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ICC And Its Macabre Dance – By Richard Murphy

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) finally lost it. The decision of its outgoing prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to investigate Nigeria’s Security Forces for human rights abuses and the equivalent of war crimes is one that the officials of that institution should have better weighed and advise against.

Bensouda’s desperation to score achievements before leaving office is no justification for the shabby job that led to that decision. Since the organization is a continuum, her successor could have continued with the necessary factfinding, which means she need not have rushed to justify whatever deal she has ongoing with Amnesty International.

A fair disclaimer each time the name ICC is mentioned it is to clearly state that it has earned itself the unpleasant title of being the court for undermining African countries. It has become obsessed with facilitating the disruption of African countries, humiliating their leaders and incapacitating their key institutions. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that African leaders are cited for trial by the international court for supposed crimes that would not get a mention if same were committed by their counterparts on other continents.

ICC’s decision on Nigeria is suspect in all ramifications because it ties too much into previously identified destabilization agenda being implemented against the country. That decision shows an organization that is not in charge of what it is putting out but one that is taking instructions from outside its own fold. This faux pax raises too many posers.

A first thought that a discerning institution that is truly interested in world peace would have taken time to consider the potential consequences of its pronouncement on the country against which they are directed. In the case of Nigeria, ICC’s decision is one that would further worsen the already testy security situation in the land. There have been sufficient expert views in the past that emasculating the military with the treat if being dragged before the ICC is something that would demoralise troops while incentivising the terrorists they are fighting against.

The warning sign for this is how the Court find significant infractions against the terrorists, but it marketed its report in a manner that suggested that the troops committed the bulk of the infractions it is talking about. This shows a bias, a commitment to demonize the government troops while doing all that is possible to protect the terrorists that should rightly be in jail or even executed for their vicious crime.

In a situation where the government troops are no longer able to fight terrorists because they have been cowed with ICC the world can be rest assured that Boko Haram, ISWAP and other terrorist groups will simply decimate the population. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) will exploit such situation to grow into a monster worse than Boko Haram.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) would find a conducive environment to achieve its nefarious mission of trying to balkanise Nigeria. In summary, having frightened troops would make Nigeria into one horror show and ICC would have at that prove that is it not one if the entities that signed up into making Nigeria into a failed entity.

Secondly, ICC is legitimizing Boko Haram by placing it on the same, if not higher, pedestal as the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Although it labelled Boko Haram and its splinter groups as “non-state actors” it nonetheless treated them as if they are superior to the government forces. This is disconcertingly consistent with the kind of branding that Amnesty International has been doing for terrorist groups operating in Nigeria by given them more rights than citizens and the security forces. It is thus evident that ICC is working to set Nigeria up in a manner that offers advantage to agents of destabilization that Boko Haram represents.

If ICC setting Nigeria up for failure is frightening then one better not contemplate the unfolding disaster of the International Criminal Court being in bed with a discredited international NGO, Amnesty International. The entirety of the ICC’S evidence derives from Amnesty International, its affiliates, its proxy NGOs and individuals fronting for it. This explains why it seems the ICC has a watertight case because the body of “evidence” at its disposal is solid. That solidity is nothing, but a density achieved through a collage of fake news, manufactured reality and a lot of acting.

It is interesting to note that part of those that collated the so-called petitions and evidence the ICC is basing its decision upon are NGOs, Amnesty International’s allies, that were into the business of passing military intelligence, shared in pursuit of keeping their staffers safe, to Boko Haram terrorists. These are NGOs that provide logistics to terrorists under the pretext of doing humanity work. If these organization’s inputs can form the basis of ICC’s decisions, then the entire world is in trouble. It is a matter of time before terrorists rule the world, and it is ICC that would make it possible – first in African countries and later in the countries that today see themselves as too advanced to be bothered by the charade that this organization is acting.

Several indigenous groups in Nigeria has raised alarms in the past to the effect that the activities of certain foreign NGOs were akin to working to the answer; these groups compile reports that will result in the ICC finding against Nigeria. These reports were never accurate to start with, but they are now the basis the ICC is proceeding with the charade it is planning. ICC is dancing a macabre dance to a tune being played by Amnesty International and it is like the court is trampling on the graves of the victims of terrorism, who would possibly be alive if the Nigerian military is not incapacitated by threats of being dragged to the Hague. The Court’s position is as perverted as they come.

