DHQ blasts Amnesty International over reports on military

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has taken a swipe at the  Amnesty International for its 2017/2018 Reports released on Thursday.

It said the report was aimed at weakening the efforts of the nation’s armed forces at ensuring peace and security of the country.

The Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier-Geneneral. John Agim said the report was a gross disservice to the nation’s high security command, noting that the international body has made it a routine duty to continue to generate tension among Nigerians by releasing unconfirmed and unsubstantiated claims and figures relating to the military operations in the country to the public.

Brig-Gen Agim in a statement issued in Abuja asserted that AI allegations have followed specific trends which the military high authority is bound to respond to in order to set the records straight.

The statement reads: “The recent report released by Amnesty International (AI) on 22 February 2018 alleging human rights violations by the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), is a gross disservice to the nation’s high security command.

“The action of AI seem to be geared towards weakening the efforts of the AFN at ensuring peace and security in the country.  It has been observed that AI has made it a routine duty to continue generating tension among the citizens by releasing unconfirmed reports, unsubstantiated claims and figures relating to military counter-insurgency operations and wanton killings by unknown groups or persons.

”  It is pertinent to re-iterate that the AFN as a responsible institution, financed by taxpayers, is bound to respond to these allegations in order to put the records in proper perspective.  The AI allegations of human rights violations and extra judicial killing of civilians by the AFN have followed a specific trend for some time now.

”  It could be noted that the organization’s allegations made against the AFN since 2011 to date are largely unsubstantiated.

“The figures released by the organization showed that 4,900 Boko Haram detainees were held in Giwa Barracks in an overcrowded facility where 340 detainees had already died of diseases and dehydration. They further stated that 164 civilians were killed by the Nigerian Air Force when an IDP camp was hit at Rann by a Nigerian Air Force fighter Jet and also that 12 IPOB members were kill in Umuahia by the AFN.

” Unfortunately, AI have failed to acknowledge the on-going fair trial and conviction of culpable members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect and the release of those not found guilty.  The number of persons released and re-integrated with the larger community is over 500.Both the convicted and freed suspects were earlier arrested from different locations across the country and taken to Kainji, a place that is relatively safer with enough space to accommodate them while providing the detainees with 3 square meals daily.

“The suspects were also given proper medical attention by military medical team attached to the detention facility.  It is notable that the arrested Boko Haram members from the ongoing OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE were being tried by the Federal High Court at Wawa Cantonment Kainji since Friday 16 February 2018 convicting 205 detainees to various jail terms while 526 suspects have been freed for want of evidence.

“Other sins of the Nigerian Government as captured by the AI in its report include infringing the rights of lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals and transgender as well as intersex persons.  These AI championed rights have been strictly outlawed by Laws of the Federation of Nigeria subsuming the Nigerian constitution as well as the cultural practices of our people.

” This position of AI, clearly show slack of respect for the constitution of Nigeria which these laws have become part.  Let it be known that the Nigerian Government and its people are not ready and would never be, even in future, to please AI or anyone with the introduction of such things.

“However, if AI feels strongly against the position of the Nigerian people on this issue and wants to assist the ‘victims’, they could issue these class of people with green cards to enable them re-locate  to other places across the world that accept such practices as it may not be necessary for them to remain Nigerians.

“Generally, the authenticity and sources of figures generated by AI are worrisome.  Regrettably, the military high commands were never contacted for clarification or guidance.  The Defence Headquarters on its own made concerted efforts to meet with the country management of AI to discuss related issues without success, as they had consistently failed to show up.

” This reaction of AI connotes that the body in Nigeria could had been sponsored to frustrate conflict resolution efforts towards peace and positive development of the nation.  The deliberate falsehood peddled by AI could cast the nation and its security apparatus in bad light.

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