OPINION | AI and its Failed Neo-colonial Agenda in Nigeria, By Mary Johnson 

November 15, 2020
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The activities of Amnesty International in Nigeria have generated quite some debates. In some quarters, it has been argued that Amnesty International has a sinister motive with regards to its consistent attacks on the operations of the Nigerian Army in the prosecution of the Boko Haram war in North-East Nigeria.

In Nigeria today, we must admit that cases of human rights violations have been given adequate attention by the relevant authorities and this fact the likes of Amnesty International has feigned ignorance of. Not even the establishment of human rights desks in all army units and formations makes sense to them.

For whatever reason, it must be stated that the activities of Amnesty International in Nigeria is not only suspect; it reeks of an overarching aim to cause social and political unrest. This much can be seen in the way and manner it has been critical of the Nigerian Army and its tactic support of the activities of non-state actors such as the Boko Haram group, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, and the Indigenous People of Biafra.

The bias of Amnesty International is so apparent that whenever the Nigerian troops are making gains in the theatre of operations, Amnesty International would in their characteristics manner come up with a narrative to distract the troops by making all manners of allegations in the public space.

I recall that on numerous occasions, the Nigerian Army authorities have challenged Amnesty International to come up with evidence of human rights violations instead of making wild allegations with the intent of misleading members of the general public. But they could not.

This brings me to the annual reports by Amnesty International, which in most cases are defective, lacking in objectivity with half-truths, outright insinuations and illogical conclusions. I have long questioned the methodology employed by Amnesty International field researchers that often churns out the same results year in year out.

A close look at the various yearly reports of Amnesty International, one would be confronted with lots of inadequacies in figures and narration of events. In some case, it is more of copy and paste, and I much doubt if there has been a time where Amnesty International devoted time and resources to research on human rights violations in Nigeria. Rather I am of the considered opinion that it relies on hearsays in defining human rights violations.

It is instructive to state that this trend has continued unabated until the people decided to take their destinies in their own by demanding for the expulsion of Amnesty International from Nigeria for encouraging terrorism and other acts of militancy in the country.

I recall that I was pleasantly surprised when events unfolded. With a sense of fulfilment, I quipped that finally, the people have come to realize that Amnesty International is not for the good of Nigeria, but rather a tool by some vested interest to undermine national security.

I am sure that the promoters of Amnesty International were rattled by the bravery of Nigerians demanding for their departure from Nigeria and this made them go low for a while and reared their heads once again during the EndSARS protest which from all indications was partly fuelled by the puerile narrative Amnesty International propagated in the public space.

In their typical manner of pretending to be on the side of truth and human rights, they went to town and this time more ferocious like a wounded lion. Amnesty International issued press statements condemning government insensitivity to the plight and demands of the youths to end police brutality in the country.

It also went to town brandishing false figures as to the number of casualties from the Lekki Tollgate incidence and so many other unprintable actions that were well-intentioned to encourage acts of violence, which was ultimately recorded in Lagos state and other parts of the country.

The truth is that some of us were not surprised because we knew Amnesty International was going to latch on the Lekki Tollgate incidence to hit hard on the Nigerian Army to get back to relevance and somewhat win the heart and minds of the populace.

Was the strategy successful? In my opinion, it was because Amnesty was amongst those that screamed “massacre to high heavens. Some account stated that it was indeed Amnesty International that first brought into prominence that soldiers massacred 75 unarmed youths at the Lekki Tollgate. Amnesty International shared pictures of imaginary bodies drenched in blood alleging that soldiers killed them at the Lekki Tollgate incidence. And the rest, as they say, is history.

That was how desperate Amnesty International became in its hot pursuit of a Neo-colonial agenda in Nigeria. And guess what? At some point, they were on the verge of achieving their aim not until Nigerians saw through their gimmick.

This is indeed a sad tale that reeks of an unimaginable level of deceit perpetrated by Amnesty International, on the one hand, pretending to be advocates of human rights, while in truth; they are harbingers of violence and insecurity in all the countries where they operate. This fact has been highlighted in several countries that exposed the real motives of the organization parading itself as a global human rights body.

In Nigeria, the Nigerian Army has been worst hit by the fangs of Amnesty International as it has been consistently on its trail accusing it of gross human rights violations in all its operations. At some point, it became very embarrassing to the people, the government as well as the army high command.

I must state that all the above mentioned about Amnesty International is just a tip of the iceberg because events are just unfolding and Nigerians are now increasingly aware of the motive of Amnesty International in Nigeria. At this point, I doubt how much time Amnesty International has before the whole world would realize that all its activities are a smokescreen in an overarching objective to support terrorist network around the globe, Nigeria inclusive.

Consequently, have we wondered why Amnesty International does not see any wrong in the atrocities committed by Boko Haram that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of death in innocent people, including women and children? Have we also wondered why Amnesty International does not see any wrong when members of IPOB attack police officers and burn down police stations? Have we also wondered why Amnesty International does not see any wrong when IMN members take laws into their hands and cause untold hardship on the people?

All of these are indeed pointers on why Nigeria must do all that is necessary that the threat posed by Amnesty International to National Security in Nigeria is nipped in the bud before its gets out of control, and if not for anything, for peace and tranquillity in Nigeria.

I dare say that if urgent and proactive measures are not put in place, Amnesty International will succeed in their nefarious plan against Nigeria, and we would all have ourselves to blame.

*Johnson wrote this article from the United Kingdom.

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