United Kingdom Chapter of Arise Nigeria, a group of Nigerians in the diaspora, has reacted to the recent report by the United State through its State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour under the title “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018.” which accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of abating corruption and extra-judicial killing.
The group said the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018 was aimed at forcing homosexuality and sale of national assets on the current government.
Arise Nigeria made this revelation in a communiqué issued after its extraordinary meeting held in London on Saturday, March 23, 2019.
A communique jointly signed by Dr. Philip Idaewor Chairman, Arise Nigeria and Charles Eze, Secretary, called on the Nigerian government to reject the report and make its stance known to the US without delay.
The statement reads in full.
Documents like this are equally cited as input for decision making by third party countries that could withhold economic, political, military and other critical co-operation from Nigeria based on the conclusions reached in the report, and similar documents.
The meeting of the United Kingdom Chapter of Arise Nigeria was therefore able to dispassionately deconstruct the content of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018. It was found that there are areas where Nigeria has to shore up policies and their implementation in order to make progress. Unfortunately, however, the bulk of the content of the report were found to maliciously target Nigeria in a manner that confirmed racist stereotype as well as laying the foundation for manufacture of dissent, in which citizens were being emotionally manipulated to stage uprising against their government.
The observation about manufacture of dissent suggests that the United States might be at the early stage of engineering forceful regime change in new set of countries. Even though is recommended that the valuable strong points highlighted in the report should prompt the authorities to taking decisive steps aimed at improving Nigeria they must nonetheless focus on the more pressing issue of asking the international community to call the United States to order by way of discontinuing any of its subversive programs targeted at Nigeria.
PROCEDURE – The meeting dissolved into groups to consider the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018. Seven (7) groups considered the report under the corresponding sections it was partitioned into. These are:
Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person
Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties
Section 3. Freedom to Participate in the Political Process
Section 4. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government
Section 5. Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Abuses of Human Rights
Section 6. Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons
Section 7. Worker Rights
Another group briefly reviewed trend of reports for selected countries across the regions of world. The countries were selected to reflect a mix to reflect nations that are considered allies of the US and those against which it is known to belligerent.
All the groups reconvened into plenary after they have concluded their assignment. Each group presented its observations.
OBSERVATIONS — The observations and findings of the eight groups were aggregated to arrive at the consensus view of Nigeria Arise (United Kingdom Chapter). It was observed that:
- The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018 is a publication of the United States, which by default is intended to serve its interests in pursuit of global dominance. The relevance that is attached to the report comes from a misplaced relevance placed on it by other countries of the world, driven principally by aggressive media marketing that usually trail its release.
- Nigerian authorities will have to set up a government team to study the report with the aim of further decoding it to get a fairer sense of the estimate in which the United States holds Nigeria. This exercise should be with a view to developing reciprocal measures that will ensure that the US will soft pedal on the promoting damaging content about Nigeria.
- The Federal Government of Nigeria has to do more to counter the negativity that is reported about the country by promptly addressing the lies and inaccuracies compiled by organizations like Amnesty International, whose reports formed the major input for the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018. NGOs and CSOs that operate similar agenda to Amnesty International must be managed using similar approach.
- The report, rather than commending the Nigerian Military for their feat in suppressing Boko haram, set out to make the war against terrorism appear like a criminal enterprise undertaken by the Nigerian state. It even went to the low ebb of suggesting that disproportionate force was being used in the anti-terrorism war.
- The misinformation contained in the report in its assessment of the anti-terrorism war against Boko Haram and ISIS-WA strongly suggest that the only interest the United States has in the matter is for Nigeria to come under more terrorist attacks. This is especially so as the report failed to acknowledge the role of the US in aggravating the crisis through its policy that caused instability in the Middle East and North Africa to strengthen ISIS and accelerate the flow of weapons to terrorists.
- The unfair demonization of the Nigerian military was matched by attempts to exonerate terrorist sympathizers like those who hide under the cover of being aid workers to support terrorists.
- The anti-corruption efforts, which Nigerians continue to be supportive of, was undermined by the report, which created the impression that enough was not being done to fight corruption. It was noted that the United States only disparage the anti-corruption efforts without acknowledging its role in promoting corruption in Nigeria either as being a receiving territory for proceeds of corruption or a tourist destination for persons that have been indicted on corruption charges.
- The report is proving to be a decoy to reignite the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) rights in pursuit of coercing Nigeria to repeal the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2014. The other areas in which Nigeria has made progress are being ignored to focus on an issue that the country legislated on based on democratic processes.
- It also undermined the progress Nigeria has made in its democratic journey by presenting elections in the country as being flawed. It was apparent that this is being done by the US in its bid to empower the opposition as a fallback option for when it is interested in implementing forceful regime change in the country.
RECOMMENDATIONS – On the strength of the lies and disinformation contained in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018 as published by the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour of the United States, Arise Nigeria recommends as follow:
- The Federal Government must reject the fabrications contained in the report and make its stance know to the United States.
- Efforts must be made to reassure commanders and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that their efforts and sacrifices in fighting terrorism are appreciated by government and citizens alike and that they must not be dissuaded by the neocon lies of the US.
- Nigerians must remind the United States that the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2014 was the product of a National Assembly that was democratically elected such that blackmailing the military and security forces of the country to have the law repealed will be counterproductive.
CONCLUSION — The United Kingdom Chapter of Arise Nigeria concluded the meeting by setting up a committee to interface with the Nigerian government in crafting continue responses to the disparaging submission about Nigeria in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018.