The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICreL) has asked that the Federal Government investigate the link between the Niger-Delta militant groups and international non-governmental organisation, Amnesty International (AI) citing the NGO’s previous activities in the country as cause for concern.
NICreL said at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday that Nigerians should be worried that the militants that are currently destroying the oil industry infrastructure have invited Amnesty International to come and help them indict the military even as troops have not been officially deployed to stop them.
The group’s Executive Director, Rev. Steven Onwu, who read the text of the press briefing, restated an earlier position that the NGO must be expelled from Nigeria while the Federal Government should consider petitioning it before world authorities to stop what he described as its terrorism related activities in the country.
Onwu suggested that the confidence with which the militants are daring the Nigerian state is backed by foreign backing that included Amnesty International, which had in the past released reports that coincided with decisive military operations as part of its efforts to demoralise troop using charges of war crimes as threat.
The text reads, “Since the present government of President Muhammadu Buhari came into office some unpatriotic elements claiming the label of ‘militants’ have kept the country under constant attacks claiming they are fighting for recognition of the plight of their area. The absurdity is that we all seem to have agreed that the term ‘militants’ is fashionable and accepted even when arson, sabotage, robbery, treason and murder are some of the activities covered by this blanket label.
“We all know that anyone that engages in any of these crimes, viz arson, sabotage, robbery, treason and murder is liable to be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land. Yet, we have collectively engaged in wringing our arms without demanding that the right actions be taken against these criminal elements. Even more absurd is the boldness with which the sponsors and godfathers of these so called militants have assaulted our sensibilities by asking the nation to dialogue with criminals in what would eventually end up as rewarding bad behaviour with monetized amnesty.
“To those of us who have not been blinded by ethnicity fuelled extremism, we know that the military of a country can, as a last resort, deal with these kind of miscreants. The leaders of the militants, whether political or regional, are also aware of this reality just like the militants themselves are aware, which is why there has been such loud resistance to the deployment of the military to wipe out the criminality in the region. What Nigerians have therefore been further assaulted with is the concerted campaign to demonize any deployment of the military to the South-South. Close watchers can attest to the fact that this anti-military deployment campaign is powered by the same shameless elders that are asking for negotiation and bribes for their errant youths while they continue to damage the economy.
“Logic demands that we question not just the motives of these saboteurs but to also seek clarity about the source of their confidence. We surmise that there is a foreign component to the insurrection in the Niger Delta, which has been validated severally by official statements of some enemies that pose as Nigeria’s friend. A recent statement by the Niger Delta Avengers gave a final indication as to what endgame they planned. The Avengers categorially invited a known crisis contractor, Amnesty International (AI), which masquerades as an NGO, to come and harass the Nigerian Military with threats of being dragged before the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC) for war crime when there is no war going on.
“Our concern is that this is not the first time that AI is being deployed to destabilise Nigeria. The so called NGO has been significantly instrumental to hamstringing the military so that the Boko Haram terrorist group could grow. AI played a crucial role in precipitating a situation where the abducted Chibok Girls are yet to be rescued. In both identified instances, this crisis contractor usually come up with jaundiced reports each time the military is meant to make a push against the terrorists with the apparent target of demoralising troops with the threat of war crimes charges.
“It took the full activation of Nigerian institutions and legal framework to prevent AI’s campaign to grow the Shia group, Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) into another full-fledged terror group as the NGO did everything to criminalise legitimate military efforts to stop that group from building attack capabilities.
“We are therefore worried that the invocation of AI’s name by the Avengers proves that this so called NGO has secured another contract to again attempt turning Nigeria into a failed state. It is therefore to be expected that AI will soon begin rushing out reports to indict the military like it did to strengthen Boko Haram and IMN. We must as a nation pre-empt Amnesty International by asking where is its reports for the military personnel that its militants have been killing in the Niger Delta in recent months; where is its indictment for the destruction and poisoning of the environment to kill off local population through the pollution from the destruction of crude oil pipelines; where is its accusation of the Avengers and its subsidiary militants groups for systematically crippling the economy to make hunger kill off the poor and he vulnerable?
“As we have stated before when it acted as the propaganda front for terrorists, Amnesty International must be expelled from Nigeria while anyone that associates with it must be treated as supporting a terror organisation. The federal government must take steps to petition this criminal NGO to the appropriate world authorities for fuelling insurgency not in once but severally in Nigeria. Amnesty International is a proven enemy of Nigeria and the Federal Government must so name it.
“We advise the Niger Delta militants not to make the time proven mistake of blending what they perceived as a fair agitation into the neocon agenda of Amnesty International, which has its own plan for a Nigerian destabilisation. This is even as we warn all militants groups in the region to end the incessant attacks on oil pipelines and stop daring the state. There is still time to turn away from their criminality,” NICrel warned.