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Mass killing brewing in Lagos — Intersociety raises the alarm

Intersociety, a human rights organisation, has raised an alarm over a potential genocide in Lagos.

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Mass killing brewing in Lagos — Intersociety raises the alarm 

 

Nigeria’s acclaimed Centre of Excellence, Lagos, is fast turning into a breeding ground for possible genocide, one of the country’s leading human rights groups has warned. The signs are evident, according to the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) in a “Special Early Warning Statement” entitled “29 Years Of Rwandan Genocide (1994): Lagos Is Descending Dangerously Into Genocidal Enclave”. Issued in Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria, yesterday, Tuesday, April 18, 2023, the statement was signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair; Obianuju Joy Igboeli Esquire, Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Program; Chidinma Udegbunam Esquire, Head, Campaign and Publicity Department; and Ositadinma Agu, Head, Int’l Contacts and Mobilization. It reads unedited:

 

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The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) is condemning in strongest terms the ongoing well organized and systematic attacks on defenseless Easterners in Lagos State and other parts of the country. Intersociety also strongly condemns the “genocidal Igbonization” dimension to the outcomes or publicly expected outcomes of the 2023 Presidential and Governorship Elections in Lagos State; targeted at Easterners resident in Lagos and other parts of the country. It is alarming and shocking that the fundamental human rights of members of any ethnic nationality in Nigeria or any part thereof to conscientiously and freely vote or choose candidates of their choice during elections have been ethnically stigmatized or criminalized using cultural violence policy of “genocidal Igbonization”. It is further shocking and alarming that the dastardly act is pioneered by State political actors and their agents-with the country’s security and intelligence forces blatantly and brazenly exhibiting unwillingness, inability, inaction and conspiracy of silence.

 

Shocking and alarming too is the fact that the ethnic profiling and its “genocidal Igbonization” are being oiled and fueled by former respected members of ‘the Lagos School of Democracy and Human Rights’-once celebrated globally as ‘Nigeria’s democracy and human rights champions’ who singlehandedly ousted the country’s darkest military gangs and their era. We are deeply shocked that these former rights and democracy nobles have so fumbled and wobbled to the extent of abominably transforming themselves into “promoters and prompters of electoral roguery and local and international image launderers of the leading beneficiaries of such electoral infamy”. As if these were not enough, they have also become local and international blackmailers and inciters of violence and genocide against defenseless members of a voting population who recently voted candidates of their choice and consciences’. It is democratically abominable and unheard of that conscientiously voting candidates in an election or elections has become a ‘treason’ or ‘crime against the state’-warranting unleashing state actor jungle justice against such group or individual voters. We also wonder when it has become an international best practice to force or dictate to individual or group voting citizens on whom to vote for or whom not to vote for in an election or elections.

 

Easterners Threatened, Attacked And Killed For Doing Public Good In Nigeria

 

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For want of space to historically and statistically go down memory lane, defenseless Easterners have been objects of organized group and state actor or government coordinated or aided attacks in recent years especially in the 2019 and 2023 General Elections. Easterners have also been at the receiving ends whenever the electoral outcomes reflected the true electoral wishes of the people including when the incumbents are voted out or presumed to have been voted out. There has also been incessancy of ethnic profiling or coloration of every event with public good or bad effects by labeling such as “Igbo produced or engineered”. Citizens of Old Eastern Nigerian Christianity and non Muslim others and their properties have been attacked or targeted for wanton destruction in recent times in Kano, Kaduna, Jos, Maiduguri, Abuja, Sokoto, Mubi, Yola, Lagos and so on. As recently as on 14th March 2023, over 100 Christians were abducted by Fulani Jihadists in Adunu, Paikoro LGA of Niger State for “being Christians and Igbo who defiantly voted against a Fulani Presidential Candidate (Atiku) during the 25th Feb 2023 Presidential Election”. As at seven days ago from today, 62 of the abductees were nowhere to be found. In Maiduguri, the popular “Monday Market” and others as well as Igbo business interests in Kano, Sokoto, FCT, etc have in recent times been severally visited with sponsored infernos-with the host Government turning blind eyes and doing nothing in the end; except occasionally shedding crocodile tears with empty promises never kept.