There is only one sliver of sense in the position announced by the ICC, which is that it mentioned Boko Haram as an entity it is interested in investigating. This in itself leaves a sour taste in the mouth because one begins to wonder about the essence of investigating a known terrorist group that has killed tens of thousands of people while dislocating hundreds of thousands more when its indictment could have simply been announced. From the massacre of entire market towns to the decimation of worshippers in their scared places of worship, Boko Haram has on its own documented the trail of blood that has become its hallmark. The terrorists commit the crimes and make video to boast of them so it is not as if the Court, Amnesty International and whoever is bribing both of them cannot see the actual evidence before their eyes. But the military is being scapegoated to achieve the objective of undermining Nigeria.

What will redeem ICC therefore is for it to haul Boko Haram’s deranged leader, Abubakar Shekau, his amirs and the leaders of rival factions to the Hague. Perhaps ICC will succeed in getting international forces to paradrop into Sambisa Forest or anywhere else Shekau and his ilk are holed up in the Lake Chad Basin and smoke them out to stand trial. It should similarly drag out the leaders of the international ISIS brand since they send instructions and support to their Nigerian franchise.

That is what it should focus on and not hounding those that have committed themselves to making this happen in the present.  It bears mentioning that any investigation the ICC plans to carry out must occur in a sequence that has Boko Haram commanders and fighters being the first to answer for their atrocities. The Court admitted that it “recognises that the vast majority of criminality within the situation is attributable to non-state actors.”

By focusing first on Boko Haram, any investigation, if at all necessary, will prove without a string of doubt that the troops of the Nigerian Security Forces and their commanders have nothing worry about because the bulk of the crimes being attributed to them were the handiwork of Boko Haram terrorists that were then framed by their collaborating NGOs to appear as infractions committed by the Nigerian troops.

In other instances, NGOs simply cooked up lies that have now stuck because the military did not waste efforts in dispelling the lies as they were too busy doing the actual work of fighting terrorism.

The biggest loser of this charade is the International Criminal Court. African countries had contemplated mass withdrawal from the instrument setting up the ICC and it is about time too given its clearly racist and anti-African agenda even under someone if African descent. Should ICC continue the way it is going the Rome Statute will soon be worth less than the number of letters in its name.

Murphy, a security expert wrote from Calabar.

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Opinion

Nigeria And Her Betrayal By Diaspora – By Thomas Uzah PhD

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Interventions on the political and economic fronts by Nigerians in the Diaspora have been anything but complimentary of our leaders, systems and policies.

It is as if once our intellectuals find their feet in other shores, they develop a contemptuous mindset towards their country and anything happening in the country is viewed from negative prisms.

These Diasporans become perpetual critics whose thirst for castigating Nigerian leaders and their policies is hardly satisfied.

This posture had made many patriotic citizens to conclude that most of these Nigerians living in foreign countries are driven by regime hate hence are not capable of critically and objectively dissecting the situation they choose to interrogate not to talk of proffering  positive solutions.

Rather than come up with ideas for the political and socioeconomic upliftment of their people, Nigerians in the Diaspora have constituted themselves into a nation of nay sayers, cynics and pessimists trying hard to drag the Nigerian state down. 

It is typical of comments from there to reduce every economic breakthrough to happenstance, every good policy to a mere mistake while challenges are elevated as the norm.

While the nationals of other countries seek ways to better their country through researches and pooling of funds from their host countries, the Nigerian Diaspora community is more interested in seeing itself as an opposition party. 

In the 70s, it was a group of Malaysians in the Diaspora who stumbled on the Nigerian palm fruits  and through researches, were able to extract pure vegetable oil from the fruit which they now export to other countries.

But decades after we have sent our sons and daughters to the most technologically advanced countries, our mothers and sisters are still using grinding stones to grind pepper while our men are still using raffia to climb palm trees.

Good and commercially viable agricultural products still perish on their ways to the market because there’s no means of preserving them.

While they have failed in their patriotic duties of using their experiences to help in the development of their country, they appear unrelenting in the bid to rubbish whatever progress Nigeria is making.

This was why when Nigeria was categorised as one the fastest developing economies in the world, it did not make an impression on these set of intellectuals, neither have they said anything since our military turned the tide against terrorists and insurgents that have been disturbing the peace of the country.

