… Urge Senate to defend military
From ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI, Abuja
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.
Thursday, 2 July 2015