Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Buratai (rtd)
By Nengi David
The Concerned Citizens Forum frowned at a petition written by the Concerned Nigerians Group led by Deji Adeyanju to the International Criminal Court (ICC) calling for the arrest and prosecution of the immediate past Chief of Army Staf, Lt. Gen. Tukur Bruatai.
CCF says it finds such posturing very worrisome and lacking in any form of objectivity as the issues canvassed by the Deji Adeyanju led group remains a figment of the imagination.
The group in a statement by its president, Comrade John Alli, advised Deji Adeyanju and “his co-travellers to stop insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians any further for the task at hand requires all the urgency that it deserves.”
It chalanged Deji and his group to provide tangible evidence that human rights were violated and the Nigerian Army committed war crimes under the stewardship of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff.
His statement reads belpw;
The Concerned Citizens Forum has over several years contributed immensely to the democratic principles in Nigeria by demanding accountability, transparency in the conduct of government business, and the protection of the human rights of all citizens of Nigeria.
Our attention has been drawn to a letter written by a shadowy and sponsored group under the nomenclature of Concerned Nigerians Group and led by one Deji Adeyanju, to the International Criminal Court, demanding for the arrest and prosecution of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai for human rights violations and crimes against humanity while he was in office.
The Concerned Citizens Forum finds such posturing very worrisome and lacking in any form of objectivity as the issues canvassed by the Deji Adeyanju led group remains a figment of the imagination.
It is circumspect to state that Deji Adeyanju and his co-travellers would not relent in their puerile attempt at demonizing the laudable achievements of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff while he was in office in apparent exchange for a plate of porridge.
The Concerned Citizens Forum views this recent diatribe as a continuation of the grand campaign against the Muhammadu Buhari led administration despite the overwhelming commitment to addressing the country’s security challenges.
The Concerned Citizens Forum does not hold brief for the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, neither have we been mandated to do such, however as a body that has been in the vanguard of the entrenchment of the tenets of democracy in Nigeria for several years, we find such actions by the Deji Adeyanju led Concerned Nigerians Groups as an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians.
It is our considered view that well-meaning Nigerians should not entertain such anomaly because of the larger consequences on the democratic journey in Nigeria, which has been under constant attack.
A thorough scrutiny of the content of the letter written by the Deji Adeyanju led group indeed gives insight to the mischief intended, aside that it also contained outright insinuations and illogical conclusions that defeats commons sense.
By and large, the Deji Adeyanju led group is acting on behalf of some proscribed militant groups in the country such as the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose activities have led trails of sorrow, tears and blood in different parts of the country.
The Concerned Citizens Forum is appalled that such inaccuracy can be propagated in the public space without consideration for the impact of such in the overall psyche of the generality of the Nigerian population.
We consequently wonder where and how the Deji Adeyanju led group derives its information, if not from the promoters of these militant groups. This indeed smacks of a mockery that should be disregarded by all concerned stakeholders in Nigeria as well as the diplomatic community.
We wish to inform Nigerians that the overarching objective of this new drive by the Deji Adeyanju led group is to begin a fresh outbreak of violence in the country by systematically calling on members of the proscribed militant groups to return to the streets in the attempt to make the country ungovernable.
The Concerned Citizens Forum is indeed by this medium putting the records straight by questioning this negative narrative that is obviously coming from the camps of some of those whose egos have been bruised by the immediate past Chief of Army Staff in addressing the threats posed by terrorist and militant groups in the country.
We also wish state in unequivocal terms that Nigerians are indeed aware of the nefarious activities of the IMN, IPOB and other terrorist groups, as well as the actions taken in the country’s overall interest as the case may be.
It is also instructive to state that the letter to the ICC calling for the arrest and prosecution of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff is balderdash as the issues canvased cannot be substantiated, and this is coupled with the fact that the choice of words is poor and the delivery is puerile.
It thus remains a statement of fact that under the stewardship of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, the threats posed by these militant groups that have suddenly found a voice in the Deji Adeynaju led Concerned Nigerians Groups were indeed addressed in line with global best practices unless Deji Adeyanju and his co-travellers want to feign ignorance to the reign of terror perpetrated by the IMN in Zaria and other parts of Northern Nigeria before the timely intervention of the Nigerian Army.
Also, the Deji Adeyanju led group might also want to feign ignorance to the attack by members of the IMN on security operatives that led to their deaths, including a senior police officer DCP Umar during one of their violent protests in the Federal Capital Territory that left scores of others dead and wounded, as well as the destruction of properties.
We also wish to remind the Deji Adeyanju led group that it is indeed on record that the Nnamdi Kanu led IPOB has been credited to have incited violence in parts of South-East Nigeria that led to the burning of police stations, and the death and injury to police officers in the line of duty.
The Concerned Citizens Forum indeed challenges the Deji Adeyanju led group to provide tangible evidence that human rights were violated and the Nigerian Army committed war crimes under the stewardship of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff.
It should also do well to seek facts from credible civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations such as ours that has been devoted to the entrenchment of the tenets of democracy in Nigeria.
The Concerned Citizens Forum calls on all well-meaning Nigerians to discountenance the Deji Adeyanju led group’s narrative, which remains a hatchet job for all it is worth. We consequently demand a withdrawal of the purported letter to the ICC, as well as the tendering of an unreserved apology to the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, as well as the generality of Nigerians.