The conference says words such as genocide could attract international probe
The leadership of the National Conference has cautioned delegates on their choice of words during debates so as to avoid attracting negative international attention to Nigeria.
The Deputy Chairman of the Conference, Bolaji Akinyemi, who stated this in his closing remarks at Wednesday’s plenary session, said the use of emotive words like ‘genocide, ‘mass killing’ and others could such send the wrong signal to the international community.
Mr. Akinyemi, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, who reminded the delegates that a Nigerian now heads the Security Council of the United Nations, said employing some emotive words could easily activate the International Court of Justice, ICJ, to investigate such claims.
Stating that there were about four former foreign ministers, including himself at the conference, the deputy chairman said while it was true that some delegates were using such words to drive home their points, especially about the groups they represented, there were some other ways they could do that without bringing Nigeria into
“Let us be conscious of the word so that we don’t can activate the international court to have an interest to come and investigate,” he said.
He said he was not belittling the problems the delegates brought to the Conference, but that in expressing their frustrations there were other words “we can use which cannot get us into trouble or get us being accused of committing international crime.”
He recounted his last assignment as member of the Presidential Committee on the Peaceful Resolution of the Security Challenges in Northern Nigeria for seven months, and said he would not want any of the delegates to see the kind of people he saw during the assignment.
He said, “In the last seven months of my former assignment, I pray you don’t see the kind of people I saw. I am not belittling the problems of this country.”
The Chairman, Idris Kutigi, while summarising his deputy’s counsel, said “we should choose the appropriate words.”
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