 

 

In Lagos State, Easterners, hatefully labeled “Igbo People” have severally come under attacks. In the past 117 days of 2023 or between 1st Jan and 17th April 2023, for instance, there have been at least four major fire outbreaks targeted at destruction of hundreds of millions of naira markets and other properties belonging to defenseless Easterners in the State. The above is in addition to catalogues of group violence, threats and fears unleashed on the Easterners across the State. At the tragic end of such infernos, nothing is heard from the host Government, not even inclusive and independent probe panels to prevent recurrences and sanction the offenders. There have been social media driven ‘cultural violence’ including hate speeches or incitement to ethnic cleansing or genocide-sum-total of which has put Easterners and their properties in Lagos and other parts of the country in grave danger. Such endangerment is also not without concomitant ‘industrial scale’ reprisal effects, if genocide erupts. Verifiable social media video clips and chat messages abound detailing appointees of the Government of Lagos State and top-shots of the Lagos branch of APC-controlled Government of Nigeria openly threatening the Easterners and putting their lives, dignities of human person, liberties and properties in grave danger and fear. These are broadly and brazenly perpetrated-with the country’s security agencies especially the Police IGP, CP-Lagos State and State Director of DSS, etc, conspiratorially turning blind eyes and doing nothing or aiding and abetting same with impunity till date.

 

Status Of Lagos And Nigeria’s Road To Genocide: 84,250 Defenseless Religionists Killed In 14 Years

 

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Apart from our shocking observation that genocidists and inciters of ethnic and religious cleansing are rapidly emerging from “the School of Lagos Saints”, birth is also being given to “Lagos Interahamwe” and “Lagos School of Cultural Violence”-in conspiracy with the country’s security forces in full replication of the 1994 Rwandan perpetrated by presidential guards and “Interahamwe genocidal militias”

 

 

Lagos On The Road To The Butcheries Of Kigali

 

Our ‘special early warning statement’ is strategically timed to coincide with the 29th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide of 7th April to 23rd July 1994. Like the “Butcheries of Kigali” under assassinated President, General Juvenal Habyarimana, Lagos is speedily on the road to genocidal Kigali and dangerously descending into Nigeria’s “Center of Butcheries” from ‘Center of Excellence’. This is projected, criminologically, to rise to an apogee under Ahmed Bola Tinubu as Nigeria’s ‘INEC-declared President of Nigeria’. The State, having witnessed modern governance over 160 years and benefitted from massive federal and state infrastructural and social developments as Nigerian capital for several decades, has been governmentally turned upside down since 1999, with present debt overhangs of over N1.5trillion which was the sum-total of Nigeria’s total domestic debts as at June 2007. With over 20m inhabitants and most densely populated in Nigeria, all hands must be on deck to save the State from calamitous toxemia. The messengers or fanners of embers of genocide or ethnic and religious cleansing must be stopped and their messages totally discarded. God forbid, the State explodes into complex humanitarian emergencies such as ethno-religious killings and counter killings and other forms of ‘reprisal radicalism’, the State will be irreparably, catastrophically and calamitously doomed.

 

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ICC Invitees Must Stop Threatening And Endangering Easterners In Lagos And Nigeria

 

The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) is calling on “the ICC Invitees” and others breeding genocide or inciting ethno-religious cleansing against defenseless Easterners in Lagos and other parts of the country to carefully learn the bitter lessons of the Rwandan Genocide of April to July 1994. They must timely be warned to allow defenseless Easterners to live in peace with their neighbors in dignity. The last time we checked, Easterners particularly members of the Igbo Ethnic Nationality are present in not less than 90 countries of the world including the most powerful among them; thereby making them the most traveled and pastorally settled, educated, industrious and connected Ethnic Nationality in Nigeria. Despite their large size, the Ethnic Nationality is the most peaceful in Nigeria. With such global network and connections, pushing them to the wall and into genocidal self defense will most likely have serious retaliatory effects and consequences far beyond the imagination and containment of those fanning the embers of the anti Igbo/Eastern genocide. It is therefore dangerous and a time-bomb threatening such populous, strategic and powerful Ethnic Nationality with genocide or incitement to them.

