A coalition of civil society organisations has picked holes in the Amnesty International report, which indicted some serving and retired Nigerian military officers for alleged human rights violations in the North-East geo-political zone.
The coalition described the report as “lopsided and maliciously orchestrated by some disgruntled elements to distract the Presidency”.
The convener of the coalition, Dr. Nwambu Gabriel, who made this known at a press briefing on Wednesday in Abuja, said, “We believe that AI’s report is rather a distraction because it is too early for a government that is less than one month. President (Muhammadu) Buhari should be allowed to settle down since the fight against insurgency is still ongoing. AI should stop looking for cheap popularity.
“AI should as a matter of urgency render a written apology to the Nigerian military for raising false alarm, wrong information and misinformation to the international community”.
Gabriel said the AI’s report failed to expose the atrocities perpetrated by members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect.
He said, “AI was quick in passing its judgment because the war against insurgency is still on. The AI should probe countries aiding and financing Boko Haram and bring out the atrocities perpetrated by the sect.
“Nigerians have suffered because of these insurgents; after Boko Haram has been wiped out, AI should come out with a comprehensive report. The AI’s report is lopsided because it did not give information as to the number of military personnel that were killed by the insurgents. We reject the report in its totality”.
According to the coalition, the Nigerian military has demonstrated its stand on discipline on peacekeeping operations abroad and in Nigeria, stressing that it would be a disservice if it fails to tell the truth.
“AI has deliberately decided to accuse and stigmatise individual officers who are known to be committed in this war against the terror group, citing instances gathered from some disgruntled elements and faceless collaborators, which is a clear sign of grossly biased judgment.
“The assembling of specific names of some senior officers within the military buttresses this fact by an organisation that is expected to be fair and just to all”, Gabriel stressed.