SHAC raises alarm on external influences to truncate war on terrorism

Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC)Tuesday held a world press conference in Abuja to draw the attention of the world to the escalation of external influences attempting to truncate the war on terrorism.

Here is full text released by the human rights group:

Gentlemen of the press,

The recent weeks have seen Nigerians plied with reports of Boko Haram attacks, which have turned out to be real, blown out of proportion or simply imagined. The distortion of the accounts about this real, perceived and imagined attacks have contributed in no small measure to achieving what the terrorists could not attain with their inhuman acts, which is to sow terror in the hearts of Nigerians.

The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC), in the course of its many field work, has discovered that these manipulated reports about Boko Haram’s exploit against government troops is as distressing as actual attacks on the people. Those we have spoken with recounted how reports in this manner terrorize them and leave them unable to productively go about their daily activities.

We have reviewed the prevalence of this trend of reporting and sadly came to the conclusion that they are promoted by news wires, networks and publications that are directly or indirectly connected with foreign interests that actively pursue destabilization agenda in Nigeria. What appears like objective and factual reporting of the war on terrorism in Nigeria is in reality effective propaganda, deployed to strengthen the position of Boko Haram. Our position is supported by how these reports practically ignore other variables in the resurgence of Boko Haram and the foreign interests that make this possible.

It is of concern that the editorial support from these quarters is somehow connected to the intensify push by Boko Haram to regroup and return to places from where they have been routed.

The points we had made in the past remain relevant in this regards – failure to address them is in part responsible for our dear country coming the full circle to a point where a terror group that has been defeated roundly is now being retooled to torment Nigerians.

  1. We have concerns that all we hear about the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) comprising troops from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria are ceremonial reports. It is apparent that these other countries have not only left Nigeria to deal with the terrorists’ problem alone but three of them in particular allow Boko Haram to train on their territories and plan attacks against Nigeria. The terrorists are even allowed free passage to retreat back into these countries after carrying out attacks in Nigeria. This has left us wondering how much of the behavior of these countries is dictated by their colonial loyalty to France.

2. Even as members of MNJTF, these countries have allowed the unrestrained flow of weapons from the Middle East and Libya to Boko Haram insurgents. It would be interesting to learn how these firearms could cross through their countries into the hands of Boko Haram without doing damages in their own territories.

3. The interests of France in the Lake Chad Basin are well documented. Since the prospect of oil exploration in the region improved, the hand of France has become a recurrent decimal in the terrorist equation unfolding in the region. Countless times, French trainers have either been caught in the crossfire with the terrorists or even arrested in a couple of instances. The country has never been able to offer satisfactory explanation for its questionable role in this regard.

4. News services of French origin, like AFP, have been strategic to Boko Haram being able to release its videos without the possibility of being traced. The impression we have is that there is a sort of partnership between AFP and Boko Haram that allows it to run propaganda for the terrorists. The news wire has equally perfected its reports to present the terrorists as legitimate fighters. The travesty of this situation is that AFP will never report criminals in such light when it affects France or its other allies – it would in such cases slant its reports to criminalize any act of terror committed against France.

5. Contrary to the policy of other countries, France is actively involved in paying ransom to terrorists when its nationals are abducted. It may appear as the humane thing to do but revelations that the kidnappings that occasion these ransom payments were in fact staged as a front for France to finance Boko Haram. We should be concerned that French nationals curiously have the knack for straying into the areas where Boko Haram operate, certainly kidnapped and definitely released in exchange for ransom.

6. In spite of his ritualistic expression of support for the anti-terrorism efforts, Boko Haram attacks actually spiked in the period preceding and following the visit of Emmanuel Macron, President of France, to Nigeria. The chatter in the intelligence community is that Nigeria’s francophone neighbors boosted their support for the terrorist group to impress Macron that they are doing a good job of promoting French interest.

7. The tacit support of certain countries for the Islamic State terrorists continues to translate into strengthening Boko Haram. The weapons they hand over to those they want to overthrow Syria’s Bashar al-Assad are pouring through Nigeria’s francophone neighbors and ending up in the hands of Boko Haram. Even when this realization is so profound these countries have refused to do the humane thing by cutting off this indirect support for Boko Haram.

The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre is therefore calling for an end to the grandstanding over the problem of terrorism in Nigeria. We demand that Nigerian authorities break from the adherence to diplomatic protocol and openly issue cease and desist notices to countries that are fueling the problem whether they be Nigeria’s immediate neighbors or world powers that tele-guide the situation remotely. This will include a review of the MNJTF to see if there is any sense of Nigeria keeping up with the charade of collaborating with countries that do other things to undermine its interests.

We demand strong commitment from all concerned to end Boko Haram’s activities and movement across borders to commit crimes in Nigeria. It is not acceptable that Nigeria’s neighbors act as breeding grounds to revive Boko Haram each time it is defeated here on our soil. Consequently, we unequivocally demand implementation of the resolutions that were agreed at the conference organized by Nickolas Sarkozy as French president – parties to that conference had promised to tame Boko Haram at their respective bordes.

SHAC appeals to the United Nations to urgently set up a joint action task team around the Lake Chad Basin as the result of the complacency on this matter will eventually haunt all stakeholders. The practice of waiting until situations get totally out of hand before acting must not be allowed to apply in this particular case. A strong consideration to be made is to treat the countries colluding with Boko Haram as interfering to destabilize Nigeria, which is not allowed.

We will conclude by urging the Nigerian military not to relent in their push against Boko Haram and should treat foreign support for the terrorists as an impetus to evolve new strategies for dealing with the threat they pose to the country’s civilian population. The vulnerable civilians rely on the military for protection and cannot be let down for any reason. We further urge the military, in view of the foreign support for Boko Haram, to audit its personnel with a view to identifying and fishing out those that might have been compromised and are on the take to sabotage the troops by sharing sensitive information to supposed media workers that in turn embed same in their stories to pass on to terrorists.

Comrade Ibrahim Abubakar

Executive Secretary

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