwu, the NICreL urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to ignore Sowore, whom it noted, is goading them to possibly violate the laws in their countries of domicile while he shuttles between New York and Nigeria extorting high ranking persons through blackmail.
The group further cautioned Nigerians abroad to avoid anything that would lead to their repatriation to Nigeria and eventually become hirelings and rented protesters for Sowore’s failed revolution.
While describing the former service heads as worthy ambassadors who served the nation meritoriously as military chiefs, the group urged Nigerians to actively flag and report Sowore’s inciteful post.
The NICreL, however, advised the RevolutionNow convener to voluntarily commit himself to a mental health facility especially now that mental health issues are gaining better recognition and improving attention in Nigeria.
Read the full statement below:
The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICreL) has noted with disgust the attempt by failed revolutionist and pro-terrorists’ activists, Omoyele Sowore to incite Nigerians in the diaspora against the ambassadors designate recently confirmed by the Senate. We recognize that Sowore is suffering from failed revolution hangover, one that has greatly impaired his capacity to process ideas, thoughts, utterances and actions on the basis expected of right-thinking members of the society.
In a new low in Sowore’s rapid descent into the irresponsible, he wrote on his Facebook page that “Dear Nigerians in the Diaspora: If Tukur Buratai or any of the criminal former Buhari service chiefs is (are) sent to your domain anywhere in the world please chase them back to Nigeria in sustained protest! Remember they are only fit to be sent to the ICC in The Hague #BuhariMustGo #OccupyNigeria #RevolutionNow”
Ordinarily, knowing that Sowore is mentally and reality-challenged, efforts should not be dissipated replying to his rabidity against the ambassadors designate, who served the nation meritoriously as military chiefs. However, we are concerned that unwary Nigerians in the diaspora may be misled into heeding his criminal incitement, which would ultimately lead to such hapless persons being arrested for acting in the manner Sowore suggested and they will then be prosecuted, convicted, serve jail terms before being repatriated to Nigeria while the subjects of their misdirected anger continue to excel in their new roles.
Nigerians in the diaspora should note that Sowore is goading to possibly violate the laws in their countries of domicile while he shuttles between New York and Nigeria extorting high ranking persons through blackmail. Those in the diaspora would want to check the extant rules in their locations so that they will not be repatriated to Nigeria to become hirelings and rented protesters for Sowore’s failed revolution.
This common tout appears desperate in his bid to make other Nigerians into depressed persons as he has become after his serial attempts to overthrow the government of the day through mob action have failed repeatedly. He lost at the poll, his personae tainted the #OccupyNigeria movement, his devious nature truncated his #RevolutionNow movement and even protesters of under #EndSARS chased him away from their protests in Abuja because they know that he stains anything he touches with rot. So rotten is this entity that answers are yet to be found for what to his party’s campaign money in the 2019 Presidential Election he took part in.
NICreL is pleased to note that some of the comments on his inciteful post called him out as someone desperate to destroy Nigeria for reasons known to only him. We urge those who see through his evil plans to actively flag and report his posts as inciting violence so that Facebook and other social media platforms can treat those poisonous posts according to their community standards, which do not tolerate bad behaviour.
On the offline side, Nigerians must begin to educate each other on how there is nothing democratic about a Sowore, who refuses to acknowledge that the Senate exercised the powers bestowed on it by the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended). It is tragic that this maniac once, even as a comedian, aspired to the highest position in the land. The disdain he has shown for the National Assembly and his total lack of decorum for diplomatic relations is confirmation that the 38,000 plus people who voted for him in 2019 should be held in asylums because they must constitute a risk to the country to see anything worth redeeming in Sowore.
We urge Sowore, for whatever it worth, that it is time he gives serious thoughts to voluntarily committing himself to a mental health facility especially now that mental health issues are gaining better recognition and improving attention in Nigeria.
Insecurity: Calls for Buhari’s resignation terrorists’ propaganda – Pro- Democracy group
A Pro- Democracy group has described as a terrorists’ propaganda the calls in some quarters for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari over the state of insecurity in the nation.
The National Democratic Front (NDF), said the calls by some few individuals were apparently sponsored by terrorists, who are hell bent on making Nigeria ungovernable.
Recall that a coalition comprising 43 frontline civil society organisations and Femi Falana’s law firm have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to resign or be removed from office by the National Assembly if he cannot address the persistent insecurity in the country.
According to them, through the balancing, it will be demonstrated “that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence.”
Reacting, however, NDF in a statement by its Director, Paul Aliyu, said it has uncovered of a by some coalitions to facilitate further degeneration of the security situation in the country, which they will then use to launch a “Buhari Must Go” protest across the nation
The group, therefore, called on Nigerians and the international community to hold every single group and individual in the coalition responsible for any resulting degeneration in the security situation in the land.
Full text of the statement below.
Gentlemen of the press, you are aware that a coalition made of 43 groups has come out to demand that President Muhammadu Buhari steps down or be impeached by the National Assembly if he does not meet their five-point demand. The basis for this seditious demand is the security breaches in the country, which these groups are claiming that the president has not done anything about.
Without meaning top promote the propaganda that these elements have deployed against the nation, we will repeat their demands here just so we are able to specifically speak to them:
Provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with Section 17 (2) ( C ) of the Constitution;
End impunity for abuse of power and sectionalism through his appointments by balancing the need for competence with the federal character principle. In this way, he will demonstrate that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence;
Take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.
Mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets.
