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National security, sovereignty: lnformation Minister lashes out at ICC, Amnesty International

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…says Nigeria will not surrender its sovereignty

 

The Federal Goverment has cautioned some foreign organisations particularly Amnesty International and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stop threatening Nigerian troops and jeopardising national security.

“The Federal Government frowns at this unbridled attempt to demoralize our security men and women as they confront the onslaught from bandits and terrorists.

“Nigeria did not join the ICC so it can become a pawn on the court’s chessboard.

“It beggars belief to see that a nation that is fighting an existential war against bandits and terrorists is constantly being held down by an international body, which it willingly joined,” Persecondnews quotes Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed as saying on Monday.

He told a media briefing in Lagos that Nigeria as a sovereign state will not surrender its sovereignty to any organization.

According to Mohammed, some foreign organizations are frustrating Nigeria’s anti-terror war.

He said the human rights groups were demoralising the Armed Forces and other security agencies by constituting themselves into another ‘fighting force.’

The minister was of the opinion that the groups have constantly been harassing security forces and threatening them with investigation and possible prosecution over alleged war crimes.

Lampooning a section of Nigerian media, Mohammed accused them of “parroting these organizations without weighing the impact of their constant threats on the national security.”

“Nigeria is fending off attacks on many fronts, not just from terrorists and bandits, but also from the International organisations.

“Enough is enough. It is sad that these organizations mostly rely on fake news and disinformation to reach their conclusions, as witnessed during the #Endsars protest when CNN – an otherwise respected global news network – went to town with fake news of a massacre.

“As it turned out, it was a massacre without bodies. As you are aware, we called CNN out and also petitioned the network.

“Though they acknowledged receipt of our petition, we have yet to hear from them on what actions they intend to take to prevent a recurrence of the fake news they peddled about Nigeria. I can assure you, gentlemen that the matter is far from over,” he said.

On insurgency, Mohammed said the country had made “tremendous progress in tackling banditry and Boko Haram insurgency.”

He added: “Some jaundiced analysts and their lapdogs” had sought to portray Nigeria as a failing state, based on the security challenges.

“Nigeria is not and cannot be a failing or failed state. Of course, you would remember that for the past two decades or so, some pseudo-analysts have been predicting the country’s implosion.

“That has not happened, hence, they have found a new tag line: failing or failed state. It’s all a ruse aimed at depicting Nigeria as being in a constant state of anarchy, just so they can achieve their nefarious objectives for the country.

“If Nigeria was not a ‘failing’ state when a large slice of its territory equivalent to the size of Belgium was under the occupation of Boko Haram which collected taxes, installed and deposed emirs, is it now that no territory is under the terrorists that Nigeria will be a failing state?

“If Nigeria was not a failed state when bombs were raining on towns and cities in Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Borno, Yobe, FCT and other states, is it now that such bombings have stopped that Nigeria will be described as a ‘failing’ state?

“If Nigeria was not a ‘failing’ state in those years that Christian and Muslim worshippers had to be screened to even enter their places of worship, is it now that the siege on places of worship has ceased that Nigeria will be described as a ‘failing’ state?”

While commending the nation’s Armed Forces and other security agencies for their patriotism and commitment to the anti-terror war, Mohamed said: “Thanks to our security agencies, we have just celebrated another Christmas and New Year without a rain of bombs. Few would remember that in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Christmas eve or Christmas Day attacks left hundreds dead or injured.

“What about the attack on the UN Complex in Abuja in August 2011; the bombing of media houses in Abuja and Kaduna in April 2012 and the killing of about 40 students in Mubi, Adamawa State, in October 2012?

“Have we forgotten that over 80 towns and villages were attacked and razed, with casualties, by Boko Haram in Borno State alone? Have we forgotten the constant attacks on military and security formations?

“The Federal Government has sustained the fight against terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements across the country, especially in the North East and the North West. The President has continued to provide all the necessary platforms on land, air and sea to support the fight against criminals and terrorists in the country.”

On PDP as opposition party, the minister said its role is restricted to “bad mouthing.”

“There is more to opposition than predictable and bring-it-down-at-all-cost media interventions. They messed up in government, and they are messing up even more in opposition. No lessons learnt either way.

” Let me also take this opportunity to condemn the constant infantile press releases by the unserious, unimaginative and drab opposition which misconstrues opposition as constantly shooting down anything the government of the day does or bad mouthing whatever Mr. President does or says.”

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