The President Muhammadu Buhari Government has reacted to an allegation by a US based organization, claiming the Buhari government is behind terrorism in the country, and calling for its proscription as a terror organization.
The non-profit organization known as Global Advocates for Terrorism Eradication (GATE), has in a 26-page petition, signed by the group’s Principal Advocate, Robert Berry, and addressed to Anthony J. Blinken, the US Secretary of State, urged the US government to designate the Nigerian government as sponsors of terrorism, alleging that “from all available indices, what is happening in Nigeria is state-sponsored terrorism.”
It alleged that the Nigerian government officials were sponsoring terrorism by carrying out terrorist activities including training, funding, financing, and recruitment of terrorists using their offices as a safe haven, transit and operational base for terrorists and terrorist activities.
GATE, in the petition, accused the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of kaduna State, former Chief of Army Staff and Current Nigerian Ambassador to Republic of Benin, Tukur Buratai, and the Director General of State Services, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, of aiding terrorism in Nigeria.
Others accused of terrorism by GATE are; former Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Ministers of Communications, Justice and Information, Isa Pantami, Abubakar Malami and Lai Mohammed respectively, amongst others.
It alleged 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 group also gave a two-month notice to the United States Government, warning that “if at the expiration of the two months deadline, and the designation is not made, GATE will proceed to the Federal Court in United States to apply for a Writ of Mandamus to compel the United States Secretary of State to issue the designation in line with the provisions of Law.”
GATE argued that designating Nigerian officials as sponsors of terrorism by the US will have far reaching legal implications, including potentially arrest and criminal prosecution in a Federal US court if they visit the country.
Buttressing its point, the group cited an interview a former Deputy Director of Defense Intelligence Services of the Nigerian Military, Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi, granted Channels Television on August 24, 2021.
It said in spite of the revelations from the interview, the Nigerian government did nothing about the issues raised.
“That in spite of this knowledge, the Nigerian government has vehemently refused to take appropriate measures to protect her citizens and the global community from the nefarious activities of those state actors,” it said.
The group concluded: “The current Nigerian Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari is executing a Global Jihadist agenda that is comparable, if not more insidious than that of the Taliban’s of Afghanistan.
“It is even more dangerous because it is mixed with genocidal tendencies. It is in the best interest of the United States and all the Democratic countries of the world to identify this threat early and address it now.
“This is to prevent the further spread of the global jihadist agenda of the Buhari government and to arrest an imminent ethnic and religious genocide.”
But reacting to the allegation, the Nigerian government through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the allegation is false and aimed at tarnishing the image of the Buhari government which he claimed has been fighting all forms of insecurity in the country.
The Minister said the Global Advocates for Terrorism Eradication (GATE) is an irritant that should be ignored, Wondering why the Government that is tackling the twin evil of terrorism and banditry will be accused of sponsoring terrorism.
Lai Mohammed noted the fact that GATE, in making its allegation, relied on the words of a former Nigerian Navy intelligence officer has shown the hollowness of its allegation.