By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, on Wednesday, said it was highly concerned about alleged invasion of parts of South East and South South geopolitical zones of the country by the Nigerian Military.
The Commission warned security agencies, particularly the Military, “to desist from acts capable of causing tension, public disturbance, fear and sense of insecurity”.
It cautioned the Nigerian Army to respect their rules of engagement, saying instead of heightening the fear of insecurity, it should “rather ensure the respect of the fundamental rights of all citizens”.
Acting Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Mrs. Oti Ovrawah, via a statement she made available to newsmen in Abuja, said the rights body was perturbed by media reports on allegations by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Abia state chapter, that Nigerian Soldiers on Operation Python Dance II, attacked them, “amidst other claims of human rights violations”.
The statement which was signed by head of media at the NHRC, Mrs. Fatima Mohammed, further read: “Mrs. Ovrawah assures Nigerians that the Commission will collaborate with the Nigerian Police and other relevant authorities to ensure a timely and thorough investigation into the allegations with a view to ensuring that informed decisions are made and appropriate steps taken to have culprits punished and victims redressed in accordance with the law.
“Meanwhile, the Commission commends the government of Abia state for the steps taken so far to remove fear and forestall further breakdown of law and order saying that it is important to reinforce people’s confidence in the ability of the government to protect them without violation of their rights.
“She also uses this medium to call on the Nigerian military to leverage on the series of training the Commission has offered them on mainstreaming human rights into their operations especially with the emerging human rights challenges, adding that they are expected to carry out their duties according to international best practices”.