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FG’s response to Amnesty International: Politics : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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FG’s response to Amnesty International

By: dayan (M) |Time : March 15, 2017, 03:37:44 AM
The Federal Government’s response to the 2015/2016 report of the Amnesty International (AI) was not only hasty but also in many respects ill-advised. Issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the government in its attempt to justify its disobedience to court orders to release some individuals on bail branded the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (The Shiites) and the pro-Biafra groups as “terrorist” or “unlawful”.

The Ministry pointed to the existence of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as proof that Nigeria is a law-abiding state. However, there is a huge gap between what the constitution intends for Nigeria and what we practice. A nation claiming to be democratic and yet defies court orders operates a questionable democracy.

The entire world witnessed when the newly-elected American President, Donald Trump, issued Executive Orders on Travel Ban. It took only a state court to grant a stay of execution and President Trump promptly obeyed. That is a democracy in action, not on paper. There is no part of our constitution that allows the Presidency to disobey court orders.


Army

The government’s allegation that El-Zakzaky and Shiites are terrorists like Boko Haram is very unfortunate because it could place Nigeria at the risk of contagion of the endless Islamic sectarian wars going on in the Middle East.

Also, the pro-Biafra agitators have conducted their protests without recourse to arms. Where they break the law (such as road blockages) the Police should perform their law enforcement duties according to normal Police rules of engagement, without pushing matters towards violent confrontations.

Our government and its law-enforcement agencies must cast aside military reflexes and imbibe civil and democratic approaches to managing social unrest, bearing in mind that citizens have the right to peaceful and lawful agitations. Good leadership is about dousing tensions and winning back the confidence of alienated people.

The Federal Government’s response to Amnesty International’s report on the killings and human rights abuses by the Nigeria military did not help to calm frayed nerves. It should have been couched in reassuring words to bring down tensions in the land.

We are, however, pleased that the Nigerian Army has taken up the gauntlet to conduct an internal inquiry into AI’s allegations. The composition of the body (which includes people from the legal and human rights communities) gives us hope that its report will be credible.

We also urge agitators to conduct their protests peacefully and refrain from infringing on the rights of other law-abiding citizens. Nigeria needs all the peace it can muster to tackle the challenges that often spark off feelings of alienation.

We must rededicate ourselves to the unity and progress of Nigeria. This country belongs to all Nigerians, and no one can become a foreigner in his own country.

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Re: FG’s response to Amnesty International

By: dayan (M) |Time : March 15, 2017, 03:43:25 AM
Quote
Our government and its law-enforcement agencies must cast aside military reflexes and imbibe civil and democratic approaches to managing social unrest, bearing in mind that citizens have the right to peaceful and lawful agitations. Good leadership is about dousing tensions and winning back the confidence of alienated people.

Winning back the confidence of the people is the key operative word here.
There's a shallowness to the present government's way of handling dissent in Nigeria.
Even during full military rule, Nigerians could demonstrate for ANYTHING, and the only force used on them was the police force which often used tear gas or water canons to disperse protesters whenever they became riotous or unruly.
These days, in so called democracy, Nigerians are "engaged" with live bullets by SOLDIERS who should be at our borders somewhere fighting foreigners.
This is what has changed in Nigeria, and it is very dangerous if not stopped immediately.

Re: FG’s response to Amnesty International

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : March 17, 2017, 05:47:04 PM
Democracy cannot be theoretical. It should be evident for all to see through respect for the rule of law by the executive. None of the arms of government is more important than the other

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