Unofficial reports state that there are about 15 million Nigerians in the diaspora and can be found in most countries of the world especially the United States and the UK, followed by South Africa, UAE and other European countries such as Italy and Spain. 

The largest Nigerian Diaspora community is in the US with around followed by the UK.

A survey conducted in the US indicated that Nigerians in the US are one of the highest educated migrant groups.

The survey found that 29% of the Nigerian diaspora older than 25, held a master’s degree, Ph.D. or an advanced professional degree compared to 11% of the US population overall. 

It is said that no country in Sub-Saharan Africa receives more remittances than Nigeria, estimated by the World Bank at around 24.3B per year and 6% of GDP.

This makes Nigeria the sixth country in the world in remittance inflows. 

This ordinarily should have been celebrated as it is quite huge, but the benefits of such potentials are hardly seen at home. This id because they are only channelled towards luxurious and personal interests. Hardly are the inflows invested into the Nigerian economy with a view to ensuring a multiplier effect.

They are remittances through family ties and have not been substantial enough to jump start any aspect of the economy, let alone develop one.

Even the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, which “has the responsibility to coordinate and organize Nigerians in and from the Diaspora to contribute human capital and material resources, including their expertise, for the development of Nigeria and its constituent states,” has not been forthcoming in that regard. 

Worse still, many of the Nigerians in the Diaspora, wreak havoc of the image of Nigeria by their involvement in crime across the continents.

A release by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for America in year 2020 showed that Nigerian citizens are among the leading nationals in crime.  

Clearly, they have become bad influences on their home country by becoming emergency activists who go out to ruin the peace of the country . 

It has even been alleged that some of their unpatriotic interventions are sponsored to destabilise Nigeria for which they receive financial gratification. 

But these have got to stop. Nigerians abroad must start seeing the good in their country and project same to the world. They must serve as the catalyst for technological advancement and steer clear of the underground moves to use them to destabilise their own country .

Uzah PhD is Head, Mass Communication Department, Kwararafa University Wukari.

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Opinion

ICC: Understanding The Insurgency Within Insurgency – By Richard Murphy

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Nigeria has for over a decade been enmeshed in an intractable insecurity mess due to the unfortunate conspiracy against it by notable international bodies like the ICC and Amnesty International among others, and kowtowing the script of the renegade and insurgents on its soil.

This is indeed a very unfortunate and dreadful situation, as the plot of these people is to ensure a systematic breakup of the country, after it has inexplicably defied all their wicked predictions.

What is unclear or absurd to some, is how it is taking the Nigerian Armed Forces so long to totally bring the insurgents to a complete halt. Given the dare-devil and mindless mindset displayed by these faceless groups, such people are unaware of the huge obstacles strewn on the paths of the Armed Forces in curtailing internecine wars.
In the first place, the Armed Forces of every country is primarily trained and conditioned to wage wars against external aggression and defend its territorial boundaries only.

So, the Nigerian Armed Forces are saddled with a task that they were never prepared for, against their professional ethics to turn their guns against the very citizens they are supposed to protect. This is made more complex when one notes that the insurgents and terrorists are mingled with the civilian population, while the troops are in clear view of the renegades to pick out as guinea pigs.

It is indeed a very sad and miserable situation the Nigerian Armed Forces have found themselves in.
It is therefore most uncharitable for hitherto respected international bodies like the ICC and Amnesty International, to always rise up to the defense of the insurgents, any time the scale of balance is tilted against them.

It is a monumental shame for ICC that ought to know better to allege that the troops are either using excessive force or committing crimes against humanity, when routing the same insurgents that could stop at nothing and deploy any means to prosecute their macabre insidious agenda.

While it is understood that the Armed Forces are under obligation to ensure civilian casualties are minimized in the course of their operations, there is no justification for setting any standards for the Nigerian troops, unless to incapacitate them, faced with the potent danger like terrorism and insurgency.

It is absurd and lamentable that the ICC and its cohorts rather than call these deranged elements to order, or chart a path to ease the crisis, would prefer to stoke the embers of the inferno and tactically fuelling the insurgency further. Less we forget, the International Criminal Court is an international organization and as well a Tribunal that sits in The Hague, in Netherlands, is the first and only permanent International Court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

It is in every material fact intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore exercise its jurisdiction, only when National courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute such crimes.
Against this backdrop, the antics of ICC and it’s cohorts to level allegations of excess force or crimes against humanity on Nigerian troops, smacks of deep hatred for the Nigerian people and a deliberate ploy to frustrate the Government from overcoming this scourge. If the ICC is sincere in its obligation to protect humanity and human rights, what stops it from condemning the posture of the insurgents and terrorists who are bent on rubbishing Nigeria’s Sovereignty?

