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Blacklist: Centre Faults Nigeria’s Classification By US

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The Centre For African Liberation And Socio-Economic Rights (CALSER) has condemned the United States’ blacklist of Nigeria as a religious intolerant nation, describing the report and its intent as subjective. 

According to CALSER, the U.S’ assertion is a disservice to Nigeria as it will serve to further aggravate the problems on the ground rather than help. 

The centre made this known at a press conference on Friday by its Executive Director, Barrister Ehis Imoukhuede. 

Contrary to claims by the United States, the CALSER said members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) or any other group were never prevented from worshipping in the fashion they prefer. 

The centre further said that it is irresponsible to hold the Federal Government accountable for crimes committed by Boko Haram and ISWAP. 

According to the group, it is misleading and unfair to infer that Boko Haram killed only Christians, adding that the classification of herdsmen as Muslims and farmers as Christians is a lazy stereotype that rings of racism. 

The centre, however, advised the United States to send its mandarins to Nigeria to undertake a proper study of not just the religious relations in the country but to also understand the peculiar dynamics that do not lend themselves to the series of fallacies that made it into that report.

It added that the Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari is working for the wellbeing of all Nigerians. 

Read Full statement below:

The United States recently placed Nigeria on a religious freedom blacklist, in its Nigeria 2019 International Religious Freedom Report which is published on November 5, 2020. Let us state from the onset that this is a strategy for preparing the ground to impose sanctions on Nigeria if in the United States’ estimate it thinks that progress has not been made in ensuring religious freedom for the diverse ethnic nationalities of the country.  

Unfortunately, the report and its intent are subjective going by what we can glean from it. For instance, the report in its executive summary said: “Throughout the year, Shia Muslims, under the auspices of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), conducted a series of demonstrations – including several in July against the ongoing detention of IMN leader Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky – resulting in violent confrontations between protesters and security forces, which left as many as 30 dead, including protesters and police.”

Other noteworthy excerpts from the report are: “Terrorist groups including Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA) attacked population centres and religious targets and maintained a growing ability to stage forces in rural areas and launch attacks against civilian and military targets across the North East, according to observers.”  

The report further speculated that: “Conflicts between predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen and predominantly Christian farmers in the North Central states continued throughout the year, although the violence was lower than during the 2017-2018 spike, reportedly due to government intervention and efforts of civil society to resolve conflicts.”
Gentlemen of the press, from the foregoing you can see that the United States’ 2019 International Religious Freedom Report conclusions on Nigeria are a disservice to Nigeria because it will serve to further aggravate the problems on the ground rather than help. 

First, it is inconceivable that the United States can regard security operations against IMN as a denial of religious freedom. No one prevented IMN members from worshipping in the fashion they prefer to the extent that they also respect the rights of other people, for instance, the right of others to have access to public infrastructures like the roads that its members usually obstruct. The reality is that IMN is a proscribed group based on constitutionally recognized processes, which included a White Paper on the Kaduna State Judicial Panel of Inquiry. The trial of its leader is by a competent court of Kaduna State, which leaves one wondering if the United States will tolerate Nigeria meddling into matters being handled by its circuit courts.

Secondly, it is a travesty that borders on being irresponsible to hold the Federal Government accountable for crimes committed by Boko Haram and ISWAP, which the United States and its media organizations have refused to properly designate as terrorist groups operating in the Lake Chad Basin. This refusal to so classify Boko Haram has been behind the absence of international support to eradicate it from operating in the region.
 
If Boko Haram’s crimes are being imputed to Nigeria, then the United States must accept joint responsibility as the nation that created the atmosphere that allowed these terrorists to thrive and torment Nigerians of all religious shades. The US’ activities in the Middle East and North Africa supported the growth of ISIS brand of terrorism and also flooded those areas with weapons that have found their way into the hands of Boko Haram terrorists. 

We must not also lose sight of the fact that it is misleading and unfair to infer that Boko Haram killed only Christians or killed more Christians. Boko Haram kill Nigerians and the loss of any human life is a tragedy. Boko Haram bombed mosques and killed Muslims, Christians, Animist, Agnostics and Atheists all alike. Reducing the acts of terror being committed by Boko Haram to a sectarian debate is an irresponsible act that should not be encouraged. 

