The invasion of the United States’ Capitol by pro-Trump protesters has exposed the hypocrisy of Amnesty International and others in the forefront of the #EndSARS movement against the Nigerian military.
This was the submission of the March4Nigeria Movement in reaction to the violent attack of December 6 at the U.S Congress aimed at overturning the presidential election.
In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Richard Augustine Adie, Thursday, the group wondered why many Nigerian activists have suddenly gone mute after troops were deployed to forestall law and order in the Capitol.
Adie recalled that some activists had criticised the military for doing the same in Nigeria despite more wreckage, arson and killings.
According to Adie, the Capitol invasion showed that it isn’t unlawful for the government to deploy troops when the other agencies have been overwhelmed in a situation that required urgent action.
The group, however, advised the activists and all the #EndSARS protesters that the country would no “longer tolerate their madness as the government lives up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property”.
Read the full statement below:
The so called international human rights and civil rights groups and their leaders in Nigeria are not sincere.
During the Anti-SARS protests which rocked major cities and towns in Nigeria last October, these so called civil rights activists and groups frowned at the deployment of troops to quell the violent riots which had claimed the lives of innocent persons and some security agents.
To people like Lagos based lawyer, Femi Falana, online publisher, Omoyele Sowore, BBOG campaigner, Aisha Yesufu, Amnesty International and the rest, it did not matter that people were being killed and multi million dollar edifices and other facilities were being burned while economic activities were grounded.
The only evil they saw was when the government deployed troops to disperse the mob who have overpowered other security agents and restore normalcy.
Then, it was common to hear from the tribe of these activists, that in saner climes like the US and UK, the government would not send troops in such circumstances, but would have invited the rioters to negotiate ways of discontinuing the protests.
Falana even described the mobilization of troops to contain the excesses of the hooligans who had taken to the streets and were burning public property as illegal saying it is oppressive and despotic.
When the Nigerian army announced its plan to carry out operation “CROCODILE SMILE V1” from 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020, the civil rights groups misinterpreted the action and said it was targeted at the EndSARS protesters even when the army explained that it is a yearly exercise that is pre-planned regardless of what is going on in the country.
Said Falana, “The so- called Crocodile Smile VI exercise should be shelved as it cannot be justified under the Armed Forces Act.”
Amnesty International on it’s part says it has been investigating alleged rights violations by Nigerian forces and disapproved of the deployment of troops saying it would rather that the police be strengthened to handle such matters.
The Nigeria Centre for Liberty, led by one Ariyo Dare, also complained about the measures taken by the government to restore normalcy in Lagos.
But the hypocrisy of these activists have been exposed with the recent invasion of Capitol hill by supporters of President Donald Trump in part of an insurrection aimed at shutting down Congress as it formalized President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
The insurrection, just like the EndSARS protests led to several deaths including that of a Capitol Hill police officer, after the pro-Trump mob overwhelmed security lines at the Capitol.
As the hoodlums broke into the complex, the US Government immediately mobilised a quick-reaction force assembled by the Defense Department which moved against the rioters. The Force was stationed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and authorized for use by acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller.
It was also established that the Pentagon also approved the use of 154 members of the National Guard at the Capitol who were sworn in to work with Capitol Police.
The combined forces were able to arrest people suspected of involvement in the breach and through that, brought the situation under control. It has been reported that more arrests are expected as investigators scrutinize photographs, videos and social media posts to identify the protesters while the F.B.I. has received more than 40,000 tips, including photos and videos of suspects.
To forestall further breaches, the Pentagon is even moving ahead to review agents who will be a part of the security detail for the Jan. 20 inauguration to ensure security.
From these, the Nigerian activists should know that Nigerians have now realised that there’s nothing wrong for a government to take an action that would ensure the safety of citizens and prevent chaos.
Nigerians now know better how their government should handle any security threat and that what matters is the overall interest of the country.
They know what constitutes unpatriotic actd and that it is not unlawful for the government to deploy troops when the other agencies have been overwhelmed in a situation that requires urgent action.
In the past, the civilian government of President Shehu Shagari had deployed troops to quell the Maitatsine riot in Kano when the police were overwhelmed.
The deployment of troops in the US, serves as warning to people like Falana, Sowore and the rest who would rather the country goes up in flames.
These activists and all the endsARS protesters should note that Nigeria and Nigerians will no longer tolerate their madness as the government lives up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property.
Those who want to destabilize Nigeria will from now on have a tall task as they will be met with Citizens’ Soldiers who will address their madness on the streets of Abuja without hesitation.