It is evident and crystal clear that the ICC’s claims must be aimed at discrediting the gains being recorded by the Nigerian troops, which according to the National Coordinator of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, (CNM) Patriot Sabo Odeh, is a vivid attempt to undermine the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

This explains why ICC and Amnesty International, always abashedly raise their voices to stop the momentum in their nefarious bid to not only prolong the insurgency war but to as well demoralize the Nigerian troops and invariably embarrass the Government.

It is in the light of these facts that the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and the CNM boss , earlier urged the troops to discountenance ICC allegations and remain focused on the task at hand.

ICC, Amnesty international and their cohorts have no moral fabric to question how Nigeria deals with its internal security challenges, not after they have demonstrated times without court that they mean to derail our territorial integrity, rubbish our sovereignty and have openly displayed their contempt for our heterogeneous setting.

So, Nigeria needs to brace up to decisively tackle this scourge regardless of empty charades of the promoters and sympathizers of the terrorists and insurgent groups. God is always on the side of the just and would surely see Nigeria through these harrowing hard times.

It is therefore imperative to now know the enormity of the task at hand. We must all rise up to the challenge and speak with one voice, because ICC, Amnesty International and their cohorts are only exploiting our fault lines to achieve their nefarious plot against our collective wellbeing.

Since ICC has abandoned its statutory mandates and takes delight in compounding our insecurity challenges, it is inevitable to embark on concerted efforts to woo well meaning international power blocs to see reason and check-mate this evil plot.

The international community should put its searchlight on ICC and it’s co-travelers, as they have derailed, compromised and doing the bidding of face-less paymasters.
The insecurity challenges in Nigeria really appear daunting, but with resolute determination, valour and dynamism we can overcome this malady.

The agents of destabilization have perfected their inglorious plans to make a mockery of our democracy.
Nigeria can no longer afford to treat the ravaging insecurity challenges with kid gloves, since our troops understand the danger posed to our democracy by this intractable insurgency, we should rally round them and give all the support they need to check this debilitating menace.

All those either colluding or conniving with these renegade elements do not deserve any sympathy or mercy. Anyone feigning support for the insurgents and terrorists, are in all material fact enemies of our dear fatherland and should be so treated. As an international organization that courts global relevance, ICC cannot and should not be seen to be with the hunt and the hunted.

The territorial integrity of Nigeria supersedes any veiled inordinate ambition of any group, no matter the immense resources at its disposal.  There is no doubt that ICC, Amnesty international and their ilk have hidden agenda and would stop at nothing to play out their given scripts, but we must resist them stoutly, with total vehemence and bravado.

Thank God, the whole world is keenly watching and we should press for overhauling of the structures in ICC, to ensure the intendments that necessitated its existence, are duly served.
Institutions may be noble in frame work but the human angle if left unchecked, could mar, imperil and rubbish its essence.

This is the crass state the ICC has presently degenerated into; hence the UN as a family must save ICC from itself.
The leadership of ICC having derailed since, are now overwhelmed with scheming to appear playing to the gallery while in fact acting out given scripts of their paymasters to the detriment of the sacred responsibilities, they ought to be upholding.

In such a scenario, ICC stands discredited, compromised and lacks the moral fabric to question how Nigeria prosecutes this nauseating insurgency strife. It cannot be working in partnership with our enemies and yet expect us to take it seriously, this is simply because ICC is yet to come to terms with the stern stuff Nigerians are made of.
In the light of the foregoing, Nigerians must eschew tribal-religious differences and work concertedly to stamp out the insurgency threat.

As it is, Nigeria is facing the terrorists cum insurgents at the war front and in the same breath being distracted at will by ICC and Amnesty international, whenever the scale of balance tilts against the renegades.
Since the infractions of ICC and Amnesty international are getting bolder and unceasing, it is imperative to change our approach to the manner of dealing with this itch.

