By Richard Murphy
“We write to highlight urgent concerns about escalating violence in Nigeria, where attacks led by Boko Haram, Fulani herders, and other Islamist militia continues in northern and central-belt states, with reports of increasing violence in the South-East. The state’s failure to protect its citizens is a clear breach of its obligations under the Commonwealth Charter in respect of human rights.”
This is not a Hollywood script even though there is a semblance. It is a part statement in the letter written by some members of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords, the British upper legislative chamber to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Patricia Scotland. This was apparently about the report by the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion or Belief wherein very hasty conclusions were inferred from an illogical standpoint.
Indeed these are trying times in Nigeria with the international dimension the threat to Nigeria’s sovereignty has assumed. The activities of the Boko Haram terror group no doubt assumed a regional dimension with support from some foreign interest. “Untold Story of Boko Haram Insurgency: The Lake Chad Oil and Gas Connection” published in the Cambridge University Journal on Politics and Religion (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/politics-and-religion/article/untold-story-of-boko-haram-insurgency-the-lake-chad-oil-and-gas-connection/79E48CDC869C9A8A9DA4989C50B58A1A) would make an excellent read to probably bring about some enlightenment on the story of Boko Haram in Nigeria and why these foreign interests would not allow for peace to reign.
I have read the referenced report by the APPG. That was indeed one that lacked objectivity on several fronts. The methodology was faulty, and the intention was for mischief. And this brings me to the earlier stated issue of foreign interest bent on destabilizing Nigeria. As a first, the APPG report on Nigeria was meant to paint a picture of genocidal killings aided by the government against Christians.
And curiously, the report didn’t state or highlight where the government of Nigeria was indeed found culpable. Instead, it relied on conjectures and hearsays, which is the same strategy used by those against the interest of Nigeria in fanning the embers of war.
To put it simply, the APPG is on an international campaign of calumny against Nigeria in furtherance of the plot against Nigeria. I make bold to state that majority of the members of the APPG, if not all, have not visited Nigeria in the past five years. And if that is the case, one wonders on what authority they wrote their report and how objective could such a report be when it is evident that the APPG relied on questionable sources and gleaned outdated reports from online sources that probably hadn’t updated their sites in donkey years.
I have a strong suspicion, which is the fact that APPG might have joined ranks with the likes of Amnesty International in the fulfilment of their plot to cause the disintegration of Nigeria. As incredible as this might sound, I am also of the suspicion that Amnesty International supplied the bulk of what was contained in the APPG report because there was a semblance in style with the various Amnesty International’s reports on Nigeria.
This is my opinion calls for critical questions from concerned stakeholders. I am sure some must have been surprised at how Nigeria has remained a country despite the avalanche of conspiracies against it. From the activities of International NGOs operating in North-East Nigeria to the agitations from militant groups across the country as well as others too numerous to mention.
What the international community must come to terms is the fact that the Nigerian authorities have been most remarkable in their efforts towards addressing the various security challenges in the country, including those perpetrated by organizations such as Amnesty International and their latest recruit the APPG. But for this, I am sure Nigeria would have erupted in flames.
This also calls for caution from concerned stakeholders in making categorical statements about Nigeria, especially when such is hinged in half-truths and illogical conclusions and with the propensity to escalate conflict in the country. I am not sure that most of the representations on Nigeria with regards to the security situation in Nigeria is a reflection of what is on the ground. Some of us resident in Nigeria have had reasons to task our consciousness if it was ever possible that we would be in Nigeria and not aware of what is happening until a foreign group or association issues a report.
The APPG report is one of such instances that were more baffling to most Nigerians. So much so that we wondered where such genocidal killings were happening that the vibrant Nigerian press missed in its reportage. Even though I have my reservations about the credibility of the APPG as an organization from what I have garnered so far, it still behoves on the leadership of the group to thread with caution.
No doubt there must have been some monetary inducement somewhere. However, I am not sure any amount of money is worth the blood of innocent people. The APPG and its sponsors must come back to consciousness and right their wrongs. Attempting to ignite a sectarian crisis in Nigeria is not a charitable endeavour because we would all be victims in one way or the other.
I would state this again for the umpteenth time; the state has not failed to protect its citizens in Nigeria. That is, at best, a figment of the imagination. It is not reality, and it is not a statement of the fact. However, what is the truth is that there is a grand conspiracy against Nigeria, and this is coming from outside the shores of the country. Sadly after Amnesty International was exposed, the APPG stepped in the fray in furtherance of the plot against Nigeria. This is the starkness of reality on the ground in Nigeria. And it is hoped that institutions such as the Common Wealth of Nations would do well to ask critical questions and extend its support to Nigeria in addressing the various security threats in the country.
Murphy is a security expert based in Calabar.
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