By Stanley Onyekwere
A Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, a governmental global human rights activists’ group said sympathizers of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents are taking advantage of the ongoing unrest in the north eastern region.
Reacting to the recent report released by the Amnesty International, accusing the Nigerian security forces of raping and starving Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), to death in northern part of the country.
Recall that Amnesty in its report titled “They betrayed us”, detailed how how the Nigerian military and Civilian Joint Task Force (Civilian JTF) have allegedly separated women from their husbands and confined them in remote ‘satellite camps’ where they have been raped, sometimes in exchange for food.
However, Executive Director of the CSOs, Maxwell Gowon, speaking at a press conference in Abuja said the report was targeted at heating up the polity and as well rubbish the Nigerian security forces, especially the military that is carrying a good job.
The group said the reports usually released by Amnesty International were sponsored by some political Boko Haram that is apparently geared towards achieving a pre-determined result.
It opined that the Federal Government of Nigeria should work with the military to fashion a long-term containment measure for attenuating the damages that Amnesty International’s activities in Nigeria are causing.
He said, “This particular one in question has been begging for legitimacy after it was exposed that Amnesty International and the UNICEF were paying journalists and NGOs to compile fictitious reports against the Nigerian military and other stakeholders fighting terrorism in Nigeria. What these organizations stand to achieve is still what the Coalition is yet to come to terms with.
“The military’s compliance with the rules of engagement is significantly high, enough to conform with the globally accepted standards in conflict situations. Instances of infractions had more to do with individual deviation than an organizational policy of the military services.
“There is no doubt that a few instances have been investigated by the Nigerian military through its human rights desk that coordinates same across the country. The setting up of such the human rights desk in every formation and unit by the Nigerian Army is therefore to this Coalition a commendable exercise and must be applauded by experts in this field.
“We want to unequivocally State from our findings and investigations that Amnesty International’s monitoring of human rights situation particularly in the north-east is not fact based and rely heavily on testimonies that appear not too far removed from fiction.
“Its reports tend to lessen the atrocities committed by Boko Haram and other criminal groups or in some cases blame government, military or security for the crimes committed by its terrorists.
“The legitimate operation of the military is constantly hampered by Amnesty International’s misleading reports. This has grave consequences for the overall security architecture of Nigeria especially now that some key players in the political terrain have started providing local funding to supplement the foreign clients of Amnesty International with a view to impacting the 2019 general Elections.
“This organization tends to adopt different approaches to different countries, while it works towards destruction of countries within the crosshair of its destabilization agenda, its approach to certain nation is conciliatory even when they engage in wanton killings and other systematic forms of abuses,” Gowon said.