GATE petitions US over alleged ‘state-sponsored’ terrorism in Nigeria; tackles Buhari on Igboho, Nnamdi Kanu
A United States-based group, Global Advocates For Terrorism Eradication, GATE, on Friday, petitioned the office of the United States Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinke, demanding that the United States Government should designate some Nigerian Government officials as sponsors of terrorism, alleging that “from all available indices, what is happening in Nigeria is State-sponsored Terrorism”.
GATE said its core objectives are to stop the provision of material support, funding and prosecutorial protection of terrorists by state actors. In a statement by its Principal Advocate, Robert Berry, the 26-page petition alleged that the Nigerian government was allegedly sponsoring terrorism by carrying out terrorist activities including training, fundraising, financing, and recruitment of terrorists and terrorist activities.
The organization said that “the Nigerian Government officials have deployed the instrumentality of power and are using the veil of sovereignty in knowingly consenting and with malicious intent allowing and promoting the use of Nigeria as a breeding ground and recruitment nursery for international terrorism activities contrary to foreign relations authorizations act fiscal years 1988 and 1989 (P.L.100 to 204:22 U.S.C 2656f), as amended.”
The letter chronicles numerous terrorist activities that establish the culpability of the Nigerian govt and its officials. Some of those acts include providing funds to terrorists and terrorist organizations; providing material support including weapons and equipment to terrorists, actively and expressly encouraging and inciting terrorist activities.
Other allegations against the Nigerian Government are prosecutorial protection to terrorists by directly engaging in acts of terrorism and extrajudicial killings, using security agencies.
GATE, in the petition, accused the present administration of aiding terrorism in Nigeria.
The group stated that the US Government designating Nigerian officials as sponsors of terrorism will have far-reaching legal implications, including potentially arrest and criminal prosecution in a federal US court if they visit the country.
The petition reads in part: “The balance of terror of government’s false narrative has further exposed the complicity of the Nigerian Government in the anti-Christian butcheries and its monumental failure in discharging its constitutional duties of protecting and safeguarding the citizens irrespective of their religion, tribe or creed.
“The Government has not only failed to provide official credible data of the killings, maiming and Christian properties destroyed or burnt but also undermined, mangled and denied same when independently presented.
“The Government has also failed woefully in letting Nigerians and the International Community know, with verifiable statistics, the proportionality or dis-proportionality of such interfaith asymmetric killings, maiming and destroyed or burnt or lost properties.
“That is to say that there are no credible data from the present central Government of Nigeria or its security and law enforcement agencies including Nigeria Police Force and Defense or Army Headquarters, showing the percentage or number of attacks against defenceless Christian communities by the state-backed and protected Jihadist Herdsmen or reprisals by the victim Christian communities, if any.
“In other words, there are no credible Government’s records or from its security and law enforcement agencies showing the number of attacks against Christians since mid-2015 by Jihadist Herdsmen, number of Christians killed, a number of their lands seized and occupied by the Jihadists and number of Christians’ properties including dwelling houses, worship and learning centres destroyed or burnt or lost to Jihadist Herdsmen.
Government or security or law enforcement records are near totally absent, if not totally absent regarding the number of Jihadist Herdsmen arrested and investigated, convicted and jailed since mid-2015 for killing Christians or seizing or destroying their properties especially their sacred learning and worship centres. Independent records have continued to indicate that such perpetrators are often not arrested but shielded by the security forces.
“On the other hand, there are also no credible records from the same Government or its security and law enforcement agencies showing the number of attacks against Jihadist Herdsmen or Fulani citizens or settlements by the victim Christian groups or communities, number of Fulani citizens killed, number of their lands seized and occupied, number of Fulani properties including dwelling houses, Mosques and learning centres destroyed or burnt by same Christian avengers.