ENUGU (Sundiata Post) – A coalition of human rights groups under the auspices of Intersociety and the Eastern Rights Coalition has mocked General Tukur Buratai, former Chief of Army Staff, over the announcement on Tuesday of his posting to Benin Republic as Nigeria’s ambassador.
The group said the posting of Buratai to Benin Republic, which it says goes by the sobriquet ‘Nigeria’s 37th Sate’, should serve as a lesson to other public officers especially those in the military that use their positions to abuse and massacre defenceless citizens.
The group expressed its gratitude to 31key foreign missions in Nigeria which it had approached to reject Buratai.
The full statement reads:
The announcement last night of the posting of Retired Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, a serial human rights violator, as “Nigeria’s new Ambassador to Benin Republic”; sobriquet ‘Nigeria’s 37th State’, not only calls for jubilation and celebration especially among direct and indirect victims of his grisly human rights atrocities when he held sway as Nigeria’s Army Chief, 13th July 2015 to 26th January 2021, but also a big lesson to others especially those holding forth as senior army or military or police commanders in Nigeria, who gravely abuse their offices and commanding positions by massacring innocent and defenceless citizens in their hundreds, if not thousands on yearly basis, claiming that “they are executing the orders of their Commander-in-Chief”. One of such conduct atrocity perpetrators still holding sway is IGP Usman Alkali Baba. Perhaps it has not occurred to them within the ambits of the international law and public consciences, when the day of reckoning comes, it is “every man to his tent” and ‘defense of their conduct atrocities being sanctioned by their commander-in-chief’ has no place in trial chambers and diplomatic circles.
It is nothing short of mockery and demeaning per what remains as Nigeria’s international credibility, if any, that presidentially nominated and senatorially confirmed “Ambassadors-designate” would have to wait for four months without being posted to countries where they will serve. This has never happened in the history of Nigeria. To make matters worse, retired Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Nigeria’s non-war longest Chief of Army Staff, who is also most parroted and packaged Army Chief, has ended up diminutively as “a backyard Ambassador to Nigeria’s backyard neighbor”.
Punishments for serial human rights violators including war and humanity crimes perpetrators do not have to manifest only when they are behind local or international bars. They begin to evolve while they still hold forth in their commanding positions and escalate to social and diplomatic circles while in service or after service and continued until they are put behind bars and after death. Such punishments also close names, reputations, achievements, rewards, recognitions and even generations.
We must therefore seize this opportunity to specially thank the 31 key foreign missions in Nigeria mostly the world’s most respected democracies and powerful countries. They include the Head of Delegation of EU to Nigeria and ECOWAS and the Ambassadors of Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Federal Republic of Germany, France, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Sweden. Others are the High Commissioners of the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada and the Ambassadors of the United States, Israel, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria. For hearkening to our special letters to them dated and delivered on 10th February 2021, urging them to blacklist and dump Buratai and others, we are deeply grateful and thankful.
As for President of Benin Republic, H.E., Patrice Guillaume Athanase Talon, who won his first five year term in office in April 2016 and his second five year final term in April 2021, we have congratulated him for attaining such feat, but strongly condemned his acceptance of Buratai as ‘Ambassador to Benin’ and strongly advised him to watch the country’s back and international reputation before they darkened and relapsed into precipice of politico-cultural toxemia. We have begun ‘reasoning’ with the country’s key Ambassadors. ‘Aluta Continua Victoria Acerta’!!!
For: The Coalition of 44 Eastern Rights CSOs & Intellectuals
•Barr Austin Okeke-Global Leader, Igbo Board of Deputies (Worldwide)
•Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair, Int’l Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
•Prof Anthony Ejiofor – Chairman, World Igbo Congress (USA)
•Prof Uzodimma Nwala – President, Ala-Igbo Dev Foundation (ADF)
•Prof Justice Chidi – President, Concerned Elites for Better Society Initiative
•Prof Justin Akujieze – Board Chairman, Ekwenche Research Institute (USA)
•Dr. Moses Nwaigwe – President, Biafra Genocide Survivors Group (USA)
•Dr. Onyenkachi Orjiako, Esq.- Rep, Int’l Society for War Against Lawlessness (USA)
•Mazi Obi Okoli – Coordinator, Congress of Igbo Leaders UK & Ireland
•Dr. Law Mefor-Chancellor, Igbo Bu Igbo (IBI)
·Dr. Okezie Kelechi – ED, Neighborhood Environment Watch Foundation
•Dr. Jerry Chidozie Chukwuokoro – Deputy Chair, Int’l Solidarity for Peace and Human Rights Initiative
•Comrade Chilos Godsent – President, Igbo National Council
•Barr Ezekwike Chekwube Violet – Founder, New Home Mentoring & Dev Initiative
•Comrade Aloysius Attah-Chair, Civil Liberties Organization, Southeast
•Mazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, Founding President, Igbo Ekunie Initiative
•Comrade Justine Ijeomah – ED, Human Rights Social Dev and Environmental Foundation(HURSDEF)
•Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme – Chair, Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State
•Comrade Peter Onyegiri-ED, Center for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy
•Comrade Nnana Nelson Nwafor – ED, Foundation for Environment Rights Advocacy & Dev.
•Pastor Nwokocha Anozie Innocent – ED, Initiative for Ideal Dev and Emancipatory Leadership
•Comrade Emeku Uche – Rep, Easy-life Initiative for Rural Youths
•Comrade Samuel Njoku – Chair, Human Rights Organization of Nigeria
•Comrade Ngwobia O. Ngwobia – Rep Primate Salvation Initiative
•Nze UgoAkpe Onwuka (Oyi) – National Coordinator, Igbo Renaissance Forum
•Dr. Kanayo K. Odeluga – Leader, Igbo League, Inc., USA
•Assoc. Prof Nathaniel Agu, university don, Enugu
•Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Human Rights Lawyer & Principal Partner, I.C. Ejiofor and Co, Abuja
•Dr. Odiegwu Obidike, Founder, No More Killings and Enslavement of Nigerians Movement
•Barr Chinwe Umeche, Human Rights Lawyer and Activist
•Agu Ositadimma, Human Rights Activist, Enugu, Nigeria
•Barr Chigbo Uzokwelu, President, Igbo Ekunie Initiative
•Barr Chidimma Evan Udegbunam, Publicity Head, Southeast Coalition of Human Rights and Democracy Groups
•Vincent Onyekwelu, National Security Risk Strategist and Governance Expert
•Chief Mrs. Chika Ibeneme, Founder, Igbo women Elders Council and Former Commissioner for Works, Anambra
•Nze Odimegwu Onwumere, Independent Scholar, Critic and Publisher
•Comrade Zulu Offoelue, Human Rights Activist and Independent Scholar
•Comrade Denis Ezeokoli, Human Rights Activist and Educationist
•Hon Abia Onyeike, Human Rights Campaigner and Former Commissioner for Information, Ebonyi State
•Chief Mrs. Ifenynwa Ezenwa, Publicity Head, Nigerian Women Elders Council
•Ike Nwandu, Computer Security Expert and Public Affairs Analyst
•Arc Eric Eyutchae, Human Rights Activist, Social Thinker and Critic
•Comrade Styv Obodoekwe, Zonal Director, Civil Liberties Organization, South-south, Port Harcourt
•Bernhard Wanner, Swiss born Human Rights Defender, Zurich, Switzerland