By Emeka Oraetoka
The apparent commercialization of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Nigeria, appears to be manifesting a dangerous trend in our body polity. The stock in trade of these organizations has always been to appear to be projecting a lofty ideals capable of complementing the agenda of government in power, then, seek partnership with government establishments they feel are in line with their mission and vision; once the partnership collaboration is turned down by any of the establishments they approached, they go for the jugular of leadership of such organization. The problem with these NGOs is that they don’t care to know if what they are seeking for is captured in the budget. When you even talk of recession to them, you anger them the more. To them, you must give them money anytime they come around.
Recently, the Police Service Commission (PSC), embarked on recruitment of Ten Thousand 10000 policemen. In doing this, PSC sought collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including credible civil society groups; the result of the recruitment process was commendation from all angles in Nigeria. Although, this writer cannot ascertain is, if Emmanuel Owunbiko led-NGO, Human Right Writers Association (HURIWA), took part in monitoring the recruitment exercise. But, what I can say for sure is that Emmanuel Onwubiko, gave kudos to the thoroughness of the exercise in general. In his article, that was published in Thewill.com, an internet newspaper on March 28, 2017, shows this fact. Here is his comment on the exercise: ---- The other day when Mike Okiro and his Police Service Commission carried out the politically ill-fated recruitment exercise, hoping to get 10,000 young Nigerians to enlist in the police they saw what they never bargained for. There were series of fake certificate holders that showed up and were arrested apparently because they don’t have god father in top places to be able to scale through.
About one month three weeks after Onwubiko’s commendation of PSC’s effort in ensuring that the best hands were recruited into the force, he took the Commission to the cleaners. Writing in The Authority newspaper of Tuesday, May 16, 2017, probably in the column reserved for him, with a caption: Weak Police Commission, Emmanuel Onwubiko, exhibited pure grudge in pouring out vituperation on Sir Mike Okiro-led PSC. The first sign that Onwubiko is probably having score to settle with Sir Mike Okiro-led PSC is this comment in the write-up:--- The Police Commission is such a money guzzling machine to such a ridicules extent that it has so far, failed to instill strict discipline and professionalism across the ranks and files of the Nigeria Police Force.--. The question on the lips of pundits is, as the head of Human Right Writers Association, Onwubiko failed to show rational minds the budgetary allocation to Police Service Commission in the last four years to show that enough money was allocated to them, and it was misused. It will therefore be extremely difficult to believe that Onwubiko is not fighting back, simply because he sought partnership with the Commission, to which he was turned down because of paucity of funds, pundits reasoned.
As for PSC’s effort at instilling the culture of discipline and professionalism in police force, information available to this writer shows that, since the Chairman of the PSC assumed office, the commission has disciplined two hundred and seventy six (276) officers. Some of them were out rightly dismissed from the force. Out of this figure, a number of them were reprimanded; while others got demoted from their current ranks to lower ranks. Others received warning. It is interesting to note that the Public Complaint division of PSC handles complaints against police misconduct from individuals, Communities, Human Rights groups, and other Non-governmental Organizations that are wronged by the police personnel or the Nigeria Police Force. It is obvious from Onwubiko vituperation that his group never sent in a single petition on the so-called human rights abuses by the police via this medium.
To further drive home their theory of grudge engendered vituperation on the Sir Mike Okiro-led Commission, watchers of events at PSC are quick to point to this revealing comment from Emmanuel Onwubiko: --- The current chairman is a retired Inspector General of Police Mike Okiro but there are clear evidence that the PSC has yet to get it right, Those close to him blame poor funding for the lack of pro-activeness in implementation of the mandate of the commission. Lack of sufficient funds is no justification for poor performance. If the leadership is willing to work and partner with like minds in the organized civil society community it would have made better impact---. Here, pundits are shocked at the apparent manifestation of Onwubiko grudge with Okiro-led PSC for refusing to probably partner with HURIWA. Does it mean that there are no other genuine civil society organizations that the PSC partners with, aside Onwubiko-led HURIWA, pundits asked? Is Onwubiko saying in effect, that PSC is currently not partnering civil society groups in its efforts to transform the Nigeria Police Force?
