Chris Steven, Abuja
The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) has accused the Amnesty International of working for the Boko Haram sect against the interest of Nigeria.
According to the group, the stories about 60 persons killed by Boko Haram in Rann was not only false but contrived by Amnesty International in its usual attack to diminish the efforts of the Federal Government as a failed state whilst dampening the moral of troops to confer advantage on the fleeing elements of Boko Haram.
SHAC said it is now evident that AI appears more desperate that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in dissemination of false information and propaganda just to whittle down the government’s efforts against insurgency.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, SHAC, through its Executive Director, Intelligence and Investigation Bereau, Adams Odoh, called on the Federal Government to review its stance and expel Amnesty International from the country.
It also opined that the AI should be officially listed as an affiliate of Boko Haram to pave way for the organization and its staff to be treated as terrorists in view of their terrorism-supporting activities.
“You may wish to note that Boko Haram’s propaganda infrastructure suffered some measure of decline as the media in Nigeria has increasingly become aware of the dangers of helping the terrorists to promote instances in which they carry out attacks. Some of the so called activists and pseudo-journalists that help Boko Haram to promote its propaganda were also identified, which has made media houses to be wary of posts and comments from such individuals.
“This lack of visibility on the part of Boko Haram must hurt the confidence of its fighters since they rely on the mainstream and social media to hype their evil deeds for them to be able to strike terror in the heart of Nigerians.
“The loss of access to these identified channels must have prompted Boko Haram to explore extreme options irrespective of whether this would expose its hidden long-term collaborators. This is exactly the risk that the terror group has taken by frontally activating Amnesty International to publicise the attack on Rann. This scenario may appear farfetched but the choice of words used in relating Boko Haram’s acts of terror in the town are consistent with an organization that is desirous of causing widespread terror and panic, which is the same objective that Boko Haram has.
“Close watchers of the unfolding situation in Nigeria’s northeast should at this point begin to question if Amnesty International is scheming to usurp the role of the Nigerian military in verifying and investigating attacks carried out by the terrorists. This development, in which Amnesty International hijacked the role of the Nigerian state, should begin to convince those in doubt that this so called NGO not only have a morbid disdain for the Nigerian state but is also concluded in doing all that is possible to lead to the demise of the country.
“Note that the only acknowledgement that Amnesty International has for Nigerian authorities was to cast aspersion on them, viz alleging that they abandoned civilians to the terrorists. The fable about troops leaving Rann before the attack has all the makings of an organization that want to corral public opinion against the military and the state. Yet, the same Amnesty International has on too many occasions manipulated the situation to allege that the presence of the military in civilian areas was a recipe for abuses of civilian rights. This makes it confounding how this organization wants the military to stay away from civilian areas and protect civilians while staying away at the same time.
“What makes this latest development worrisome is that the military authorities have asserted that there was no attack in Rann, which confirmed that Amnesty International has again engaged in spawning fake news. The intention for doing this is not farfetched. Amnesty International engaged in propagating fake news as part of its efforts to influence the outcomes of the general elections in favour of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), for which it is known to be working. At this point, it is no longer possible for Amnesty International to deny that it is the liaison between Boko Haram and the PDP, which has been discovered to have recruited the terrorists to disrupt the elections.
It must also be mentioned that there had been allegations in the past that organizations like Amnesty International are in the business of passing military intelligence secret that they gather in the course of their work to Boko Haram terrorists. For the same NGO to be the one promoting the story about the attack in Rann raises concerns about what links it has to this particular attack, which it became aware of before even the residents of the community. We sincerely want to know what other shady dealing Amnesty International has been able to conclude before it began exposing its role in the persistence of Boko Haram terrorists in Borno state and environs.
“On the side line, let us quickly mention that there has been a kind of deafening silence on the part of Amnesty International whenever Nigeria’s francophone neighbours suffer Boko Hara attacks. Perhaps the explanation is that Amnesty International does not have French speaking operatives on ground in these places to carry out its questionable activities.
“The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) will restate its earlier position that Nigeria must reconsider the political correctness that makes it allow a subversive entity like Amnesty International to freely operate in the country in a manner that undermine the security of the entire country while putting the lives of citizens at risk. The activities of this NGO are bad enough that the work of other interventionist NGOs that are working to bring succour to displaced persons is being hampered. Staffers of these NGOs are placed at risk from the manner of operation that Amnesty International is running in Nigeria.
In reviewing this situation, it is pertinent that the wellbeing of the citizens takes precedence because each successful operation that Amnesty International carried out, whether by way of its dubious report, tipping off terrorists or clandestinely colluding with them and more recently running their propaganda, makes the quality of life of citizens compromised.
“This timely warning to the government becomes necessary to prevent a repeat of what happened in the past when aggrieved groups and Nigerians almost resorted to self-help to expel the controversial NGO from Nigeria. Nigeria cannot continue to wait for Amnesty International to commit more crimes against the people before taking steps to protect citizens from its criminal activities.”