Similarly, classifying herdsmen as Muslims and farmers as Christians is a lazy stereotype that rings of racism. It is in the same territory as Americans referring to Africa as a country when it is in reality a continent. The lack of Nigeria’s sectarian appreciation on the part of the US report is a major reason to discard its findings. 
Furthermore, we observe that the report significantly relied on secondary sources like “news reports”.

Unfortunately, these reports that the report relied on were dominated by fake news and organizations that are involved in the manufacture of dissent. Some of the organizations that were cited were at some points in the past found complicit in sharing military intelligence with Boko Haram, which leaves us to question the reliability of what they passed on as news or facts. Some of the individuals that these organizations cited or interview are also questionable. 

It is pertinent that the United States send its mandarins to Nigeria to undertake a proper study of not just the religious relations in the country but to also understand the peculiar dynamics that do not lend themselves to the series of fallacies that made it into that report.

The US must know not to act on fake news as this detracts from its global standing.  

We want to categorically tell the United States that the Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari is working for the wellbeing of all Nigerians. The military is fighting Boko Haram as the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that is because the life of every Nigerian is considered important. 

If the US is interested in intervening, we believe that it should start by not paying lips service to issues of Boko Haram, ISWAP and other terrorist entities that thrive because of its geostrategic activities like supporting al-Nusra affiliates in Syria, which in turn ship their US-supplied weapons to Boko Haram and ISWAP.

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Terrorism: Nigeria Has Made Giant Strides In Human Rights Compliance, Won’t Be Intimidated By ICC, Amnesty – Human Rights Group

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The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups (CHRMG) says Nigeria has made significant strides in human rights compliance in the prosecution of the war against terrorism. 

The human rights group, which made this known at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, also noted that the troops have adhered to international best practices in its various operations across the country. 

The CHRMG said it arrived at this conclusion after an appraisal of the war against terrorism in the country and the compliance to international conventions by the leadership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. 

The coalition’s position invalidates that of Amnesty International and the International Criminal Court which levelled human rights violations against the military. 

And Executive Director, Gabriel Agibi, while speaking on behalf of the group, singled out the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai for special praises, adding that he qualifies to be conferred with the highest Human Rights Compliance Award.  

According to Agibi, the establishment of human rights desks in all Nigerian Army units and formations to address human rights violations is an illustration of the COAS’ ingenuity. 

The coalition, therefore, hailed President Muhammadu Buhari, the Armed Forces’ leadership and the troops for adhering to global standards in human rights preservation. 

It, however, warned those peddling false information with regards to the human rights compliance of the military to desist as it serves only as a means of distraction and not a reflection of the reality on the ground. 

The CHRMG further urged the troops not to be discouraged by the antics of Amnesty, ICC and their likes.  

Read the full statement below:

I welcome you all to this press conference in furtherance of our mandate to give an appraisal of the government’s efforts in the war against terrorism and other acts of militancy in North-East Nigeria and other parts of the country. 

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups has been actively engaged in ensuring the adherence to international conventions in the preservation of human rights by the Nigerian government and by extension the Armed Forces in its various operations across the length and breadth of the country. 

It is indeed a fact that we have been credited to have held the government accountable through the various mechanisms introduced to ensure strict compliance to the rules of engagement in warfare and ensure Nigerians’ rights and privileges are not trampled upon under whatever guise. 

It is on this strength we convoked this press conference to give a detailed appraisal of our fact-finding mission on the operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the preservation of human rights in its various operations. 

We wish to state in unequivocal terms that there has been a considerable improvement in the conduct of the Nigerian Armed Forces regarding human rights and compliance to international conventions, especially in the last five years. 

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups wishes to put it on record that the Nigerian Army’s operational strategies in the prosecution of the war against terrorism and other acts of criminalities have been outstanding with an excellent rating on human rights compliance. From all our ratings and feedback mechanism, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai leads the pack of military commanders who have displayed an unalloyed commitment to upholding human rights tenets and adherence global best practices in the rules of engagement in warfare. This is on the heels that Operation Lafiya Dole’s organizational composition has in place measures to curb excesses by officers and soldiers in the discharge of their duties.  

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups also reiterates that President Muhammadu Buhari in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has been exceptional in ensuring that the Armed Forces’ operations comply with international conventions. 

We are using this medium to commend President Muhammadu Buhari and the Armed Forces’ leadership for the exceptional conduct regarding the adhering to global standards in human rights preservation. 

