MasterwebNews 8/9/16 - Buhari Administration`s Defense In Congressman Marino`s Letter On Regime Atrocities In Nigeria

[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 6th of September 2016)-The International Society for Civil Liberties& the Rule of Law (Intersociety) is deeply pleased and highly appreciative of the widely published letter by the Republican Party’s Congressman, Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, to the US Department of State through the Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry, asking the US Government to withhold its planned security assistance to Nigeria until ‘President Muhammadu Buhari demonstrates a commitment to inclusive government and the most basic tenets of democracy: freedom to assembly and freedom of speech’. Congressman Tom Marino assumed office on 3rd January 2011 as Republican Party’s Congressman representing the State of Pennsylvania and presently, he is a member of the US House of Reps Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs as well as Chairman, House Sub-committee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial & Antitrust Law.
 
 
The grand summary of Congressman Tom Marino’s saintly letter to US Department of State is that the Buhari’s civilian Presidency is disastrously marked by dictatorship, gross human rights abuses, political exclusion and segregation, violence and militancy, sectionalism, deep ethno-religious divisions and policy of militarism and militarization.
 
 
 
Totality of these gravely breaches the Constitution and Laws of the United States particularly in matters of its foreign policy relations and laws (i.e. the Leahy Law). The Leahy Law or Leahy amendment is a U.S. human rights law that prohibits the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity. It is named after its principal sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. To implement this law, U.S. embassies, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and the appropriate regional bureau of the U.S. Department of State vet potential recipients of security assistance. If a unit is found to have been credibly implicated in a serious abuse of human rights, assistance is denied until the host nation government takes effective steps to bring the responsible persons within the unit to justice.
 
 
 
It is on account of the above that the referenced US Congressman’s two-page letter to Senator John Kerry in his capacity as the US Secretary of State is predicated. Rep Tom Marino had in his letter copiously and credibly quoted various Amnesty International reports on Nigeria and Gen Buhari’s Presidency; outlining gross rights abuses by the Presidency and its unwillingness and inability to fish out the perpetrators and put them on trial.
 
 
 
Under the International Laws’ Principle of Complimentarity, no foreign or international justice actions are required in or against any member-State of UN as they concern gross human rights abuses if such member-State clearly and credibly demonstrates ‘its ability and willingness to fish out the perpetrators of such gross rights abuses and bring them to justice; rested on international best practices’ and indeed, goes ahead and does same. The reverse is the case where a member-State brazenly and blatantly demonstrates unwillingness and inability to make the perpetrators to account or is found to have aided and abetted such heinous crimes in the context of ‘crimes against humanity or war crimes’.
 
 
 
 
 
Further, under existing UN or International Customary and Humanitarian Laws, the UN or any member-State of UN under UN authorization can initiate international peace operations against any member-State found enmeshed in brazen regime atrocities, culminating into complex humanitarian emergencies or disasters. This is under the new international or UN’s doctrine of sovereignty as a responsibility, adopted in 1993 as well as the universal human rights doctrine of indissolubility, uniformity, indivisibility and universality. That is to say that human rights violation anywhere is a threat to human rights protection everywhere!  The Tom Marino’s letter is contained here: http://www.thetrentonline.com/us-congressman-slams-buhari/
 
 
 
We have also read and studied the reply to the US Congressman’s letter by the Buhari Administration through its Minister for Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed. The response under reference is contained in the following link: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/09/tune-reality-fg-replies-us-congressman/. As expected, the Federal Government’s response was factored on emptiness, misinformation and irrelevancies. Its claims that ‘Congressman Tom Marino was shabbily informed about current realities in Nigeria’ are also empty and untrue.  As a matter of fact, Congressman Tom Marino’s letter is factually grounded, spotless, timely and commendable. The regime atrocities of the Buhari Administration highlighted in his letter are even grossly under-reported going by the current realities.
 
 
For instance, the number of members of the Muslim Movement of Nigeria (Shiite) massacred in December 2015 by the Nigerian Army on orders of the Chief of Army Staff (Lt Gen Turkur Buratai), which Amnesty International then gave as ‘at least, 300’; has since increased to over 800. The number of Pro Biafra activists particularly the IPOB members massacred in at least eight different locations in Southeast and South-south parts of Nigeria between August 2015 and May 2016, which the Tom Marino’s letter gave as ‘over 36’ (quoting AI reports), is grossly under-reported. The real number is as high as 250 with over 300 others terminally shot and wounded. In the two tribal and religious massacres under reference, the victims were unarmed and nonviolent. Till date, the chief perpetrators of the genocidal massacres who are elements in the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force are still on the prowl and none of them has been arrested and put on trial. As a matter of fact, those implicated are presidentially rewarded with promotions and juicy posts and protected till date.
 
 
It is therefore totally correct to say that it is the Buhari Administration that is out of tune with global realities including the current trends in international relations and laws as well as the codified and constitutionalized foreign policies of the United States, which Congressman Tom Marino is battling to ensure that they are not rubbished by the Obama Administration via his letter. What Congressman Tom Marino did in his letter was to fundamentally state the obvious and remind the US Department of State of its duties under the existing laws and procedures of the USA.
 
 
 
html add here