By Tanko Mohammed
Nigerian government is angry with human rights groups, including Amnesty International and the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing them of aggravating banditry and insecurity.
The government also accused the groups of carrying out activities and utterances that frustrate efforts to tackle and fight terrorists, bandits and kidnappers that were been emboldened in Nigeria.
Information and culture minister Lai Mohammed said the international rights groups have formed an opposition and “fighting forces’’ against Nigeria as an entity.
He said the rights groups were harassing security forces and threatening them with investigation and possible prosecution over alleged war crimes and human rights abuses.
Mohammed said in Lagos on January 5, 2020 when he rolled out the the achievements of the government in 2020.
He said the “jaundiced analysts and their lapdogs,’’ have declared Nigeria a failing or failed state because of the spike in criminal activities.
“Nigeria is fending off attacks on many fronts, not just from terrorists and bandits, but also from some human rights organisations and the International Criminal Court (ICC), which seem to have colluded to exacerbate the challenges facing the country in the area of security.
“While our security agencies continue to battle these bandits and terrorists, the ICC and some international human rights organisations, especially Amnesty International, have constituted themselves to another ‘fighting force’ against Nigeria.’’
They were constantly harassing Nigeria’s security forces and threatening them with investigation and possible prosecution over alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, he alleged.
“Unfortunately, a section of the local media has been parroting these organisations without weighing the impact of their constant threats on the security of the nation.”
He condemned what he described as the “unbridled attempt to demoralise our security men and women as they confront the onslaught from bandits and terrorists”.
Nigeria, he said, would remain steadfast and would not be deterred or cowed to surrender its sovereignty to ICC as it did not join “the ICC so it can become a pawn on the court’s chessboard’’.
“It beggars belief to see that a nation that is fighting an existential war against bandits and terrorists is constantly being held down by an international body which it willingly joined.”
Mohammed warned: “ICC, Amnesty International and their cohorts should desist from threatening our troops and putting the security of our country in jeopardy. Enough is enough,”
He said ICC and Amnesty International based their allegations on fake news and disinformation, citing the CNN report that alleged that the army shot unarmed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate during the EndSARS protest on October 20, 2020 as one of such fake news.
“As you are aware, we called CNN out and also petitioned the network. Though they acknowledged receipt of our petition, we have yet to hear from them on what actions they intend to take to prevent a recurrence of the fake news they peddled about Nigeria. I can assure you, that the matter is far from over,” he added.
Faulting the position of those who have described Nigeria a failed state, Mohammed said: “You would remember that for the past two decades or so, some pseudo-analysts have been predicting the country’s implosion.
“That has not happened, hence they have found a new watchword – failing or failed state! “It’s all a ruse aimed at depicting Nigeria as being in a constant state of anarchy so they can achieve their nefarious objectives for the country,’’ he said.