Where the President fails to fulfil his constitutional duties as stated above, we demand he steps aside or the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him on grounds of gross misconduct as provided for in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Before proceeding to speak on these demands, we will first speak on the identify of those making them so that Nigerians can appreciate that they are being taken for a ride by a criminal gang that has remained dissatisfied from the moment their sources of slush and illicit funds were obstructed by the reforms birthed by President Muhammadu Buhari. The collation is an assortment of groups with several interests that have been packaged to appear as being in the best interest of Nigerians but in reality are a danger to the entire country:
The coalition is apparently led in part by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), whose head, Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani) is a board member of Amnesty International and Transparency International – two organizations that are obsessed with confirming Nigeria as a failed state. These are organizations that have invested much in supporting Boko Haram and just any terrorist organization. That can help create a sense of terror and insecurity. It is now apparent that the entire support that Amnesty International and Transparency International has been offering to terrorists was meant to culminate in their Nigeria asset, Rafsanjani, leading a charge to overthrow the government of President Buhari through a coup by the legislature, which he has infiltrated with CISLAC that has been gathering blackmail materials on federal lawmakers.
Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP) is another of the NGOs that has over the past few years invested a lot of resources to de-market the government of the day by constantly raising false alarms based on unsubstantiated claims. Its strategy has been to distract the government from functioning using spurious litigation and court cases that have never been pursued to conclusion. What has become apparent now is that these series of court cases were intended to incapacitate the government so that the resulting inaction can be held against Mr. President.
Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE) and Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA) are NGO wings of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which has continued to smart from the serial election losses that it suffered in the hands of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that produced President Buhari. It is understandable that these NGOs are now trying to get through a coup what their client could not win in free and fair elections.
BudgiT Foundation, another signatory to the illicit demands, should have been upfront in declaring that its cofounder, Oluseun Onigbinde, takes instructions from the arch-nemesis of the Buhari government, Oby Ezekwesili. It is another organization that has persistently seen no good in the government especially since Onigbinde discovered that he was not suitable for public office on account of his anti-Nigeria stance canvassed on his social media handles. It is no surprise that organizations like his were quick to jump on the impeach-Buhari wagon.
There is of course the terrorists-supporting Femi Falana Chamber, which has consistently been championing the course of groups that have been declared as terrorists. The legal defence so afforded to these group had made it possible for them to contribute to the lingering insecurity in the land. These are groups that are deployed to distract law enforcement of the military from focusing on major threats to the country.
The situation they created is now being used as justification to demand for President Buhari’s removal.
Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria is a fanatical Niger-Delta front that hides under environmental issues to pursue separatist agenda. The list is replete with other groups that are closet separatists, whose interest is in exploiting the prevailing situation to provoke the emergence of micro-nations from Nigeria. Such groups are on the ride to achieve the separatist goals of their main body.
While we are surprised that the media attack dog for this coalition did not make the list of signatories, the presence of Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Women In Media on the list is an alarm bell. It shows that these anti-Nigeria elements have infiltrated and possibly compromised the objectivity expected from the media. It speaks to the serial negative reporting that has been deployed against President Buhari with the implication that a lot of what we have been reading about the government is a reflection of what the anti-government coalition wants Nigerians and the world to perceive and not the reality.
From this snapshot of the collation that is seeking to further compromise Nigeria worse than it already did, it is apparent that their demand number 1, that President Buhari should “Provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with Section 17 (2) ( C ) of the Constitution” is one that they are already working against. They have been persistent in distracting President Buhari in performing this very task and some of them actively sabotage whatever the country has achieved in this regard.
The second demand that Mr. President should “End impunity for abuse of power and sectionalism through his appointments by balancing the need for competence with the federal character principle. In this way, he will demonstrate that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence,” is a sad one. It confirms that the collation is singing from the hymn book of separatists who have been intolerant of other ethnic nationality. It is a demand that is meant to justify the drumbeats of war that have been coming from separatists. It is sad that a collation that is lying about looking out for Nigeria’s interest can be pitching citizens against each other on the basis of political appointments. This is a diss of the efforts of Mr. President in helping on daily basis to restore normalcy to the country.
The recent change of the security chiefs is a sign of a new strategy even though they will build on what the immediate chiefs have achieved. We therefore need to give the new services chiefs the needed time to study the situation and come up with their own strategy.
The collation further demanded that the president should “Take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.” Unfortunately, this is the one place that collation has been unfair to Nigerians in that they are asking for a licence to act irresponsibly without consequences. They want a situation where some people, hiding under the media, can incite violence without being held accountable for their actions. They want extant legislation that govern responsible behaviour in information dissemination to be discarded so that they will be at liberty to deploy toxic propaganda to destabilise the Nigerian state.
While this group is asking for the president to “Mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets,” they are doing the exact opposite in contributing to precipitate the security situation in the country. Mr President has been working hard to address the security situation while it is apparent that some people are out to jeopardise his efforts. Nigerians had been wondering who these people are, which makes it a good thing that this coalition has exposed itself as part of those that have been undermining the country’s security for their own selfish end.
Consequently, the collation’s demand that “Where the President fails to fulfil his constitutional duties as stated above, we demand he steps aside or the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him on grounds of gross misconduct as provided for in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” is one that Nigerians should hold them accountable for. It is a subtle threat and an exposure of their plan to overthrow the government in any way possible.
The National Democratic Front (NDF) hereby alerts Nigerians to the uncovering of the plot by the coalition to facilitate further degeneration of the security situation in the country, which they will then use to launch a “Buhari Must Go” protest across the nation. We want Nigerians and the international community to hold every single group and individual in the coalition responsible for any resulting degeneration in the security situation in the land. We ask the law enforcement agencies to be at alert, especially with the discovery that the collation is reportedly working on multiple options for distablizing the country further in order to force the president out of office. This is a dangerous threat to our democracy and must not be allowed to evolve.
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