Give Amnesty International the Boot
The people and governments of countries like Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan would be wishing they have the good fortunes of Nigeria. That fortune is for their countries to survive peacefully long enough to get rid of the catalyst of the disaster that befell them. Take away the catalyst and the situation doesn't get aggravated. Leave it in place and it makes a mess of even the best efforts at managing insurgencies.
These are all countries whose nationals discovered too late they have been sold a pig in a poke by Amnesty International, which egged them to destroy their own lands under the guise of helping them to assert their human rights against their "repressive or dictatorial governments". These same evil governments and institutions that the international NGO helped them to sack (and helped murdered their "dictators") are saintly compared to the horror stories they have been replaced with.
In retrospect, these citizens, who now inhabits those parts of the earth referred to as basket cases, today wish their governments, the same ones they sacked with "international support", had done the one sane thing: expel Amnesty International, and possibly they would have had functional nations as of this moment. Unfortunately, once anomie takes over the nations of interest, Amnesty International and its media partners lose interest in the same places once the agenda has been achieved. They make a din over the deaths of a dozen terrorists in skirmishes with security forces but go deathly quiet when the same terrorists take over and are killing citizens on industrial scale.
Like these nations, when they were high on cheap propaganda that left them sufficiently brainwashed, Nigerians and some of our decision makers in government are relying on Amnesty International's prescription to attempt curing cancer with moisturizing cream. The modus prescribed by the NGO for engaging terrorists is best described as such. They want Nigeria to be a nanny state that pampers killers and routinely read them their rights just before they blow themselves and other innocent citizens sky high with improvised explosives.
There have been sufficient proof that this organization has a plan for Nigeria given the stridency with which it pursues its goal here, whatever they are. Its antecedents in the countries mentioned are enough to call out Amnesty International for harboring an evil agenda for Nigeria. It however seems we collectively gloss over this dangerous game or we are simply resigned to allow it drag us to hell before acting.
Accusations against Amnesty International in these other countries is that it usually come in to weaken the ability of security forces to fight insurgents using its spurious reports to accuse them of human right abuses. Citizens then latch unto these lies called reports to attack their governments and security agencies, which will not sit by and watch the country descend into lawlessness. Unfortunately, this attempt at restoring law and order would attract more international attention and frenzied media coverage and the interventions that eventually removed these so called dictatorial government to pave way for the chaos that Amnesty International had in mind.
In its defence, the organization might claim that Nigeria is a democracy and could not have been working against a legitimate government. Its report of July 21, 2016 on the human rights situation in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine titled "You Don’t Exist: Arbitrary Detentions, Enforced Disappearances, and Torture in Eastern Ukraine" was targeted at unseating a democratically elected government which largely succeeded. The argument that Nigeria is not being targeted therefore falls flat.
So what did these destabilized countries did that Nigeria is repeating? It is fighting the fire of destabilization without removing the catalyst and accelerant. All these countries fought hard to suppress their insurgents and terrorists without removing Amnesty International that was acting to boost the morale of criminals through its affiliate NGOs. They allowed Amnesty International to shape perception about their governments both locally and internationally; a consequence of this was that people never saw the horrors being committed by that organization's terrorist clients but are regaled with allegations of crimes committed against the terrorists.
A repeat of this is the situation where Amnesty International continually issue reports that indict the Nigerian authorities while it feigns ignorance each time killers and terrorists commit crimes. This was evident recently when Boko Haram released videos in which the slaughtered or shot persons they accused of being government spies - somehow, that video did not get the attention of Amnesty International, which couldn’t be bothered anyway if half of Nigeria's population get killed so long as the terrorists are the ones doing the killings. It is instructive that Boko Haram has issued several videos and claimed responsibility for many attacks since Amnesty International released its annual report. These terrorists know that these spurious reports always leave the military in some kind of slow motion and they never fail to cash in on their release to regroup and launch attacks.
What can Nigeria do differently from the countries that Amnesty International made into basket cases? Nigerian authorities must do something that other troubled countries have not tried before if it must end up with a fate different from theirs. It is an action that would attract international outcry but one that ensures the country survives its trying moments. It must expel Amnesty International and shut down its offices in the country. The closest to this would be the expulsion of two of that organization's experts from Morocco in June 2015. John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe and Central Asia and Irem Arf, Refugee and Migrant Rights Researcher where both thrown out of Morocco when they entered that country to provide cover for terrorists' infiltration in the name of ensuring the human rights of migrants and refugees. After all, that is the code name for masking the activities of terrorists.
The government of Nigeria must wake up to its responsibility of ensuring that the country is not allowed to descend into chaos before realizing when it is too late that it should have thrown Amnesty International out of here. The wellbeing of 180 million Nigerians definitely trumps the need to be politically acceptable in the international eye, which is what tolerating this NGO amounts to.
The government, through the Nigerian Army, has already done much in degrading and defeating Boko Haram from its key bases, which says a lot for how far military action can go. But if there is a genuine desire to end Boko Haram's terrorism and other insurgencies being propped up by external influences, the solution is to give Amnesty International the boot – it should leave Nigeria.
Murphy is a security affairs analyst and contributed this essay from Calabar, Cross River State.