By Kelechi Iruoma
A network, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups against Terrorism in Nigeria has urged the United Nations Office in Nigeria to call the Amnesty International (AI) to order over the global Human Right group’s continuous interference in the affairs of the Nigerian security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Army on matters involving the operational approach in the ongoing war against the Boko Haram insurgents.
In a petition forwarded to the Country Director of the UN in Abuja and signed by the coalition’s chairman, Comrade Oladimeji Odeyemi, the network said the activities of the Amnesty International through its previous and latest reports on Nigeria, suggests a strong sinister motive to undermine the nation’s national security and destabilized efforts at eradicating all forms of terror and separatist activities.
The petition reads: “As Nigerians, we are increasingly worried, particularly on the recent report released by Amnesty International, where it claimed that the Nigerian security forces ignored warnings about Boko Haram attack on Dapchi, a community in Yobe State, Nigeria, where over 100 school girls were abducted by the elements of the Boko Haram insurgents.
“We consider this report, as totally undeserving and a joke taken too far by Amnesty International, at the expense of Nigeria’s Internal Security and sovereignty.
“Nigerians are worried and want to passionately appeal to the UN to help question the actual motive of AI and it’s persistent criticism of the Nigerian security forces who have spent the last few years working through extreme conditions towards ensuring that the Boko Haram insurgency, and all other forms of insurgency in the country is brought to a halt.
“We are of the strong conviction that AI is on a clear-cut mission of sabotaging our nation’s security by tactically using its many and persistent frivolous reports to demean the effort of our armed forces and ostensibly ginger the Boko Haram terrorists who again have begun tormenting the North East region of the country.”
While stating that its critical analysis of events revealed that whenever the Boko Haram insurgents are dealt serious blows by the nation’s gallant forces, the AI is immediately out with one form of accusation or the other, against the armed forces.
“This, often time, results in a heightened tempo of terrorism in the North East as we see the role of Amnesty International, as such, gives commendation and undeserved protection to these criminal gangs terrorizing our country and her people.
“Till date, most of the claims by AI, in its report are mostly unverifiable, conducted clandestinely without any known record of interface with the Nigerian public and can best be described as comical in all ramifications and laughable.
“The leadership of the Nigerian Army has the enormous support of the Nigerian people at all times going by the commitment of men and officers towards protecting our lives and properties. These reports have therefore increased our conviction about the resolve of the Army under General Tukur Buratai, to keep fighting for the unity of our great country and its mutual existence irrespective of the attempts to distract them through frivolous accusations.
“We therefore consider the many frivolous report by AI against the Nigerian security forces, particularly the Nigerian Army and its leadership, as a direct attack on Nigeria’s corporate existence since the endgame is not to advance the cause of the rights of our people but rather to push our security forces into a corner from where they would not be able to defend Nigeria’s integrity and sovereignty,” the petition reads in part.