 

ICC Invitees Must Respect The Constitutional Liberties Of The Easterners To Live And Let Live

 

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Intersociety is specifically calling on all those listed in the recent petition (7th April 2023) to the International Criminal Court (ICC) by the political camp of Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour to retrace their steps before it is too late. By the clear provisions of the existing 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended, Easterners including members of the Igbo Ethnic Nationality are empowered and protected to peacefully reside, work and co-exist/mix with others anywhere in Nigeria. These fundamental human rights are clearly and unambiguously provided for or contained in Sections 38 (thought, conscience and religion), 39(expression), 40(assemble and association), 41(freedom of movement) and 43(right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria). Similar provisions are provided for in the country’s acceded regional and international rights treaty laws. With specific reference to the names listed in the Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour’s recent petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC), they are as follows: Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Idowu Owohunwa; Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Femi Fani Kayode, Bayo Onanuga, Sam Omatseye, Otunba Biodun Ajiboye, Reno Omokri, Dele Alake, Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, a traditional ruler; the Baale of Igbara Jakande area in Eti-osa Local Government Area of Lagos State and Chairman of Lagos State Parks and Garages (LASPG), Musiliu Akinsanya (MC Oluomo); among others. Intersociety is joining other lovers of collective peace and security to prayerfully appeal to them to let Easterners and their properties be and live in Lagos and other parts of the country. It is recalled that the above names were recently dragged to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, The Netherlands by the political camp of Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour over “organized crimes against humanity” before, during and after the just concluded elections in Lagos State

 

UK, US And EU Must Avoid Being Rwanda’s “Three Musketeers” On Nigeria

 

“The three musketeers” was coined to internationally refer to “industrial scale” silence and conspiracy roles of the then Governments of France, UK and Belgium in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. In other words, the three countries then had available intelligence concerning the imminence of the Genocide but refused to take unbiased and proactive measures to quench the Genocide. The three countries were also reported to have been held down by vested ethno-cultural, economic and military interests in exchange for catastrophic human tragedies that followed. The Catholic Church through its nuns also sold their consciences to the Devil and became butchers and egregious conspirators in the Genocide. Like the ICC Invitees who are mainly former social saints during Nigeria’s anti military era struggle; the Catholic nuns implicated, were found to have slit the throats and body parts of those that sought refuge in the Catholic Church buildings and missionary compounds in Kigali and other parts of Rwanda. The beastly and macabre acts were perpetrated by the nuns in crudest display of tribal bigotry and barbarism. It is therefore on account of the above that Intersociety is calling on the trio of UK, US and EU to sincerely watch over the embryos of Genocide rearing their ugly heads in Nigeria particularly in Lagos part of the country.

 

 

If Rwanda, a country of just seven million people could be plunged into Genocide that killed over 1.3m during and after the Genocide and generated refugees of over 2.5m; what then becomes of Nigeria and territories, boundaries and borders of UK, US, EU, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand, Australia and others if Nigeria-with explosive population of over 210m explodes and plunges itself into Genocide?

 

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Highlighting The “Interahamwe” Genocide In Rwanda (Worth Reading And Archiving)

 

