The Olowu of Owu Kuta, a traditional ruler in Osun State, Hammed Oyelude, has urged Nigerians to discountenance the alleged indictment of the Nigerian Army by reports emanating from the Amnesty International and the International Criminal Court.
The traditional ruler, who addressed a press conference on Thursday in his palace in Kuta, Osun State, said the Army deserved support by all and not condemnation, in its efforts to defeat the Boko Haram insurgents.
He said the report, which accused the troops of war crimes was “mischievous” and “disheartening,” considering the sacrifices the soldiers had made in restoring peace back to the north east region of the country.
Mr Oyelude implored Nigerians, irrespective of their political affiliation or convictions, to come together and resist the alleged blackmail against the Nigerian military.
“At this critical time in our nation’s history, I consider it mischievous and malicious, the timing of the release of the said report, and the usual double standard of the so called Amnesty International in demoralising our patriotic Army,” the monarch said.
“We were thrown into mourning a few weeks ago, when our soldiers were slaughtered by insurgents in the northern part of the country.
“This resulted in low morale among troops and one must acknowledge all efforts put in place by the present administration and previous ones in motivating the military to do its job.
“I believe the only way to go is for Nigerians (to), in rare show of patriotism, reject this assertion and keep supporting the ongoing efforts of the present government through the Army and other security agencies in protecting the integrity and sanctity of our sovereignty.
“I therefore call on all patriotic Nigerians to rise up against the agent of Colonialism under the disguise of pseudo Human Right Organizations, because their usual numerous activities have always been injurious to our fighting force, the Nigerian Army is our national pride, Long Live the Nigerian Army.”
He said Amnesty International’s damning report to the ICC, accusing the Nigeria Army of murder, pursuant to article 8(2)(c)(i); torture, cruelty, outrages upon personal dignity and intentionally directing attacks against civilians, had exposed how far away from reality the ICC is.
Highlighting the double standards of the ICC in matters affecting third world countries, the monarch said it was curious that the court, which was quick and very proactive to highlight and prosecute crime against humanity in third world countries, lost its voice over the wrong invasion of Iraq in 2003 for search and deactivation of weapon of mass destruction, which is yet to be found.
He said the invasion of Iraq left many Iraqis dead and Iraq plundered.
“The Amnesty international/ICC till date is yet to find its voice on the continuous occupation and provocation of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel,” he said.
“The Amnesty international/ICC, till date, is yet to declare either the military or government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia guilty of War Crimes against humanity with its actions on Yemen, which, according to United Nations and other sources, has it that from March 2015 to December 2017, 8,670–13,600 people have been killed in Yemen, including more than 5,200 civilians, as well as estimates of more than 50,000 dead, as a result of an ongoing famine, due to the war.
“I Call on all Patriotic Nigerians to rise against the agent of Colonialism under the disguise of Human Right organization, because their usual numerous activities have always been injurious to our fighting force, Nigeria Army is your national pride.”
A 2018 Report on the Preliminary Examination Activities of the ICC identified eight potential cases involving the commission of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Nigeria.
It stated that six of the cases were against Boko Haram while two were against the Nigerian security forces.
But, the Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, has denied that the army was indicted by the ICC.