ICC and Amnesty international must not wish us well before we survive. Our survival is from God, who has ordained our existence and weathered all our storms, so it is high time we called the bluff of ICC and its cohorts.
Nigeria is indeed destined for greatness. To attain such a height is a matter of dint of hard work, overcoming all obstacles with total focus on the goals. The present insurgency scourge will in no time fizzle out, once our leaders summon the political will to do the needful. What is fueling the insurgency craze is ineffective planning of our affairs and now that Government is tackling the issue frontally by ascertaining who every Nigerian is, we are sure to soon get there and ICC and its cohorts can go to blazes.

Murphy is a security expert based in Calabar.

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Opinion

Understanding Diaspora Activists And Irrational Demands – By Elijah Attah

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I would start this article on a high pitch because of the activities of some supposed Nigerian activists holed up somewhere outside the shores of Nigeria barely surviving and waiting for that opportunity to make a living through ignoble ways, including selling their conscience for a plate of porridge.

They call themselves all sorts of names. They arrogate certain imaginary powers to themselves all in a bid to increase their negotiation value when it is time to wreak havoc in Nigeria as this is the only business they can engage in, as most of them were societal misfits before they scampered out of the country for a breather in their quest to give their lives a new meaning.

I am sad that such a critical constituency that is meant to be worthy ambassadors of Nigeria in the Diaspora are the very ones that have allowed themselves to be used as clogs in the wheels of our progress as a country. It remains to be determined how things went so awry for us as a country that Nigerians in the Diaspora would be willing to set the country up in flames in return for a plate of porridge.

This is where I have frequently questioned the rationale for the establishment of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission. I dare to ask of what benefit is the organization to the socio-economic development of Nigeria if the activities of Nigerians in Diaspora has been most despicable and inimical to sustainable growth and development in Nigeria.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission according to information gathered from their website provide for the engagement of Nigerians in Diaspora in the policies, projects and participation in the development of Nigeria and to utilize the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in Diaspora towards the overall socio-economic, cultural and political development of Nigeria and for related matters.

We must agree that this is indeed, strategic. If the above could be achieved, Nigeria would benefit significantly from Nigerians’ rich resource base in the Diaspora. But ironically, the reverse has been the case. I won’t state categorically that the organization has failed. However, I would say that the organization’s leadership has not come to terms with the reality on the ground. It has continued to feign ignorance to the nefarious acts perpetrated by some Nigerians in the Diaspora that aims to undermine national security in Nigeria.

Interestingly, there has been an unholy silence from those that are meant to be vocal in condemning these acts of sabotage perpetrated by some Nigerians in the Diaspora. The question thus is, could the silence an indication of complicity? Could the silence mean an endorsement? And could the silence mean that those at the helm of affairs at the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission are ignorant of the commission’s critical role? All of these questions beg for answers in the true spirit of patriotism in our quest for the Nigeria of our dreams.

We must ask critical questions as the activities of these charlatans gathers momentum daily. We must also do well to identify those amongst the lot that have turned themselves into agents of those against the peace and prosperity of our country.

They have been very vocal in making demands that serve their pockets, not minding the implication of their actions. This, in my opinion, is most despicable and should give all well-meaning Nigerians a cause to worry. We might not understand the larger consequences of these diaspora activists until they achieve their overarching aim of seeing Nigeria’s disintegration.

I consequently challenge the leadership of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission to initiate programmes and policies that would harness the potentials of Nigerians in the Diaspora towards the socio-economic well-being of Nigeria. This is not a time for grandstanding and playing to the gallery as all hands are required to be on deck.

I know for a fact that with the right template, the vast resource base of Nigerians in the Diaspora can be utilized for the benefit of Nigeria in critical sectors of our national life. And if this is not done, then we should be ready to deal with more Nigerians joining the ranks of those who have sold their conscience for a plate of porridge.

This is indeed a clarion call and an SOS to all well-meaning Nigerians to come to terms with the reality on the ground regarding the activities of those Nigerians in the Diaspora. They like to parade themselves as activists, but their activism is centred around their pockets in truth. The bigger your offer is, the louder their voices make irrational demands and ever ready to sell the country of their birth.

Nigerians indeed must be wary of these individuals as their footprints pervade the nook and crannies of Nigeria in search of the slightest opportunity to turn the heat on. Thank God for the security agencies’ efforts so far that beamed the searchlight and exposed their nefarious plots. Even as the security agencies continue to address the threats posed by these diaspora activists, we are citizens of Nigeria also have an invaluable role to play towards ensuring that Nigeria stays united and in peace. My two cents.

Attah wrote from Abuja.

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