US: Rights Abuses, Impunity Hinder Our Full Partnership with Nigeria

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Thomas Shannon

Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The United States has said human rights abuses and impunity by the military hinders its ability to fully partner with Nigeria on security related issues.

Speaking on the topic, “Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects for Advancing Durable Peace”, at the US Institute of Peace on Thursday in Washington, DC, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Thomas Shannon, Jr., noted that his recent meeting with Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, at the United Nations General Assembly indicated that the country was aware of the need to moderate the conduct of her military both on and off the battlefield in its security of the country.

A copy of Shannon’s remarks obtained by THISDAY at the weekend, explained that rights abuses and impunity by the military could tarnish Nigeria’s reputation across the globe, undermine citizens’ trusts for them, as well as impede counterterrorism efforts.

Recently, Nigeria’s military has had a running battle with rights group over its conducts in its fight against terrorists in the Northeast, as well as in containing agitating groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), with the likes of Amnesty International (AI) frequently accusing it of extrajudicial killings and various degrees of rights abuses.

Shannon, however said: “On security issues, Nigeria is an important leader and partner in the Lake Chad Basin collaborating with its neighbours to defeat the scourge of Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa. The United States supports this and other efforts to bring security and stability to citizens affected by violence.

“At the United Nations last week, the US government announced $54 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the Lake Chad region, bringing the total to almost $700 million over the past two years. While humanitarian support is an immediate necessity, it cannot be a long-term solution.”

“My meeting with the Nigerian foreign minister last week was a great opportunity to learn more about what else the Nigerian government is trying to accomplish on the security front. It is clear to me that Nigeria is well aware that the fight against terrorism will be won not only by the military’s conduct on the battlefield, but also by its conduct off the field.

“Nigeria understands that human rights abuses and impunity tarnish its international reputation, undermine the trust of its citizens, impede counterterrorism efforts, and ultimately hinder our ability to fully partner with Nigeria,” he added.

He also talked about the country’s economy and the need to reactivate its potentials using market-driven policies.

“On the economic front, Nigeria stands apart. It is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy, and the United States’ second largest bilateral trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria’s vibrant and dynamic economy, full of innovation and entrepreneurship, has driven its economic growth. According to Global Entrepreneurship Watch, 35 per cent of Nigerians are involved in some sort of entrepreneurial activity. However, Nigeria could unleash its potential further by pursuing growth through market-based policies, not state-centered ones.

“A market-based approach that minimises barriers between buyers and sellers will encourage additional investment and trade, and lighten the regulatory load on its budding entrepreneurs and investors.”

He further said: “A related issue to increased economic growth and investment that should remain front and centre is Nigeria’s youth bulge. Nigeria is expected to become the third most-populous country in the world by 2050. It will be essential that we consider the voice of Nigeria’s youth today to ensure their leadership and commitment tomorrow. We support this engagement through the Young African Leaders Initiative, or YALI, and through the more than ten thousand Nigerian students at institutions of higher learning in the United States.”

On the upcoming 2019 general elections, Shannon stated that US would be ready to help Nigeria conduct peaceful elections into elective offices.

According to him: “Nigeria’s peaceful, transparent elections in March 2015 showed the rest of Africa and the world that a complex, diverse society could conduct peaceful democratic transitions of leadership. Many of you here today played an important role during that period. As the country heads into state elections and the 2019 national elections, the United States is ready and willing to offer our technical assistance, as we have in the past.”

  • KWOY

    Dirty Yoruba race thinks it is in competition with the Igbo. That is why this race of imbeciles are fighting the Igbo & everything the Igbo stands for. Yet, even with all our handicaps they are still inferior cowards! And they will see where it will all end!

  • Olayinka Olarewaju

    Hypocrisy and two face will kill America. Imagine the Arab countries with their human rights abuse and beheading US is eager to be partner because of oil.
    The highest court in the land has now branded IPOB a terrorist organizationbecause of her constant attacks on other ethnic group.

