Nigerian Army wants Amnesty International ejected from Nigeria
Visibly dissatisfied with activities of the Amnesty International, (AI) the Nigerian Army has called for the closure of offices belonging to the international human rights group in Nigeria.
The army said AI has been working to destabilize the government of Nigeria.
The army banned health and humanitarian group, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) activities in the Boko Haram ravaged North-East Nigeria until just over the weekend when the government lifted the ban.
Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is a London-based non-governmental organization focused on human rights. The organization claims to have more than seven million members and supporters around the world.
Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961, following the publication of the article “The Forgotten Prisoners” in The Observer on 28 May 1961, by the lawyer Peter Benenson. The organization was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its “defence of human dignity against torture“, and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978.
AI has been working in Nigeria over the years and have received commendations from different regimes
The AI has been critical of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, especially as it concerns security.
The army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman said in a statement on Monday that the organisation’s attempt to destabilise the nation was noted through fabrication of fictitious allegations of alleged human rights abuses against the Nigerian security forces.
Usman also alleged the AI had engaged in clandestine sponsorship of dissident groups to protest, as well as unfounded allegations against the leadership of the Nigerian military.
A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Enough is Enough, and BudgIT) have recently called for the probing of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) over the funding of the war against terrorism and other crimes in the country.
The CSOs alleged the army had not made commensurate achievement in the fight in line with the huge fund the federal government allocated to the fight.
The COAS, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, had however explained that some of the allocated funds has yet to be cash backed and that it had not reached the army.
Usman said the Nigerian branch of AI that has hitherto been well respected has deviated from the core values, principles and objectives of the original parent body in the United Kingdom.
“They have tried over the years using Boko Haram terrorists conflicts, Islamic Movement in Nigeria, some activists and now herders-farmers conflicts.
“The NGO is at the verge of releasing yet another concocted report against the military, ostensibly against the Nigerian Army.
“Consequently, Nigerians should be wary of Amnesty International (Nigeria) because it’s goals are to destabilise Nigeia and to dismember it.
“The Nigerian Army has no option than to call for the closure of Amnesty International offices in Nigeria, if such recklessness continues.
It was not the first time the Nigerian army and Amnesty International would have some misunderstanding over the latter’s various reports on human rights in the country.