On Thursday, Mustapha Bulama, a cartoonist, started a petition to US decision-makers on change.org, a popular platform for mobilising support for activist causes.
According to Peoples Gazette checks as of 2:00 p.m. local time on Friday, the petition had received over 1,800 signatures from Nigerians largely from the north.
The petition was filed a day after it was reported that the US Senate has barred the sale of weapons and military equipment to the Buhari dictatorship as a result of the regime's repeated violations of human rights, such as the killing of #EndSARS demonstrators in Lagos.
Mr Bulama considers the US Senate's ban on arms shipments to President Muhammadu Buhari's regime to be a violation of human rights.
“We call on the United States to use its aid and diplomatic influence to demand respect for human rights rather than trying to arm-twist the Nigerian government by refusing to supply much-needed equipment,” the petition says.
“The existing strategy is killing Nigerians, and it is unlikely to change Nigerian officials' attitudes because they are scarcely direct victims of the current condition of insecurity.”
He recalls that the US government has sold weapons to the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia despite records of human rights violations, but that the opposite is true in Nigeria, pointing out that the Obama administration blocked arms sales to Nigeria due to similar concerns about civilian casualties and human rights violations.
“While the Nigerian government has a history of human rights violations, the lives of thousands of Nigerians greatly outnumber these violations,” the petition stated.
“The citizens of Nigeria have the right to life first and foremost, before any other right, and denying the government of Nigeria the authority to protect its residents is the same as denying the citizens the fundamental human right to life,” he added.
The Nigerian government has long relied on US arms deliveries to assist it deal with a variety of security issues, including Boko Haram attacks, kidnappings, and farmer-herder confrontations.
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