By Akanimo Sampson
Except the unusual happens, Nigeria is likely to be treated by the international community as a pariah state following the outcome of the presidential election which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner.
Some concerned Nigerians have moved against the outcome of the presidential poll which gave Buhari the nod to continue in office till 2023, claiming that the electoral outcome was programmed by the incumbent administration.
According to the Wikipedia, a pariah state is a nation considered to be an outcast in the international community. A pariah state may face international isolation, sanctions or even an invasion by nations who find its policies, actions, or its very existence unacceptable.
The anti-Buhari lobbyists who are drawn from ethnic nationalities across Nigeria are pushing for the country to be treated as an outcast. They are lobbying foreign countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and member countries of the European Community to reject Buhari’s re-election on grounds of alleged massive electoral fraud perpetrated by the incumbent president and the use of the military by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to intimidate voters in a bid to influence the outcome of the polls.
They are engaging foreign missions on the platform of We the People of Nigeria, praying the international community to deny recognition to President Buhari, including sanctions for the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmoud, Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi and big wigs of the ruling party.
It was however, gathered in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, that President Donald Trump, is being pressed to immediately cause the listing of Buhari and his principal deputies as ‘’chronic violators’’ of internationally recognised fundamental human rights under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and also deny them visas, including the freezing of their assets in the US.
Besides demanding that President Trump acts to defend democracy, the lobbyists are also urging the US Congress to pass a joint resolution condemning Buhari’s alleged electoral malpractices and violence and withhold recognition of any winner of the February 23, balloting until the legal processes for challenging Buhari’s re-election have run their course.
Facilitator of the group, Dr. Lloyd Ukwu, in a statement made available to journalists urged the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into the activities of those individuals which they alleged have violated the international convention against human rights.
While declaring last February 23, Presidential and National Assembly elections as ‘’fraudulent and a violation of the will of the Nigerian people and international law’’, the group strongly condemned the alleged illegal, corrupt and fraudulent electoral practices of President Buhari and his associates.
The lobbying group categorically said that they have rejected the declared electoral victory of Buhari, adding that it is neither legitimate nor reflective of the will of the people of Nigeria. ‘’We also condemn the violence, intimidation, oppression and threats inflicted upon the voters of Nigeria.’’
While demanding for the immediate withdrawal of soldiers from Rivers State and other targeted states similarly occupied by the armed security forces, as well as the arrest and immediate evacuation of all ‘’murderous herdsmen terrorists from the Middle Belt and cessation of all of their acts of terror, murder’’, they urged the United Nations Security Council to place arms embargo on the country pending the outcome of legal challenges to Buhari’s re-election.
Ukwu who is also the Director of the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies (Diaspora), alleged that the armed security forces were shooting innocent citizens in Abonnema, Ogoni, Ahoada all in Rivers State, as well as in Igboland and throughout the Middle Belt.
They also claimed that President Buhari used this year’s presidential poll as an ‘’excuse to murder the people of Rivers State who are being shot like dogs and also slaughtered in their homeland states by federal troops while several state elections have been declared inconclusive to enable Buhari to club them into submission.’’