By Emmanuel Elebeke
The former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (Rtd) has again dismissed the allegation by Amnesty International (AI) that the Nigerian Military were guilty of war crime against civilian populace in the North Eastern part of the country, describing it as baseless.
Gen. Ihejirika made the position known yesterday at the occasion of National Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria Lecture and the award presentation to him by HURIWA in recognition of his contribution to the war against terrorism in Nigeria.
The theme of the lecture was: Energy and House Hold Poverty in Nigeria and Human Rights and National Security. It held in Abuja.
Ihejirika who was represented by Group Capt. Affiku Steven (Rtd) said the allegation by AI was worrisome considering the huge sacrifices being made by the Nigerian Military and other security personnel to contain the spread of Boko Haram in the country and challenged the world body to come up with substantive evidence by making their source public.
The Amnesty International had in its recent report published on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, accused the Nigerian military of carrying out abuses against civilians, as part of their fight against the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram.
The international human rights group also accused the military of killing more than 600 released prisoners. The violence against civilians it said constitutes “war crimes”.
He commended the HURIWA for the honour done him and the Nigerian armed forces in recognition of their contributions in the war against terrorism.
For him, the worst human rights violation for the past six years were the abuses committed by the militant sect, which was responsible for the killings, bombings, and other attacks throughout the country, resulting in numerous deaths, injuries and the widespread destruction of property.