Biafra, Borno Killings: You Are Lying, Nigerian Military Tells Amnesty

From Molly Kilete, Abuja

The Defence Headquarters(DHQ), yesterday, described a report by Amnesty International (AI), accusing the military of killing 417 innocents Nigerians as another “spurious fabrications”, aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Nigerian military.

AI had, in its recent report, accused the Armed Forces of killing 240 people, including babies, in Borno State and another 177 pro-Biafran agitators in the South East.

Director of Defence Information, Brigadier-General Abubakar Rabe, who made this known in Abuja, said the report, which has no iota of truth, was orchestrated to blackmail and ridicule the Nigerian Armed Forces which Amnesty International had unsuccessfully tried to do in the past.

“Nigerian military rejects this AI report in its entirety and appeals to all well meaning Nigerians to disregard the report and discountenance its contents as they were meant to paint Nigeria in a bad light.”  The defence spokesman, while reassuring Nigerians of the commitment and determination of the armed forces to end the myriads of insecurity facing the country, urged AI to be mindful of unfounded reports and cheap blackmail.

“It is on record that Amnesty International embarked on series of false allegations against the Nigerian military and other security forces as far back as the inception of the military action against terrorists in the North-East.

“Amnesty International would only encourage activities of non-state actors who take up arms against the state, killing, maiming and destroying public property, but would always accuse security forces who are sacrificing everything to restore peace and normalcy.”

Rabe, in the statement, said: “in as much as the Nigerian military acknowledges and respects the views and constructive criticism of individuals, groups or even international organisations, including Amnesty International, it will not fall for nor accept the deliberate falsehood that has no bearing with the fact or reality on the ground.”

“The truth is the Nigerian military has always been open in its operations, and do not hide its activities from the probing eye of the public. Amnesty International chose to bandy fabricated reports and concocted stories instead of seeking clarifications from the relevant authorities.”

The Defence Headquarters run an open door policy in terms of information on.”

“its activities in the Northeast or elsewhere, and is ever ready to provide clarifications on any issue. On a number of times the National Human Rights Commission had sent its delegation to seek clarification on issues they are not comfortable with, and in each occasion, the DHQ always obliged them with the information they sought.  AI would rather contrive their report to suit their intention which is to cast a slur on the image and integrity of the Nigerian military. It smacks of mischief for the AI to insist on publishing an unverified and unsubstantiated report and only it knows why it embarks on such dishonourable venture over a period of time”.  (The Sun)

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