The establishment of human rights desks in all Nigerian Army units and formations to address human rights violations is another exemplary display of ingenuity by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai who by all standards qualifies to be conferred with the Highest Human Rights Compliance Awards. 

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups indeed applauds other Service Chiefs, such as the Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, AVM Mohammed Saliu Usman, the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas for their invaluable contributions in the entrenchment of human rights in Nigeria. 

We also wish to use this medium to commend officers and soldiers in the theatre of operations for exhibiting high standards of compliance with regards to the protection of human rights. Their display of professionalism even in the face of provocation is noteworthy and indeed, commendable. 

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups’ position is that the security agencies engaged in the war against terrorism in Nigeria have exhibited high regard for human rights, which is in line with global best practices. 

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups is sending a strong message to all those that are at the forefront of peddling false information with regards to the human rights compliance of the Nigerian Armed Forces to desist from such ignoble ventures which by all intent and purposes serves only as a means of distraction and not a reflection of the reality on the ground. 

The fact remains that in the past five years, the level of human rights compliance by the Nigerian Armed Forces in the prosecution of the war against insurgency and other militants acts in Nigeria has been commendable. Credit must be given to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and other heads of security agencies that have been involved directly or indirectly in the prosecution of the war against insurgency in Nigeria. 

The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups is by this medium conferring on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and other top commanders of the Nigerian Army and the troops the Human Rights Compliance Awards for service to country and humanity. 

We also want to use this medium to encourage the Nigerian Armed Forces’ leadership not to rest on their oars and continue to preserve the tenets of human rights in their operations. 

Thank you all for your time, and God bless. 

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Subversive Elements Radicalizing Diaspora to Promote Destabilization of Nigeria From Abroad -CNM

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Some Nigerians with questionable character in the Diaspora have indulged in malicious campaigns to radicalize their compatriots and promote destabilization back home. 

This revelation was made by the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) in a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja.  

According to the group, these subversive elements intend to tarnish the image of leaders, while ultimately activating insecurity and economic crisis that would lead to anarchy.

In his address, CNM’s leader, Patriot Sabo Odeh said Nigerians must be aware of these elements who deliberately instigate problems back home and escape with their families to safe abodes.  

According to Odeh, they sponsor youths to protest under the pretext of democratic liberty and fails to speak out when it turns violent. 

The coalition recalled the role played by these Nigerians abroad in fuelling last year’s EndSARS protest which eventually led to arson, unrest and bloodbath.  

The group wondered why these Nigerians who criticised the Federal Government for quelling further breakdown of law and order suddenly went mute when police were deployed at U.S. Capitol Hill. 

The Coalition for Nigeria Movement, however, advised Nigerians to wake up from slumber, before the antics and sinister plans of these elements in the diaspora would cause the total ruination of our country.

It added that the mindless assault and undermining of the peace and security of our country in the guise of the exercise of democratic rights must cease. 

Read the full statement below: 

The Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) is wishing you a prosperous and happy New Year, as we welcome you most warmly to this press conference.

We are elbowed to address this press conference to speak to the generality of Nigerians over the trending mindsets and inclinations of Nigerians in the diaspora who have decided dodge the pains, discomforts and scars of nation-building, but indulges in subversive actions against the country. Whilst this clan of Nigerians have decided to hoe themselves in foreign lands, they deliberately instigate problems of frightening dimensions on insecurities, but escape to the safer abodes of other nations with their families when the conflagrations they ignite goes wild aflame. 

The troubleshooters abandon the rest of us to our fate, after making us susceptible to the problems they generate by their actions and utterances’. We are baffled at the manner these Nigerians in diaspora dubiously misinterpret and apply the doctrines of freedom of speech and the rights to public protests by the citizens in the expression of grievances against the government in a manner which projects them as blind to the discernment of peace and violence.

This tendency has become too pronounced under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last four years. These diasporan Nigerians prod and sponsor our youths to protests under the pretext of democratic liberty, but hardly know the difference between peaceful and violent protests as espoused by democratic Governments globally.  Even when such protests become violent and bloody, or marred by destructions the Nigerians in diaspora use various weapons, especially social media platforms to bolster the perpetrators of such evil against the people and the nation to continue in self-destruction.   

Whilst we are unexcited at recounting the gores of some of these recently ugly so-called “democratic” public protests in Nigeria, which did only become bloody but violated the basic doctrines of liberty under a civilian government, but it has become pertinent to use the incidents for illustration and clarity.

