The Nigerian Defence headquarters (DHQ) on Wednesday, February 22 slammed Amnesty International (AI) for allegedly carrying fabricated ‘lies’ about Nigeria and its battle against the Boko Haram insurgents.
The AI reported that 240 people died as a result of insurgency in the north-east
The AI had reported the death of 240 people including babies in Borno as well as another 177 pro-Biafran agitators, but the DHQ reacted sharply calling it another spurious fabrications from the international organisation and aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Nigerian military.
“Without mincing words, the allegations contained in the said report are not only inconceivable but has no place in the Nigerian military.
“The report is rather contrived lies orchestrated to blackmail and ridicule the Nigerian Armed Forces which they have unsuccessfully tried to do in the past.
“It is on record that Amnesty International embarked on such 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,” the DHQ said in a statement made available to journalists.
While noting that the Nigerian military acknowledges and respects the views and constructive criticism of individuals, groups or even international organisations including Amnesty International, it warned that it would not fall for nor accept the deliberate falsehood that have no bearing with the facts or realities on ground.
“The truth is that 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 north east 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 oblige them with the information they sought.
“AI would rather contrive their report to suit their intention which is to cast slur on the image and integrity of the Nigerian military. It smacks of mischief for the AI to insist on publishing unverified and unsubstantiated report as it is only them that knows why it embark on such dishonourable venture over a period of time,” the DHQ added.
It stressed that it was rejecting the report in its entirety.
It also appealed to Nigerians to disregard the report and discountenance its contents arguing that it was meant to paint Nigeria in bad light and blackmail the country.
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