Amnesty International Not Intimidated By The Army

  • 18,Dec 2018 12:34 AM
  • By Iwedi Ojinmah

Amnesty will not be bullied or harassed into silence. Auwal Musa Rafsanjani the chair of AI in Nigeria did not mince words at the launch of Harvest of Death: Three Years of Bloody Clashes Between Farmers and Herders in Nigeria”, in Abuja on Monday.
He was referring specifically to a threat by the Nigerian Army to shut down the organisation. As we know it is not the first time the two have not seen eye to eye.  Nor is it the second time.

Rather Rafsanjani called on the Army to read its report grasp the recommendations made and try to go about tackling the many challenges exposed. 

“This threat to shut down Amnesty International is not the solution to violent conflicts and everything we are seeing in Nigeria,” the AI boss said.

“What Amnesty is really saying is that they have a duty and responsibility as enshrined in our laws and constitution to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians, and their failure to do that is not acceptable because they are supposed to be helping to protect the lives and properties of the citizens of Nigeria.

“So we are not joining any issue with anybody. We are not agents of destruction. We are not a politically motivated organisation. We are purely a human rights organisation, which in so many instances, even some of the security agents are victims of human rights [abuses], only for them to come out and start looking for Amnesty International to speak about their issue.

“What Amnesty is really saying is that they have a duty and responsibility as enshrined in our laws and constitution to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians, and their failure to do that is not acceptable because they are supposed to be helping to protect the lives and properties of the citizens of Nigeria.

“You, the Army should be bold enough to address those lapses but to come and be threatening a group that you cannot even stop is not supposed to be. The government cannot stop Amnesty International from documenting and monitoring human rights violations whether in Nigeria or outside Nigeria. So … it is just an empty threat.”

Sani Usman, the Army spokesperson, had released a statement earlier on Monday accusing AI of working hard to destabilise the country by using fictitious allegations about rights abuses, and threatening to close the group’s offices “if such recklessness continues”.

On Friday, the Nigerian Army had announced a three-month ban on the activities of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in the North East, accusing the organisation of spying on military formations and sabotaging its war against terrorism. It, however, lifted the ban after some hours.

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(1)Comments:

    • USER

      Anonymous

      18,Dec 2018 02:11 AM

      That's our problem, instead of investigating the report issues, they'll rather be on the defensive. Ndi ara

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