We are aware of the age-long aberrations’ and the nuisances inherent in members of the outlawed sect, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) or the Shiites in Nigeria led by Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.  The sect’s devious members have repeatedly invaded Abuja with guns and other dangerous weapons under the guise of protesting what they believed in their narrowed senses as the unlawful incarceration of El-Zakzaky.  

The protests were organized at two or three separate instances; but quite sadly, the Shiites defiled all sanity, turned violent and brutally engaged security agents drafted to maintain public law and order. In one of the incidents, they crudely attacked and gruesomely murdered Nigerians including a senior police officer.

Let us again look at the violent dimension of the #EndSARS protests of last year. It was executed with the same tenor of the IMN’s protests or other such demonstrations in Nigeria under the Buhari Presidency. All of us can attest to the scary bloodbath, rape of women, cruel butcher of security agents by the protestors, the destruction of public and private properties, looting, acts of arson and vandalization which were committed.

Nigerians were subjected to this level of barbaric violence and brutality in the pretext of “democratic” protests. This is not permissible anywhere and under any system of government in the world. Unfortunately, while the incensed madness lasted, Nigerians in the diaspora shamelessly rather emboldened and encouraged the crisis-printers agents of darkness and the hoodlums.

Strangely, Nigerians in the diaspora were rather faulting the strident measures President Buhari adopted to halt the carnage and restore public peace. The Nigerians in foreign lands lectured us on how undemocratic Mr. President acted by ordering the Military to quell the insane violence. They branded President Buhari a civilian dictator and all manner of derogative sobriquets.

But we must realize that democracy is not practised in Nigeria alone or Nigeria’s brand of democracy emanates from the skies. Almost every nation on earth has embraced this system of government. And with it, the fundamental doctrines of freedom of expression and liberties as also guaranteed in other nations. But there are limitations and the citizen’s exercise of these rights is also guided by the principles of decency and the consciousness of resisting the temptation on encroaching on the rights of other countrymen and women.

But most pointedly, no democratic leader allows national security to be compromised by hoodlums and miscreants in the guise of exercising democratic rights either in public protests or any other endeavour.  National interest supersedes every other consideration. Therefore, democratic protests which assume the character of bloodbath are ruthlessly crushed with the force it deserves.

Nigerians have seen it done elsewhere in recent times. We know America as the global bastion of democracy. But outgoing President Donald J. Trump could not tolerate lawless protestors. He ordered American Military out to protect America’s national heritage from abuse by vandals, looters, arsonists’ and brigands. It happened during the #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations’ over the police murder of George Floyd. No one raised an eyebrow.

And it was recently, we witnessed the episode of the violent invasion of Capitol Hill building by pro-Trump protesters. In a split-second, security agents murdered five Americans.  The venom expressed by the protestors at Capitol Hill was just an insignificant fraction of what Nigerian youths did during the #EndSARS protests in the country. Among victims of the police reaction to the enraged and violent protesters was a woman who was shot point-blank on the chest and she died instantly.

Unbelievably, CNM observed with consternation the conspiratorial silence of Nigerians in the diaspora over the brutal police encounter with protestors at Capitol Hill. None of them neither condemned nor queried the excessive application of force by the American police.  We expected to hear a public condemnatory statement from the Nigerians who administer the Abuja country office of Amnesty International, but no word has been heard from them to this moment. But these are the people who pick bones in everything Buhari.

We must understand the motive and hypocrisy in the malicious campaigns of these Nigerians in the diaspora against their country. The masterminds of the bellicose campaigns are diaspora Nigerians who are at best, outcasts and renegades who escaped or sought asylum in foreign countries after committing criminal acts in Nigeria. Many of them were school dropouts, rapists, lawbreakers, armed robbers, bank robbers, looters of our commonwealth, failed businessmen and lazy baboons. 

CNM is therefore calling on all Nigerians to wake up from slumber, before the antics and sinister plans of some Nigerians in the diaspora would cause the total ruination of our country. It appears to us now that what Nigerians who have escaped to foreign lands learn first are the tricks of how to orchestrate the destabilization and destruction of their country. This is condemnable and unacceptable. 