  • Olayinka Olarewaju

    United States accusing us of human rights abuse? No nation is guilty of human rights abuse and police brutality than the USA. This is like pot calling the kettle black.

  • Dele Olubodun

    Let those Americans mind their business. We don’t need them. Let them focus on improving the civil rights of their minority population and tackle their own endemic racial hatred and greed before they start poking their long noses into Nigeria’s purely internal affairs.

    • okorie

      The issue of what happens to Nigeria is between Biafrans and Arewa. Your kind don’t count because of your wishy washy back stabbing, anything goes character. Arewa knows it and of course Biafrans know that too. You want America to mind their business yet you want America to send you jet fighters, guns and ammunition. Your illiterate President claims he needs the hardware to fight Boko Haram. After his terrorist attack on IPOB, the whole world now knows that he was lying, the hardware were meant to be used for terrorist attacks on unarmed youths. Those Jets will never be delivered. When America said that they will not partner with such barbaric military that’s what they mean. IPOB has the moral majority which is superior to picking up Arms. Sadam Hussein told President Bush to mind his business. Kaddafi told Obama to mind his business. Where are they today. Biafra is winning and we are yet to fire a shot. If Igbo does not rise and challenge the cabal no other ethnic nationalities in that country has the intelligence, the backbone, and the world stage presence to make a difference. IPOB is in more than 100 countries, and it has shook up the world. And gradually the world is paying attention. That’s what I’m talking about. God bless America. All hail Biafra

  • Jo Elue

    Who care about US thoughts on anything. The rights of black Americans are violated daily with impunity and this idiot has the audacity to open his godforsaken mouth on our national issues. Edumare punish you

  • Rick Eson

    What Nigeria going through currently, most developed country like US, UK has gone through them in the past, unfortunately nothing like human right then.
    It very inappropriate to Judge Nigeria against US and UK standard. in US and America their are system in place to check citizens behaviour and it took them decade to implement that.
    imagine the militant activities in Niger delta, shi ite blockin road and IPOB hate and Boko will their activities be tolerated in US and UK the answer is big NO. They should focus on big issue North Korea.
    Such comments only create problem for our Nation.

  • Sonysurf

    Nigerian army (one of the greatest before) has become a weak disgraced organisation under power-hungry Fulani president, Good for them.

    • Kickboxer

      It is now an Hausa-Fulani ethnic and Islamic militia

      • Akaraka

        But of course, it has always been. After the destabilization of the colonial trained Officers Cadet, remnant is the Hausa/Fulani janjaweed foot soldiers that has since ascended the ranks. Lacking in tactics and strategic implementations of set goals. i.e, the mishandling of the nonesensical ‘ Python Dance’ stupidity in it’s highest form.
        I cringe each time I remember how hard I campaigned for the head of this janjaweed jackboots and it’s now, Federal Military Government of Nigeria.
        Biafra seriously needs the continuous stupidity and bungling of Buhari’s Pharoahnic mentality.

    • Henry

      There is nothing like Nigerian Military, what we always had is Northern Nigerian military. You cannot call the military that supports Fulani herdsmen and at the same time kill innocent peaceful protesters in Eastern Nigeria, Nigerian Military. Every southerner in the military and the police know this truth.

      • Sonysurf

        From all indication Henry, you are right.

  • Egie Joseph Odiase

    Go back to your country racist old man. Your people murdered millions of Africans in the past, your police are known to kill black men like dogs on the streets of America, and your deplorables make life difficult for blacks in America. Shut up and go back to your country. We don’t need your opinion here.

    • Ibu Anyi Danda

      Lack of job is causing you depression in Austria, you lazy Idioten leave Biafran and Igbo people alone, they are not cause of your problems or made you the so called minority in the Zoo called Nigeria. All Hail Biafra.

