Civil societies slam Amnesty’s report on Boko Haram

… Urge Senate to defend military


No fewer than 100 civil society or­ganisations, un­der the aegis of Coalition of Nigerian Elec­tion Observers, yesterday condemned the Amnesty International’s report on civil rights abuses by the Nigerian military.

Condemning the report during a courtesy visit to the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Convener of the coalition, Dr. Nwambu Gabriel, urged the Senate to also condemn what it de­scribed as Amnesty’s blatant act of irresponsibility.

Urging the Senate to de­fend the military, it said:

“As a coalition represent­ing more than 100 local and international civil society organisations, we are con­cerned by the manner certain individuals and organisations seek to denigrate the efforts of the Nigerian military in its determined bid to stamp out insurgency, which has rav­aged the North-East of our country in the last six years.

“We refer specifically to the latest report of the global human rights group, the Am­nesty International. The re­port entitled: ‘Stars on their shoulders, blood on their hands’.

“We believe that the Am­nesty report, in addition to be a distraction of the Nigerian Armed Forces from its de­termination to extirpate the insurgents from Nigerian soil is equally an attempt to deni­grate the efforts of our gallant officers and men, who daily lay down their lives for our collective security.

“That this report is coming at a time the Nigerian mili­tary is inexorably outing the terrorists, surely speaks of a conspiracy somewhere.

“We, therefore, call on you and your esteemed col­leagues in the Senate to not only condemn this blatant act of irresponsibility but, also, rise in defence of gal­lant military. We are mindful of the fact that the Nigerian military is one of the best military in the world. “We are also mindful of the fact that the Nigerian military brought in domestic and foreign civil society organisations to come and see what is obtainable at the detention camps of terror suspects.

“Even the International Red Cross absolved the Ni­gerian military of any wrong­doing. But we were surprised that the Amnesty Internation­al that is so respected could come up with such report.”

Responding, Ekwerema­du, who noted that election­eering is over and it is time to face governance, assured of Senate’s support for Presi­dent Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption fight and other programmes he had for Nigerians.

“Today, have a president who is prepared to eradi­cate corruption, fight poverty, defeat terrorism and we in the National Assembly are pre­pared to support him.

Source: Sun

Publish Date: 

Thursday, 2 July 2015