This is the time for us to unite to tackle these questionable characters headlong. The Diaspora Office must be revisited.  We suggest that it should be scrapped because it has lost its relevance. Those who congregate under its roof are mere opportunists. They are bringing their disappointments abroad to implant a lawless society in Nigeria that was not accommodative to them before taking a flight abroad. The Diaspora office has failed. It has become an avenue for disgruntled elements to congregate against the interests of the entire country.

The CNM is pleading with all the citizens of our country rise against the negative influence and interferences by Nigerians in the diaspora who mean no good for our beloved country. This is not the time to procrastinate in taking the appropriate action. The mindless assault and undermining of the peace and security of our country in the guise of the exercise of democratic rights must cease. 

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Revealed: How Compromised ICC Plans To Release A Trumped-Up Report On Alleged Indictment Of Nigerian Military Leaders

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Fresh facts have emerged on how the International Criminal Court (ICC) has perfected plans to release a report indicting some members of the military hierarchy for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the prosecution of the war against insurgency in Nigeria.

According to credible sources, the ICC is planning to indict some military hierarchy members, especially those at the forefront of the war against insurgency and terrorism in Nigeria. The source who is a member of an international network of intelligence gathering organization scooped that the bulk of the report was trumped up with little or no evidence to back their position.

“In the coming weeks, the ICC would attempt to cause a global stir by alleging that some military commanders in Nigeria have been found wanting in committing war crimes. We know the ICC report is laced with illogical conclusions as there were no evidence to back the claims. However, some vested interest in the ICC has vetoed for the report to be released” he said.

He further stated that the report did not get the required consensus, but plans have been perfected to make it public.

“From the foregoing, I think that Nigeria should brace up for what to come from the ICC as it would indeed cause some discomfort and distractions in the ongoing war against insurgency.”

This medium also gathered that in a bid to give the report some semblance of credibility, the ICC is relying on some perceived human rights organizations to amplify the report in the public domain through press statements in support of the ICC report.

Another top security source who pleaded anonymity stated that the ICC report is targeted at a top Military commander for his tough stance in the prosecution of the war against insurgency.

“We have credible Intel on who the target of the ICC is, and we also know that the ranks of the ICC must have been infiltrated by some very powerful interest in the middle east who have devoted large sums of monies to ensure that the ICC indicts Nigeria for an incidence that happened some years back that almost sparked a diplomatic row between Nigeria and the country which has considerable interest in the affairs of Nigeria.”

“I tell you that at this stage there is no turning back for the ICC because the body has been compromised greatly with massive monetary inducement. But I tell you that the plot will fail because there would be a backlash as there is no tangible evidence that suggests that crimes against humanity were committed; instead, it is the other way round.”

According to some correspondence seen by this medium, Amnesty International and Transparency International have been conscripted into the plot to provide backup to the ICC. In one of the mails tagged “ the urgency of now” the focus is to recruit willing individuals and groups in Nigeria to lend support to the cause that is tailored towards bringing about ” necessary change” in Nigeria.”

This fact was also corroborated by a top intelligence source who pleaded anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issues at stake. He stated that “Amnesty International and Transparency are part of the ICC’s plot to discredit Nigeria. They have been covertly mobilizing willing individuals and groups under the tag of 2021 retreat for enhancing human rights compliance in Nigeria.”

“I tell you that the plot is real. It is a destabilization plot that if allowed to succeed, the consequences might be severe as it would greatly affect the efforts towards addressing the security challenges in the country.”

“The involvement of the ICC is the height of the desperation as all previous plots have failed and due to the global image of the ICC, an indictment would open a flurry of opening for scathing attacks on the Nigerian Military towards ensuring that there is a distraction that would enable insurgent and terrorist groups to regain lost grounds.”

The source further advised Nigerians to be vigilant and wary of invitations for seminars and capacity building workshops by some known civil society organizations.

“Nigerians must be vigilant as in the coming weeks; there would be invitations for capacity building workshops by some local and international organizations, especially from Amnesty International, Transparency International and their proxies. These workshops aim to serve as recruitment avenues towards the grand plot to launch an offensive against Nigeria.”

“The target of this recruitment drive are youths between the ages of 25 and 40 and some of those with considerable social media leverage whose platforms would also be utilized in mobilizing the youthful population in Nigeria for a repeat of something in the mould of the EndSARS campaign.”

It would be recalled that Nigeria has been under constant criticism for the Nigerian military’s role in the war against insurgency and other acts of militancy in parts of the country.

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