The Real Price Of “Change The Change” Campaign (2) By Garba Shehu

On Tuesday, May 29, 2018, the Buhari/Osinbajo led government will clock three years in office. With elections less than a year ahead, this period of people-oriented governance has been a great success.

2019 And The Imperious Of Bagudu’s Continuity

Apart from electing a leader who has what it takes to make governance deliver real meaningful development to his or her people, it is equally a good asset that the electorates ensure their preferred candidate has the right levels of dignity, integrity and sense of shame that can make him insist on what is right and acceptable. POWER in Democracy is domiciled in the people.

Amnesty International's Evil Sainthood

It is not usual to score an army, any army in the world, one hundred percent positive especially during an operation. The scores plummet significantly when that operation is during wartime, it gets worse when the war is unconventional as in when battling terrorism.

Even under such conditions the Nigerian military has fared well. It self corrected early enough to align with global best practices. It went steps further to institutionalize its commitment to playing fair with the Nigerian Army for instance setting up a Human Rights Desk where members of the public can lodge complaints if they feel abuse has been committed. In other instances, personnel have been court marshalled with those found guilty appropriately sanctioned.

In addition to these, constant trainings and briefing sessions are taking place to expose personnel to the contemporary operations environment and the standards expected of any army internationally. All these are being done to prevent incidents of abuses of any form.

The foregoing is to provide context for evaluating the image that Amnesty International constantly attempts to paint of not just the Armed Forces but Nigeria as a nation. It is most unfortunate that the damage being done by this organization spills beyond its intended target, the military, as it is now damaging the psyche of citizens, who are made to think of themselves as living in an unworthy country. Some of them in the local NGOs created by Amnesty International have been reduced to being criminals that are monetarily induced to subvert their own fatherland.

Leveraging its credential as an NGO of human right activists, Amnesty International has been publishing reports that border on the criminal as it distorts facts to arrive at conclusions that indict the military, sometimes for atrocities that the local population holds Boko Haram responsible for. The timing of these reports is something that several organizations have had course to condemn since they are always primed to inflict maximum damage on the psyche of soldiers and the image of their institution.
Lying against the military is thus a stated mission of this NGO.

Rather than being the exception it is the norm as this organization is in the habit of claiming to be saintly yet it continually acts as a promoter of terrorism by always rising to Boko Haram's defence when it is on the verge of being beaten. It is most appalling that the sanctity of reports on human rights could be abused towards attaining dubious ends as this organization did with its claim that military personnel sexually exploited and abused women that they help liberate from Boko Haram.

The impression one gets is that Amnesty International would rather these women were still in Boko Haram’s captivity. Their rescue riled the NGO so much that it had to concoct stories to rubbish the Army. It went the additional step of indicting the military for crimes allegedly committed by locals operating as Civilian JTF. The implication is that even opportunistic crimes would be blamed on the army.

Since these crimes are blamed on the army to blackmail the military into inefficiency, it is enough proof that Amnesty International derives pleasure in the killing of civilians yet it preaches human rights. Who is fooling who? Can anyone fool Nigeria on that scale? How much more of these harassment can the country tolerate?

It is a well known fact that the armies of other countries, whose conduct Amnesty International find acceptable, are no better than the Nigerian Army. The reality is that the Nigerian military has done much to avoid descending into the kind of monsters that some troops become under war conditions. This is something for which troops should get accolades and not to be needlessly vilified for protecting civilians.

The people have become wiser. They now know that organizations like Amnesty International allowed terrorism to spread in Nigeria for several years until an administration with spine stepped in to turn the tide. The people should not leave it at the level of just being wiser, they should move a step further to tell the NGO in clear terms that it’s activities in Nigeria have become offensive and unacceptable.

If Amnesty International is discerning, it would have realized by now that its capacity to achieve its stated mission of destabilizing Nigeria is a wasted effort. The only thing that has been destroyed is its own reputation, which currently flops in tatters: the world knows that it lies without remorse while the client states that assigned it briefs are now aware it can no longer deliver as it did in the Middle East or other parts of the world that it has helped transformed into living hells.

Where things stand is obvious. It cannot continue to be our lives according to Amnesty International; it has to be out lives according to what we know to be true and right. Amnesty International does not have that template to tell us that when it has serially failed to do that with certain countries.

