The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) has drawn the attention of foreign missions to plots by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their cohorts to blackmail the immediate past service chiefs.
According to the group, the proscribed group and their NGO members through their petition aims to criminally malign the country’s former military heads and ultimately scuttle their imminent confirmation as ambassadors.
The SHAC raised this alarm on Monday at a press conference in Abuja.
In his address, Comrade Ogbe Owoicho, Director, Foreign Affairs said the petition has all the handwritings of the Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition.
Owoicho noted that it is laughable that the petitioners called for the diplomatic community to disqualify the former service chiefs over falsehood.
While disclosing that such is the responsibility of the Senate, Comrade Owoicho called on these foreign nations to disregard the rants contained in the letters that were delivered to embarrass their diplomatic missions.
He noted that it is pertinent that thae nation profess themselves as friends of Nigeria immediately to put this coalition in its place.
The group, however, urged the Federal Government to note that complacency is no longer an option in view of the repeated diplomatic salvos that the Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition has fired against the country.
To avoid future occurrence, it further called on Nigerian authorities to slam the groups in the coalition and the people behind them.
Read full statement below:
Gentlemen of the press, you must have read or learnt about the petition reportedly written by a coalition of NGOs to the diplomatic missions of as many as 31 countries. The subject of the said petition is to criminally malign the persons and personalities of the immediate past Service Chiefs of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria viz: the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (retd.), his air force and navy counterparts, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd.), and Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas (retd.) and the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Abayomi Olonisakin (retd.).
The so-called coalition requested the 31 foreign missions in Nigeria to disqualify these eminent Nigerians, who President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated as ambassadors. They also want the recipients of their letters to declare these patriotic Nigerians as persona non grata in their countries.
Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) has taken time to review news report of the petition and made certain findings that should concern Nigerians, including you, gentlemen of the press.
In an unusual coincidence, majority of the signatories to the petition being distributed to embassies are members of an Igbo lynch circuit that had previously described itself as the Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition. The same coalition that lied about six soldiers of Igbo ethnicity were summarily court marshalled and executed just before the service chiefs retired from office. That report was promptly exposed as fake news and the intelligentsia coalition has not been able to prove otherwise, which makes their petition to the embassies another attempt at weaponizing information by twisting events and incidents out of context.
Another interesting thing is that the coalition, which should have ordinarily been intelligent, given its name, is asking foreign countries to disqualify ambassadorial nominees of President Muhammadu Buhari, knowing that this is a role reserved exclusively for the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Making this demand is proof that the coalition is nothing but a front for separatists, who do not believe in the corporate existence of Nigeria. It speaks to how they have no belief in their own roots and identity as Africans, inferior entities who must seek validation from imperialists before they can find semblance of purpose in life.
A further questionable coincidence is how Sahara Reporters, an online publication that has evolved a pro-terrorists-anti-military stance, was the first to fly the kite of this poorly thought-out petition, which it branded as an “exclusive”. Please note the efforts Sahara Reporters at concealing the true identity of the petitioners by refraining to link them with the fake execution story – the publication stopped at mentioning that the coalition has 27 members but only identified International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety), World Igbo Congress (USA), Ala-Igbo Development Foundation, a Concerned Elites for Better Society Initiative. A detailed list of the coalition would have confirmed that Nigeria is dealing with ethnic bigots who are desperate enough to operate as the NGOs’ wing of the proscribed terrorist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
SHAC is equally calling attention to the groups against which the coalition is alleging massacres and right abuses. IPOB is a known separatist terrorist organization that has been so designated by a competent law court. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) is another terrorist group that has been outlawed based on a white paper that emerged following a Judicial Panel of Inquiry of the Kaduna State Government. Members of both organizations are militarized and have shown repeated instances of violence against Nigerians.
Obigbo and Lekki massacres that this ethnic coalition alluded to have proven to be perfect cases of manipulation of realities, whereby well calculated propaganda campaigns were executed to make IPOB terrorists appear like victims and the government forces that were deployed to safeguard lives are cast as aggressors. There are audio recordings that documented how IPOB fugitive leader, Nnamdi Kanu coordinated the bloodbath that produced Obigbo; the alleged Lekki Massacre has been proven to be an orchestrated precursor to the violent hijack of the #EndSARS protests by IPOB terrorists, who unleashed a reign of terror across the country.
We will include the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the militant wing of IPOB, just so the coalition can properly take ownership of the terrorism its parent body is inflicting on Nigerians. ESN went as far as attacking the Nigerian military before being taught a lesson. We expected that the coalition would have included this in the love letter it sent to the embassies.
It is laughable that the coalition could not even contextualize the issues at it again invoked the partisan International Criminal Court (ICC) at the same time it is asking the diplomatic community to interfere in Nigeria’s internal affairs. The group was even desperate to the point where assumed the role of the court to decide how long the jail terms for its victims should be.
SHAC will make a little effort to educate the intelligentsia coalition in the hope that its members will put aside their fanaticism for a while, succumb to reason, and act like enlightened humans. The Diplomatic Missions they are petitioning do not have the powers to disqualify President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees. Diplomats at these missions can only advise their home countries, assuming the claims of the coalition has basis. The power to confirm these perfect gentlemen as ambassadors designate lies with the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The worst that can happen is for the countries to which they are posted to refuse accepting their letters of credence and it will take a country that is ready to see itself as declaring war on Nigeria to attempt such.
Also, members of this Igbo coalition may want to take their time to study the instruments setting up the ICC again. It does not operate on the basis of beer parlour gossip as they are making it seem. Even when the ICC Prosecutor has come out as openly partisan, the Court is yet to be reduced to the level of a tool in the hands of terrorists such that it can decide to incarcerate the former military chiefs without processes and that is even assuming that they were not elevated into diplomats.
We call on the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Germany, France, Spain, Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the United States, Israel, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Sweden to disregard the rants contained the letters that were delivered to embarrass their diplomatic missions. The intervention needed from these countries is to offer mental health support and psychiatric rehabilitation to members of the coalition that presented such dislocated communication to them in the name of a petition.
It is pertinent that countries that profess themselves as friends of Nigeria immediately put this coalition in its place by asking its unhinged members to come and pick up the paper litter they left behind at their diplomatic missions in the name of petitions. These countries have to show mettle by confirming that they do not collaborate with terrorists to blackmail upright citizens of their partner nations. They must affirm that they respect Nigeria’s sovereignty and will not do anything to jeopardize Nigeria’s interest.
We urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to note that complacency is no longer an option in view of the repeated diplomatic salvos that the Eastern Nigeria’s Rights and Intelligentsia Coalition has fired against the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is time for corresponding deterrence to be applied on the group and other groups operating similar agenda. At the very minimum the government should slam the groups in the coalition and the people behind them. Unless firm action is taken, they will continue to engage in actions that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s sovereignty, which will not augur well.
The government must also live up to its responsibility of fighting terrorism in any form. The signatories of the petition have confirmed by their very act that they are enablers of terrorism, which is the reason they are trying to win international sympathies for IPOB, ESN and IMN. They have exposed themselves as having links to these terrorists groups and the government must act in the manner expected of it.
Thank you for listening.