This month of April 2023 marks the 29th anniversary of the catastrophic Rwandan Genocide of 1994 during which estimated 800,000-1m Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in three months and sixteen days or 7th April to 23rd July 1994. The Genocide also displaced millions and forced them into refugee camps and exile in Tanzania, Congo DRC, Uganda and so. The troubled country was then populated by only seven million people, out of which over 1m were slaughtered during and after the Genocide. Over 200,000 Rwandans also died of various terminal diseases and sicknesses following the Genocide-with another large number estimated at 100,000 or more killed few years after in attacks and counter attacks by rival fighting parties. A total of over 2.5m citizens were displaced in the Genocide including 1.5m displaced during the 116 days of the Genocide-with over 500,000 in Goma (Congo DRC) and 270,000 in Burundi. Rwandan academic scholars who survived were also forced to flee the country to foreign lands where they became “urban refugees”. The genocidal Government of the day was headed by General Jevenal Habyarimana who was assassinated in a plane crash alongside his Burundian counterpart-Cyprien Ntaryamira on 6th April 1994 leading to eruption of the Genocide in late night of the same day. The surviving top Government officials alongside their wives and children and looted Government properties including cash, computers, automobiles, files and so on ended up in cross border refugee camps in Goma in the then Zaire (Congo DRC). Other ‘unlucky’ top Government officials were trapped and massacred including the respected moderate Hutu Prime Minister, Madame Agathe Uwilingiyamana and her husband; Lando Ndasingwa, a Tutsi cabinet minister in the transitional government who was executed alongside his Canadian wife, their two children and mother; Joseph Kavaruganda, the then president of the Supreme Court and ten peace keepers from Belgium. Prominent human rights leaders felled by the genocidal knives and bullets included Charles Shamukiga, Fidele Kanyabugoyi, Ignace Ruhatana, Patrick Gahizi, Rev. Father Chrysologue Mahame and Abbe Augustin Ntagara. They were butchered by the rampaging presidential guards. Others like Mathieu Uwizeye (activist judge) and Charles Mbabaje (secretary of a human rights outfit: LIPREDHOR) were executed in the Rwandan cities of Kibundo and Byumba by the advancing rebels of the Rwandese Patriotic Front.

 

20,000 Massacred Few Hours Into The Genocide In Kigali: Some Catholic nuns and priests also paid dearly with their lives in the hands of “the Interahamwe” militias and the presidential guards. In turn, scores of defenseless civilians, especially women and children were massacred through collaboration of some priests and nuns when they sought refuge in churches and missionary school compounds. Barriers were mounted on all roads by the presidential guards and the “Interahamwe” militias so as to prevent the fleeing civilians from getting through. An estimated 20,000 people were executed in Kigali few hours into the Genocide. It was a killing by anybody against anybody in sight. Women also killed men as well as fellow women. On the other hands, the Rwandese Patriotic Front rebels fiercely matched to Kigali from their main base in Uganda. Some of their colleagues, stationed in Kigali following the failed peace accords, which included a cease fire, got entrapped and endangered. The genocidal killings went down following the successful capture of Kigali by the RPF rebels on July 4, 1994. This forced mass exodus of the Hutus and their failed central government into the then Zairian city of Goma as well as Burundi and Tanzania. The genocide lasted from 6th April to 21st-23rd July, 1994; forcing then leader of the RPF rebels, Brig General Paul Kagame to inform an international news agency that “the killings have stopped not because of changing of heart, but because there are few people left to be killed”.

 

Formation Of Bizimungu Govt. On July 21, 1994: A new central government was formed in Kigali on July 21, 1994 with the appointment of Mr. Pasteur Bizimugu (a moderate Hutu) as president and Mr. Faustin Twagiramungu (a Tutsi) as prime minister. The leader of the Rwandese Patriotic Front rebel, Brig General Paul Kagame became the vice president and commander-in-chief of the new armed forces. He took over as the president in the year 2000 and remains so till date.There were also reported cases of post genocide killings and deaths in Rwanda. Cases of genocidal revenge massacres were rife, leading to killing of hundreds of Hutu extremists. There were also reported cases of post genocide killings and deaths in Rwanda. Cases of genocidal revenge massacres were rife, leading to killing of hundreds of Hutu extremists.

The new RPF government and its sympathizers killed scores of suspected Hutus. The ousted Hutu central government, which escaped with bank funds, computers, vehicles and other luxury items to Tanzania, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and Burundi later regrouped and rearmed. Some of their victims were Tutsi communities living in the DRC, called “Banyamulenges”. They were systematically targeted and killed in large numbers.

 

 

The ousted Hutu government forces and their “Interahamwe” militias also launched a series of cross border attacks into Rwanda and killed scores of innocent civilians. In neighboring Burundi, similar massacres were also the order of the day. The then central government of President Sylvestre Ntibantinganya was helpless. The rift between the Tutsi dominated Army of Burundi and the Hutu backed rebel groups turned the country into killing fields leading to massacre of thousands of innocent nationals. The massacres reared their ugly heads after the gruesome assassination of President Cyprien Ntaryamira on 6th April 1994. The butchery came down after a bloodless coup in 1996 led by the former military head of State, Major Jean Pierre Buyoya.