Olaitan Esq is a legal practioner based in Ibadan.

Ambode’s Three Years Of ‘Ekwueme’ Trend By Tayo Ogunbiyi

On May 29, 2015, Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, became the 14th Governor of the State. Three years after, he has invested tremendous time, energy and resources to accelerate socio-economic development in the State.

AI and Nigeria’s Triumph Against All Odds

It takes strong determination and focus to deflate enemies unleashed from the pit of hell against a nation. It is a patriotic task for both the leaders and the governed. It can only work when both are in one accord and have an unbreakable resolve to triumph over these hardened enemies.
Nigeria is one lucky  country. It is fortunate to have had the privilege of its leadership by President Muhammadu Buhari at this point in history. Very dreary and fearful internal and external forces were unchained against Nigeria to cause the country’s destabilization and eventual breakup.
The Boko Haram terrorism was the kernel of this pot and plot. It has internal and external sponsors, who have been spending fortunes in hard currencies to cause crises of varying dimensions. Boko Haram leaders in Nigeria publicly confessed their sponsorship from the Republic of Iran, a nation globally identified as the deadliest terrorism destination in the world.
A member of the United Nations (UN), but Iran displays consistent recalcitrance and disloyalty to UN unrestrained.  The elusive Islamic State militant sect (ISIS) leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi  branded Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria led by Abubakar Shekau as the West African Province  of ISIS.  That was the fathom of Nigeria’s insecurity dilemma.
So, with ceaseless funding and a dozen paid internal agents scattered all over Nigeria,  Boko Haram insurgents were  on the verge of    capturing the entire Northern Nigeria by 2015, before President Buhari emerged to quench the fire. The Islamic extremists and fanatics mindlessly attacked, killed thousands, destroyed, abducted, displaced millions of natives and dehumanized its captives.
While  Boko Haram terrorism raged to suffocating points, a demonic separatist movement by the identity of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) led by a delinquent, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu  budded from the  South eastern  region of the country. The assemblage of miscreants, touts, daredevil cultists and hoodlums who operated under the banner of secession agitations propagated violence as their central ideology.
They were fearless, crude and barbaric in the execution of their separatism  agenda. IPOB members were incensed to the level that they could wake up any day and seal up the entire South east for days, looting, committing armed robbery, kidnappings and summary execution of scores of innocent people opposed to the struggle.  
They flagrantly attacked and killed security agents without qualms and challenged the state to a combat duel.  They fruitlessly toyed with the idea of operating an independent state within a sovereign Nigeria, by declaring the “Republic of Biafra”; constituted a cabinet and launched its own security apparatuses it tagged “ Biafra Security Service (BSS) and Biafra National Guards (BNG)
As the dust whirled,   the irritant and ferocious Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) popularly called the Shiites in Nigeria, led by a demented Islamic cleric, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky staged their  own onslaught against law abiding Nigerians in the ancient of Zaria in Kaduna state.  They enunciated a bizarre religious ideology, which centered on bloodletting.   It was yet another budding terrorists’ sect sponsored by Iran.
With enough weapons at their disposal, the Shiites recklessly terrorized residents during their so-called religious processions; attacked and killed innocent souls, including security agents. Each time the lawless Shiites stepped out on their irreligious procession, Nigerians in that part of the country would experience a saturnalia of violence and bloodbath.   
However, determined to extricate Nigeria from the manacles of these terrorists in accordance with his oath of office to protect lives and property of Nigerians, President Buhari commissioned the Nigerian military to aid civil security in halting the menace of these satanic sects.
The Nigerian Army, led by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and leader of the anti-terrorism campaigns went to extremes to tame these destructive sects and forerunners of the foreign sponsored  destabilizations plots against the country.   But as hard as these terror sects attempted to overrun the country, the Nigerian  troops suppressed their might and conquered them to triumph.  
When the voice of victory of the Army against these foreign backed insurrectional sects became apparent and irreversible, it angered some foreign organizations clearly in oblique connivance with these sects. And one of such international organizations’ piqued by the actions of the Nigerian Army and sister security agencies stood out clearly.  Amnesty International (AI) failed to conceal its emotions and suspected affinity to foreign forces funding these sects against Nigeria by its official stamp.
