October 16, 2019

Boko Haram: Committee dismisses allegation of rights abuse against army

Nigerian Army

Joseph Erunke

A joint committee of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights set up to investigate allegations of human rights abuse against the Nigerian military by some foreign media organisations has absolved the country’s troops of wrongdoing.

Army, Nigeria, Kaduna

Rather, the committee, in a report, sighted by Vanguard in Abuja, said the Nigerian military especially the Nigerian Army has demonstrated adequate will to recognise international standards on human rights in its war against Boko Haram insurgents in the Nort-East.

The committee, chaired by Dr. Isaac Dikko, insisted in the report that the “Nigerian military authorities have always acted in the best interest of national security.”

Besides, the committee recommended “that the National Assembly leadership should recommend adequate compensation and state recognition for troops to encourage them in the line of national duty to rehabilitate and sustain their morale, summit in clear terms expulsion as a punishment for erring non-governmental organisations in the country, legalise the auditing of NGOs by security agencies as well as “invite Action Against Hunger and Amnesty International with a view to answering why they should not be banned from operating within the Nigerian territory”.

“That the National assembly leadership summit that the reports emanating especially from foreign organisations does not represent the true situation of affairs in the North-East, and “That the National Assembly leadership summit that issues of human rights abuse are subjective, and that the Nigerian military authorities, particularly the Nigerian Army, have demonstrated adequate will to recognise international standards on human rights; with reference to creation of a special desk on human rights in the Nigerian army.”

Dikko had earlier submitted the report to the National Assembly, where he noted that national security remained the only motivation for the sacrifice of the committee.

He said: ” if not for the interest of national security, and to fact- check if the war against insurgency is being truly successfully prosecuted, nobody would dare to have a committee secretariat situate in the North-East for firsthand information, particularly given the low and gloomy media reportage of the military successes in the region especially by foreign media organisations.

“Unknown to us like the majority of Nigerians, a lot of successes have been made in the war against insurgency in the Northeast. The only challenge is resettlement, rehabilitation and rebuilding of infrastructure hitherto destroyed. But this is beyond the military mandate and will take time.”