DHQ faults Amnesty on deaths pro-Biafran agitators, Borno indigenes

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja

The Defence Headquarters has faulted the global watchdog, Amnesty International over a report alleging members of the Nigerian armed forces were involved in the deaths of 240 people in Borno as well as 177 pro Biafran protesters.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar described the allegations as “another in its series of spurious fabrications aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Nigerian military. ”

Rabe said the allegations contained in the said report are not only inconceivable but has no place in the Nigerian military.

He further said the report is rather contrived lies orchestrated to blackmail and ridicule the Nigerian Armed Forces describing it as cheap blackmail.

Rabe said: ” 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.

“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 have no bearing with the fact or reality on ground.”

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

He said 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 Nigerian military rejects this AI reports in its entirety and appeals to all well meaning Nigerians to disregard the report and discountenance its content, Rabe said.

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