      • Egie Joseph Odiase

        Your criminal father lives in the heart of the zoo where you kill each other and worship money and false gods. Austria? You must be out of your mind. You are so stupid, you cannot even express yourself properly. Go back to your village and hoist the biafraud flag and see who cares. You will suffer and starve to death. The whole world knows that your goal is to steal and annex other peoples land and the collective resources of Nigerians. You do not have any support worldwide. Even the independence seekers in Cameroun have a louder voice than you fraudsters. Trump hates black people, especially your kind. You will never get asylum when we chase you out of this country. You will be in an IDP camp eating shit. Idioten?With folks like you your planned biafraud will be a non starter. You are dead and buried like biafraud. Get the hell out of Nigeria. You are happy because some moron from the most racist country in the world speaks rubbish about our security forces. Mumu. We dont talk about their police killing black people, they still owe us an apology for the slave trade and all the sufferings of our people in their hands. Their soldiers are all over the arab world killing and maiming innocent civilians. Your gullible senseless mind is here hoping that the USA will assist your dead in the water cause. Stupid ass. Refrain from writing me if you cannot make sense.

        • manny

          Love you man, you heat the nail on the head. Most igbo people are selfishly stupid and that is why they are heartless involve in all manner of crime. Nigeria feel because Trump speak about lpob because he likes them, those fools, if that fucking man have chance to kill all the blacks he will not hesitate to do it.

          • Kickboxer

            says a Yariba domestic slave…

          • abodes_124

            hit the nail …unable to correct the rest.

          • okorie

            What has Igbos deprived you to fit your definition of selfishness. If your lazy tribe is capable of surviving on their own and they want to leave the Zoo, Igbos will be the first to bid you fare well and wish the door doesn’t hit you on your way out. Because, Igbos can do without all of you. But can the Zoo do without Igbos, the answer is absolutely no. But we are leaving anyway.

          • Egie Joseph Odiase

            Trump does not even know where Nigeria is let alone biafraud. These IPOB people are looking for the US to offer them political asylum. What a joke. America already have enough cultists, drug dealers,drug trafickers,pimps, murderers etc.

        • Kickboxer

          You are a coward, semi literate and subhuman; fear of your Islamic terrorist masters has disabled your brain cells. PROGRAMMED MUMU. YOURMUMUDONDO!!!

          Whether you are an Islamic TERRORIST or Hausa-Fulani DOMESTIC Slave…..now the same America that your Islamic Terrorist Masters sent Northern governors to Obama prostrate to to overthrow GEJ suddenly has become RACIST? Suddenly Britain which fought a civil war for Islamic terrorist is now Racist? The entire EU is now RACIST? SHAMELESS COWARDS!! Your racist claims would not work anymore…..the whole world watch the ZOO ANIMALS embarrass themselves LIVE…..your government is run by KIDNAPPERS, LOOTERS, TERRORISTS, CULTISTS, RITUALISTS, PROSTITUTES and the world is gradually having enough of SCUMS, CURSED and INTERNATIONAL PARASITES whose only survival depends on AIDS from the same “RACISTS” EU, US. ZOO ANIMALS!!!

          • Egie Joseph Odiase

            Jibberish. Bullshit spewing from a loser. I don’t have time to exchange notes with someone that does not even know what he is fighting for.. No country or organization in the world ever mention you biafraud dogs. Even the english side of cameroun looking for independence got a 10 minute mention on aljazeera. IPOB are a criminal terrorist organization that will NEVER get the ear of the state department. You people are so dumb, that on the day Trump won the US election, 3 sorry biafraud souls died celebrating. They believed that Trump will send US marines to give them biafraud. What a bunch of sorry assholes. I see you are probably one of those IPOB muthafuckas that are suffering abroad. Come here and I promise you will end up in Maiduguri prison. Is kickboxer your igbo name? You are the coward. A freedom fighter should not be afraid to tell us his true identity. Your days are numbered as an illegal immigrant and fraudster whereever you live.

