Nigeria rejects Amnesty report on military

Nigeria rejects Amnesty report on military

Sunday, March 5, 2017 8:49 pm

Geoffrey Onyeama: Foreign Affairs Minister


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has rejected the Amnesty International report on the Nigerian military.

A statement issued by the spokesman of the ministry, Mr Clement  Aduku in Abuja, said that the report was one-sided as it did not condemn the atrocities committed by terrorist groups in Nigeria

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Amnesty International  in its February report  accused Nigerian security and military forces of “extreme” human rights violations and brutal response to security concerns.

It also accused Nigeria of unlawful killings, detention and inhuman treatment of pro-Biafra campaigners and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), including its leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

Aduku said that Nigeria was a law-abiding state governed by democratic norms enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“The Federal Government does not, and will not condone, the brazen and needless display of lack of regard for constituted authority by any unlawful groups.

“Accordingly, no persons or group of persons will be allowed to destabilise the peace, stability and security, or jeopardise the unity and sovereign existence of Nigeria.

“No matter how highly placed and the level of external support such individuals or group of persons enjoy,”  he said.

He said where terrorists had unleashed their dastardly acts, legal means and measures were usually deployed by affected countries to counter violent extremism.

He said that Nigeria should not be unduly pressured or pilloried for taking similar measures in defence of its national security.

Aduku said that if the organisation did not deem it fit to report on the atrocities committed by violent groups, the government of Nigeria would ensure that the culprits were brought to book.

The ministry accused Amnesty International of not subjecting its report to wider consultations before releasing it.

“It is in this regard that the Ministry encourages it to endeavour to consult widely before releasing its future publications to ensure a more balanced, credible and unbiased reportage.

“The case of Mr El-Zakzaky is a high and sensitive national security issue. The activities of the IMN in general and El-Zakzaky Movement in particular, are reminiscent of Boko Haram.

“This had become a menace and a source of concern not only to Nigeria, but to the Lake Chad Basin region and the entire world,” the spokesman said.

According to him, the conduct of the El-Zakzaky movement was  one that cannot be tolerated by any progressive democratic government.

He said that it did not give due credence to the appeal filed against the decision of the lower court for El-Zakzaky to be released.

Aduku said that the agitation for a sovereign State of Biafra was unacceptable and detrimental to the peace, unity, stability and development of the Nigerian State.

He said Nigeria as a country remained committed to the freedom of expression and association, peaceful assembly and protest within the confines of the law. (NAN)

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