It is an organization which lay claims to humanitarian mandate and assignment on human rights abuses and violations in Nigeria. But Nigerians found it curious and irreconcilable that AI was only interested in publicizing what it deemed was bruises to members of these terror sects during violent encounters with state security forces.  And in most cases, the organization fabricated claims or twisted the truth in favour of the sects.
 AI made no pretenses about its indifference to what the terrorists neither did to vulnerable innocent and law abiding Nigerians nor to security agents, who are also human, with rights more pathetically and inhumanly abused by these sects. 
These various sects killed Nigerians wantonly in bombings; could cut-off  the throats of victims and sometimes, killed slowly through mutilation of body parts of hapless victims.  But series of released official reports or commentaries by AI, it only preoccupied itself with presumed rights abuses and violations of the violent members of the sects.
AI completely ignored the rights violations of Nigerians by the terrorists.  And each time AI released such despicable reports or commentaries, it bolstered the subdued terrorists, who would launch fresh strikes or protests, understandably from the sympathy extended to them  in the reports by their suspected ally, the AI.         
But AI exposed their nakedness and betrayed their concealed espionage mission in Nigeria when they released a  report  in 2016/2017, christened “State of Human Rights in Nigeria.” The organization chronicled cooked lies and spurious allegations against the Nigerian military and other security agencies on human rights abuses in the counter-insurgency operations in the country.   AI shamelessly alleged extra-judicial killings and mass burials in secret graves, torture, and prolonged detention of suspects without trials, disappearance and starvation of detainees against Nigerian military.  
The report shocked Nigerians when it alleged soldiers killed and mass buried over 300 Muslim Shiites and about 2, 000 pro- Biafra activists  in Southeast. The fake claims provoked national outrage from Nigerians against AI, who staged protests for days, demanding the eviction of AI from Nigeria by the Federal Government.    
But while  AI was excited to publicize the skewed report and  phantom allegations to promote foreign interests, it recoiled when the time came for  it to officially prove the authenticity of the claims. First, it was  through a Special Military Board of Inquiry inaugurated by Gen. Buratai and secondly, through a Presidential Panel on the same matter commissioned by President Buhari. 
  AI declined, even with pleadings to clear its name and hold its reputation proudly and impeccably. It thus, dawned on Nigerians,  the organization could probably be one of the many silent and masked forces working in a ring with foreign forces in emboldening terrorists sects against Nigeria.
 But hard as AI tried, it failed to break the resolve of Nigerians to defend their country against terrorists and the determination of the Nigerian Amy to free the citizenry from terrorism.
AI’s covert operations to support or strengthen the festering of terrorism, extremism and separatism were courageously deflated by a Nigerian military, that  is more committed to humanity and security of Nigerians  than any other in the world. Nigerian Army realized that to win the war against Boko Haram terrorism and other insurgencies,  it must win the minds of the people.
This has accounted for the popular support the Army enjoyed during the tough times it battled the multifaceted monsters to earn victory.  The Army’s victory has weakened AI upon the discovery that neither the terrorists nor their paid agents have succeeded against the Nigerian people with the ruination project.
Haughtily today, the Nigerian security agencies have triumphed against AI and its foreign allies. The Nigerian Army has risen above conspiracies and the war on terrorism is irreversibly won.
Ugo, a mediapreneur writes from SwissCottage, London.

The Real Price Of "Changing The Change (1) By Garba Shehu

Top opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members have been granting press interviews and addressing zonal political rallies talking about “CHANGING THE CHANGE” in next year’s general elections, without defining what exactly that means.

Royal Wedding: Read The Full Sermon By Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry

The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, the presiding bishop of the American Episcopal Church opened and closed his stirring wedding sermon at the royal wedding on Saturday with the words of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

Why Ekiti Should Vote APC, By Ayodele Fagbohun

Despite the cancellation of the disrupted All Progressives’ Congress (APC) governorship primary election allegedly masterminded by subterranean influence of the fifth columnists, thanks providence the rescheduled primary recorded a resounding success devoid of any political rancor and brickbats as withnessed in the first failed outing.

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