The All Progressives Congress (APC) is shocked by the statement by Amnesty International accusing the new government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of indifference to the latest killings in some parts of the country, two weeks after he was sworn in.
While we thank Amnesty International for drawing attention to the lingering security challenges in our country especially in Plateau, Kaduna, Benue and Zamfara, we find its conclusion hasty and inconsiderate.
During his inaugural speech, President Bola Tinubu said clearly that security will be the topmost priority of his administration and he promised to reform the nation’s security doctrine and architecture.
He promised in categorical terms that Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence. To effectively tackle this menace, we shall reform both our security DOCTRINE and its ARCHITECTURE. We shall invest more in our security personnel, and this means more than an increase in number. We shall provide, better training, equipment, pay and firepower. President Tinubu demonstrated he prioritised security, when few days after he was sworn in, he met with his inherited security chiefs.
He gave marching orders to them to redouble efforts in dealing with the menace of terrorism, insurgency, banditry, oil theft, sea robbery and piracy among others that have conspired to weigh down the nation.
President Tinubu decried the persistent security breaches in the country and said he would not allow insecurity challenges to bring Nigeria to its knees while other countries are advancing.
It is therefore uncharitable and inconsiderate of Amnesty International through its Acting Nigeria Country Director, Isa Sanusi, to accuse the new government that is just settling down of dereliction of duty.
Amnesty International is known for stoking internal conflict and citizen antagonism in developing nations through weaponisation and accentuation of local situations to achieve its sinister objectives while hypocritically looking the other way when similar incidents occur in developed nations, especially in the Western world.
Many nations in the world, including the United States of America are today bedevilled by insecurity. By the end of May 2023 almost 20,000 people have died cumulatively as a result of gun violence and other violent crimes in America. In the first 150 days of 2023, America has recorded 263 mass shootings, with hundreds of death yet Amnesty International has not been on the mountain top to accuse US government of dereliction of duty. That mass shooting and gun violence have become an epidemic in US does not make the American government a failure in protecting its people or make mass shootings a ‘norm’ in the country. Every government is daily devising means and ways to tackle rapidly changing security problems.
In United Kingdom there is growing and daily menace of knife crimes. In 2022 alone, UK police recorded 49,265 offences involving knives and other sharp instruments and 46,334 in 2021. In Nottingham, a mass shooting in the city centre claimed three victims. Amnesty International has not accused UK government of failure to protect her citizens.
The isolated cases of shooting that are now several decades old in our country, will need methodical and strategic thinking to ensure normalcy.
No organisation should gloat over these unfortunate incidents. It’s too early for such unsympathetic reaction.
Amnesty International and its affiliates are advised to give the young government some time to work things out, in consonance with its pledge to our people, rather than rushing out with its jaded diatribe against the Nigerian government and its security authorities.
President Bola Tinubu and his team are settling down to solving many of our national challenges across various sectors. Amnesty International should allow this government to do its work without their usual condescending hypocrisy.