        • Ibu Anyi Danda

          This Zoo minority, you need dose of tranquilliser to calm yourself down before you sacrifice your father for Biafran restoration. You moron! All Hail Biafra.

          • Egie Joseph Odiase

            Making no sense.

          • Ibu Anyi Danda

            Because you lacked sense! All Hail Biafra.

    • enyibinakata

      Idiot

      • Egie Joseph Odiase

        Typical IPOB monkey. At least this one can spell idiot.

      • Egie Joseph Odiase

        where is your leader asshole?

  • josvinco

    Thomas Shannon should be reminded that we watch american media and we have watched police brutality and human rights abuses against the blacks in the USA. Nigeria has her faults too, but the ambassador should remove the specks in his own eyes first, before removing from other people’s eyes.

    • okorie

      American military does not go around shooting unarmed protesters in the United States. It is barbaric and a terrorist act and America is saying that it will not be a partner to such uncivilized people. First they told Nigeria that IPOB is not a terrorist organization, and now they are saying that Nigeria’s military is tarnishing the image of the country. It is not only America that is condemning Nigeria right now EU, UN and even Britain is not happy with Nigeria. As a Biafran I couldn’t be happier. Drip, drip, drip

      • Sam

        So Nigeria police can do killing instead .?

        • Kickboxer

          Are you a monkey, robot or subhuman?

        • okorie

          No Sam, my name is Sam by the way, Police should not be in the business of killing unarmed protesters either. The American Police-Black encounters you referred happened due to some traffic law enforcement disputes. Even then, some of the officers are held accountable. In Nigeria there is no accountability at all. It is part of the reason Nigeria is widely known as a Zoo. In Biafra things will be completely different. No police and Army check points to extort and intimidate the citizens. No quota system, no tribal or regional sentiments just confederation. Freedom is taken for granted. Easy life like you find in other places of this world. No going anywhere to sit around and share money, the most humiliating aspect of being a Nigerian. Sam, I cannot think of anything good about that country.

          • Dele Olubodun

            Okorie you Biafraudsters are the animals in in the zoo. Kidnappers, armed robbers , 419ers the list is endless

          • Toby

            Childish on Thisday.

          • Salma Idris

            Exactly. They are. So that they can be coming to steal from us.. However, are criminals must be killed and wipe out

          • Peace Udoka Atuogu

            SALMA IDRIS, WHAT DID ABOKI BEGGER HAVE THAT WE BIAFRA WILL STEAL, DIRTY ABOKI, WE ARE THE ONE THAT KEPT U ALIVE, THAT IS WHY U PEOPLE DONT WANT US TO GO

          • Peace Udoka Atuogu

            WHY THE YAROUBA ARE THE RITUALIST, 419, ALSO KIDNAPPERS, ROBBERS,

      • abodes_124

        Will the listen. if they listen will they hear. if they hear will they understand. What a tragic government. poor Onyeama must have been thoroughly embarrassed and at a loss for words.

        • oshodi001

          How will they listen when you have folks like Orji Uzo Kalu supporting this mess? Why can’t these folks emulate what is going on in Cameroon? Time will tell.

      • Dele Olubodun

        Ipob is a terrorist organisation under Nigeria’s law, The US has no business nor jurisdictions dictating to Nigeria how to apply her laws.

        • Peace Udoka Atuogu

          FOOL, DELE OLUBBODUN, THEN WHAT ARE HENSMEN UNDER NIGERIA LAW? FOOLS, GO AND GET EDUCATION SO THAT YOU WILL KNOW WHAT IS TERRORIST AND SELF-DETERMINATION

      • Olayinka Olarewaju

        The police des tjat to black people in America every time. Shame you deliberately omotted that fact.to suit your purpose.

    • Salma Idris

      When it is not in ur favor I guess

      • josvinco

        @Salma Idris. It is because you are an ignoramus who knows nothing about global news and current affairs. Injustices prevail on both nations.