 

Build-Up To Rwandan Genocide Of 1994

 

The Rwandan Genocide was bred or hatched over a long period of time with decades of butcheries caused by Tutsi and Hutu led coups and counter coups, election rigging crises, political segregation and exclusion as well as chronic domination of economic resources and political offices by the Tutsis. The undue favoring by the Belgian colonial masters of the Tutsi population and their elevation to plum public office positions in the public affairs of Burundi and Rwanda including key military posts also forced the majority Hutu populations in the two countries into group violence or violent self defense and emancipation-leading against the Tutsi populations in the two countries. This is more so when the Hutus constitute 84% in the two countries-with Tutsis having 14% and Twi 1%. Consequently, the Tutsis became stigmatized and labeled as “cockroaches” that must be cleansed or wiped out (“nettover”). The Tutsis retaliated through their stronghold of the military by launching several military coups and putsch killings targeting Hutu political and military leaders and officers. There were counter retaliations and massacres organized by Hutu political leaders and extremists-forcing Tutsi population to flee en masse into Uganda and other neighboring countries where they settled as refugees.

 

Such anti Tutsi massacres and reprisals took place in 1966, 1972 and 1978 and 1980s; forcing the fled Tutsis in cross border refugee camps and their rival Hutu refugees to form or join rebel groups in countries like former Zaire (Congo DRC) and Uganda. In Uganda, the generation of current President Paul Kagame of Rwanda belonged to Rwandan Tutsi citizens who fled their country to escape the 1972 and 1978 Hutu organized massacres and settled as refugees in Uganda from where they were conscripted into the National Resistance Movement (NRM) of the then Ugandan Rebel leader, but now President Yoweri Museveni and assisted him to overthrow the then Ugandan military Government of Generals Tito and Basilo Okello in 1986. The Tutsis were so visible in the Museveni’s NRM that his earliest Chief of Army was a Tutsi refugee and senior rebel/military colleague of current President Paul Kagame who rose to become a Brig Gen in Ugandan Army under Museveni. Together they formed the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) that ended the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 through their “famous match to Kigali” that started from the Ugandan-Rwandan borders in early April 1994.

 

The Role Of Cultural Violence In Rwandan Genocide

 

Through promotion of cultural violence against the Tutsi population, anti Tutsi butcheries erupted months before the plane crash of 6th April 1994 and the butcheries were aided by the Hutu controlled Rwandan Government, of General Juvenal Habyarimana. Fresh plots were also uncovered showing that plans had been successfully hatched by the regime to massacre the Tutsis, moderate Hutus and rights activists in large numbers. To actualize this, mass recruitment of the unemployed Hutu youths was ordered and it was supervised by two Hutu extremist political movements called “the National Republican Movement for Democracy (MRND)” and “the Coalition for the Defense of the Republic (CDR)”. Those recruited were later named “the Interahamwe militias” and militarily trained and indoctrinated by the presidential guards. Their tribal killing operation code was “operation nettover (cleanup”); targeted at Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Those targeted for massacre were labeled “enemies” and “traitors” that do not deserve to live or spared alive. The Tutsis were also labeled “Cockroaches warranting treatment of insecticides” including butchering, clubbing, macheting, lynching, shooting, poisoning, strangulation and burning. As if the above were not enough, the murderous messages of ethnic hatred and cleansing against the Tutsis and moderate Hutus were widely spread across the country using the State run radio station called “Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines”. The indoctrinated Hutu extremists were firmly directed not to spare any “enemy” or “traitor”, including the newborn. Externally, there were massive supports for the cleansing policies and operations of the then Hutu controlled central government in Kigali including arms supplies and technical supports and among the countries accused of lending support genocidal supports Egypt and South Africa. France was also accused of providing expertise for the killer presidential guards and the “Interahamwe” militias.

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