Leave Nigeria or we kill your workers, burn your offices, group threatens Amnesty International

Amnesty International must leave Nigeria within a week or its offices would be burnt and staff killed, a group for “liberation” has warned.

The Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights (CALSER) accused Amnesty International of plotting to destabilise Nigeria and vowed to unleash deadly violence on the human rights body if it does not pack its bags and leave the country in seven days.

“The NGO’s failure to leave Nigeria will attract civil disobedience at its offices in Abuja and Lagos on a scale that will make the campaign of looting and arson it facilitated appear like child’s play,” CALSER convener Princess Ajibola threatened at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.

“Amnesty International’s offices and those of all its affiliated organizations and known supporters in Nigeria will be set upon the same way that its agents destroyed critical assets in the country.

“Its staffers will be treated the same way that innocent policemen lynched by mobs were treated,” she said.

The campaign of looting and arson to which CALSER referred led to the destruction of properties and wanton killings after thugs believed to have been hired by the Nigerian government hijacked protests against police brutality.

Neither the Department of State Service (DSS) nor the police has arrested or promised to arrest CALSER leaders for the apparent threat to inflict property and fatal damage on Amnesty International.

This is not the first time a group would threaten human rights body with the Muhammadu Buhari government failing to make arrests.

Here’s a longer version of what CALSER said:

“One of our interventions since the start of the EndSARS protests that have now been hijacked, repurposed and deployed as a destructive force by individuals and organizations that do not mean well for Nigeria.

“By way of a quick clarification, CALSER is not opposed to genuine, legitimate and orderly protests against the incident of brutality and human rights abuses irrespective of who or what the offending entity is.

“Our members had taken part in the peaceful protests to demand a cessation to arbitrary profiling and abuse of individuals by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), whose operatives harassed Nigerians without end.

“We were surprised but gladdened when the Federal Government accepted the original five demands without the expected stonewalling or delay tactics.

“We had hoped that the 5for5 would open the way for the government to implement the first round of reforms after which Nigerians would have again delivered the demand for more reforms, not just in the Nigeria Police Force but in other spheres of the national life, all of which are indeed in need of rejigging.

“Our shock was consequently profound when infiltrators took over the protests, raise the demands to seven, 12, 20 and eventually 23 before they drafter thugs in to attack those of us that originally began the agitation.

“We were shocked even further when celebrities and paid activists not only became prominent in the protests but also used their standing as persons with a large following on the social media to incite people to violence.

“We still feel scammed that protesters unwittingly ended up as human pawns. As part of the protests movement, we have reviewed the video footages shared by colleagues at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos state. The incident at that location Tuesday, October 20, 2020, opened our eyes to the reality that we were manipulated to joining with people who would have willingly shot us or any other group that has joined the protest just so they can have corpses to display.

“Thankfully, things did not get to that stage before we found out that we had been in bed with the enemy.

“Yes, soldiers shot into the air at Lekki Toll Gate. But, no, we did not witness any massacre neither did we see any, not one, of the 78 people that the protesters used social media to mislead the world into believing were killed.

“The vehemence with which falsehood was peddled about the so-called massacre is what alarmed us that our members or any other Nigerians present at that protest location might have been killed if those behind the fake news of Lekki massacre had the slightest inkling that they would come under scrutiny and their misleading claims subjected to fact-checking.

“We do not, however, find such logic in why Amnesty International, an international NGO, with a serial history of publishing jaundiced reports about Nigeria, will deploy disproportionate resources to undermining the integrity of Nigeria even at such a trying time.

“The protesters might have made the misleading claim of a massacre at Lekki Toll Gate and the lie that 78 people were killed, but it took Amnesty International’s amplification of that lie for the international community and supra-national organizations to wrongly accuse and condemn Nigeria and its government.

“For Nigeria to rebuild, Amnesty International must be out of the way. CALSER, therefore, gives Amnesty International a seven-day ultimatum to leave Nigeria.

“The NGO’s failure to leave Nigeria will attract civil disobedience at its offices in Abuja and Lagos on a scale that will make the campaign of looting and arson it facilitated appear like child’s play.

“Amnesty International’s offices and those of all its affiliated organizations and known supporters in Nigeria will be set upon the same way that its agents destroyed critical assets in the country.

“Its staffers will be treated the same way that innocent policemen lynched by mobs were treated.”

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