The National Committee of Yoruba Youth (NCYY) and the Coalition of Civil Society Groups against Terrorism in Nigeria yesterday protested to the United State Embassy in Lagos over a lawsuit filed against the leadership of the Nigerian Army.
The suit was reportedly filed by one John Doe under the Torture Victims Protection Act and Alien Tort Claims Act Complaint, before a United States (U.S.) District Court for the District of Columbia for a leave on behalf of 10 Biafran agitators to sue the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, and 13 others for alleged complicity in the 2016 torture and extra-judicial killings of the members Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
However, the coalition comprising over 40 civil society organizations (CSOs) kicked against the suit which they said was intended to demoralize officers and men of the army including its leadership whom they said have been committed to protecting lives and properties of Nigerians.
In a petition addressed to the Secretary of State, United State of America (USA) through the US Embassy in Lagos, they called on the government of the US to ignore the suit which they described as misplaced and deliberate act of witch-hunt of the Army leadership.
The petition was signed by Comrade Odeyemi Oladimeji, Peace Ambassador, African First Ladies Peace Mission and Barrister John Atani, National Secretary, Coalition of Civil Society Groups Against Terrorism in Nigeria on behalf of other CSOs.
They informed the US government that IPOB had, by its various activities, “become a major opposition to the Nigerian State, particularly to our National Security and by extension to all of our security agencies.”
According to them, the claim by those behind the suit “is not only far from the truth, but also comical in all ramifications and laughable”.
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Their accusation of extra-judicial killing against the army, the group said, “reveals the disturbing realities of the deeper import of their agitation, that is, to destabilize and balkanize, Nigeria, and erroneously depict Nigerians as people with identity crisis.”
“However, Nigerians are nothing of the sort. Rather, it is this group that has totally lost touch with the reality of who they are in the progression of a peaceful, united and committed Nigerian Polity”, the petition reads.
The CSOs insisted that the uppermost intention of those behind this suit was to make money off the case, because according to them, the group is now starved of funds.
Stating that the Nigerian Army has the “enormous support” of the Nigerian people at all times, going by the commitment of men and officers, towards protecting and safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity, they called on the US government to support peace building efforts in the country.
The coalition also hailed the commitment of Donald Trump’s administration in the US to rid the world of terrorism.
They added: “And as such we are very much convinced that your good office will see the actions of the IPOB as just a cleverly devised plot to curry undue favours from the most benevolent nation on earth, the United State of America (USA)”.