Perhaps, the most uncharitable criticism of PSC is the sweeping condemnation that it has failed to instill discipline and professionalism in the force as well as extra judicial killings being carried out by the Police, while the commission remains helpless. Onwubiko’s reliance on Amnesty International, as well as Transparency, Accountability and Professional discipline’s data, as sources of his information, instead of independent investigation by his HURIWA; however, exposed the incompetence of his group. What Onwubiko’s dependence on foreign sources for information on Police operation in Nigeria clearly indicate is that HURIWA was set-up purely for commercial purpose and nothing more. It could also mean that it exists to seek foreign grant from Amnesty International and other foreign donors. How can an NGO that call itself human rights defenders like HURIWA rely on these foreign organizations whose agenda and sources of funding are shady at best? In a document authored on 19 June 2016, with caption; Soros Funded Amnesty International Interferes on Duterte’s Anti-Drug---, in https:// geopolitics.co/---/soros-funded---, reveals nasty information about funding and the agenda of Amnesty International. This is a document Nigeria security agencies should be interested in. perhaps, the illicit money from shady sources that Amnesty International throws around in Nigeria, under the guise of promoting human rights, is probably the reason HURIWA and other commercial NGOs exist in Nigeria today.
Here is the summary of a report on the funding and the agenda of the so-called human rights organizations which Emmanuel Onwubiko based his vituperation on PSC upon: “The Directors are pleased to acknowledge the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Oak Foundation, Open Society Georgia Foundation, the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Programme, Mauro Tunes and American Jewish World Service. The UK Department for International Development (Governance and Transparency Fund) continued to fund a four year human rights education project in Africa. The European Commission (EuropeAid) generously awarded a multi-year grant towards Amnesty International’s human rights education work in Europe.”
Clearly then, Amnesty does take money from both governments and corporate-financier interests, one of the most notorious of which, Open Society, is headed by convicted financial criminal George Soros. In March, 2012, it was reported that a Bloomberg’s report, “Soros Loses Case Against French Insider-Trading Conviction,” indicated that an appeal based on a “human rights” violation against Wall Street speculator George Soros had been rejected by the “European Court of Human Rights.”Soros, whose Open Society also funds Human Rights Watch and a myriad of other “human rights” advocates, literally attempted to use the West’s human rights racket to defend himself against charges of financial fraud in perhaps the most transparent illustration of just how this racket operates. Soros, who was convicted and fined for insider trading in 2002regarding French bank Société Générale shares he bought in 1988, has built an empire out of obfuscating global criminal activity with the cause of “human rights.” His support, as well as that of the British and European governments, of Amnesty International aims solely at expanding this obfuscating.
Ordinary people are given the false impression that “someone is watching out” for human rights abuses, when in reality, all Amnesty and other organizations like it are doing, is managing public perception selectively of global human rights abuses, fabricating and/or manipulating many cases specifically to suit the agenda of large corporate-financier interests. This can be seen when entire reports out of Amnesty or Human Rights Watch consist solely of “witness reports” compiled from accounts of US-backed opposition groups. In the rare instance that a report includes references to actual photographic, video, or documented evidence, such as Human Rights Watch’s 2011 “Descent into Chaos” report, deceptive language is intentionally included along with throwaway passages to enable selective reporting and spinning by not only the Western corporate media, but by a myriad of faux-NGOs funded and run by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch’s sponsors and affiliates. The Descent into Chaos report, regarding Thailand, was promply and amply spun and manipulated by US State Department-funded faux-NGO and “rights advocate” Prachatai. When people erroneously believe that credible organizations are handling “rights advocacy” they will not only become complacent, they will become negligent of their own responsibilities to objectively examine potential abuses and speak out against them. Wall Street and London’s corporate-financier interests have filled a void – that should be occupied by their greatest opponents – instead with a large advocacy racket of their own creation. Not only are they given a free pass to abuse human rights globally, they’ve actually used their controlled opposition to attack their opponents. It is clear that Amnesty International is by no means an “advocate” of human rights, but rather an affront to human rights advocacy. It goes without saying that it should be boycotted out of existence and at the very least, identified as illegitimate and fraudulent – from its funding to its compromised leadership.
When an amorphous NGO like HURIWA is armed with money from a nasty Amnesty International, it tends to want to pull down the institutions of government; if it’s unpatriotic and greedy agenda meet brick-wall. Emmanuel Onwubiko must know that his latest attack on PSC was in bad taste and stands condemnable.
(Oraetoka, an Information Management Consultant and Researcher contributed this rejoinder from Abuja. He can be reached via: e-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.GSM: 09039094636, 08056031187.)