It will be recalled that Omar Al-Bashir was indicted by ICC for alleged crimes against humanity. He came to Nigeria to attend the African Union, AU, Special Summit on AIDS/HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
While refuting the report, Sudanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Tagelsir Ali, told journalists in Abuja that Al-Bashir had a scheduled meeting with three other presidents; President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegh and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. He said these meetings explained his absence at the panel session.
He explained that it was after he had concluded the meetings that the embassy advised him to go back as there was nothing serious in the next day’s agenda, which he said was meant for drafting of communique.
Ali also revealed that Al-Bashir had delegated his Minister of Health to take his speech at the panel session for Presidents, while he discussed with the three presidents in separate meetings.
He stressed that Al-Bashir never nursed the thought or raised any fear of arrest while in Nigeria.
Ali said: “We gave him the go-ahead to come to Nigeria because of what Nigeria stands for.
“If Nigeria had succumbed to ICC, how can Nigeria then present itself as one of the leading countries in the continent?”
He called on Africans to resist another attempt by the West to colonise the continent again, stressing that ICC had become a political organ which Africa must resist.
The ambassador, who noted that ICC was only targeting African leaders, also questioned the commitment of the West in assisting the continent in the fight to eradicate AIDS/HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
Ali, however, urged the media to join in the struggle to protect the continent from the scramble by the West.
He said: “I beg you journalists not to betray Africa. Try and stand by Africa this time. You are the people to shape Africa.”