An umbrella body of civil society organizations in Nigeria under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society Groups has challenged the Amnesty International to prove its report which indicted notable officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces, serving and retired, for war crimes in the north east with concrete evidence. The group advised Amnesty International to come up with more convincing evidence of any infraction committed by the military rather than taking position geared towards discrediting the achievements of the Nigerian military in the ongoing war against terrorism in the country.
Speaking at the Defence Headquarters during their solidarity to the Nigerian military, the President of the group, Comrade Etuk Bassey, stated that the group’s investigation and independent assessment showed that the military activities have rather helped to save thousands of lives, reclaim territories and restored hope to the people and therefore at variance with Amnesty International’s report.
He noted that terrorism remains a global menace that does not discriminate against race or creed but Nigeria has been left to her fate in fighting terrorism all these years. According to him, the only serious attention the country got was the international condemnation of the Chibok girls’ abduction which also came with only the unfulfilled promises. He questioned the moral justification of the world super powers who refused to support Nigeria the way the world rallied round America after the 9/11 tragedy.
Comrade Williams stated that “after critical and painstaking analysis of the report of the Amnesty International and based on available facts arising from an on the spot assessment in the war against terrorism, we unequivocally declare that the report is devoid of truth, lopsided, lacks facts and is bereft of fundamental understanding of how the war against insurgency has been fought and almost won in Nigeria. While we may not over rule some rare extreme measures as it is with war situation, we challenge Amnesty International to prove these isolated cases with evidence.
The question to be asked is, is there an international conspiracy that made the world super powers fail to rally support for Nigeria in time of need?”
In his remark, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh expressed appreciation to the group for their visit and words of encouragement. He commended them for being the check valve of the society and urged them not to relent in their selfless efforts. He also reiterated that Nigerian military was not deterred by unfounded criticism but fighting very hard to restore normalcy in the affected areas. “We are busy in our effort to keep the nation one.
We are fighting hard and we shall succeed. We will do everything possible and necessary until normalcy returns. Even if there was any collateral damage, it is applicable in any war fought by any armed forces in the world”, he concluded.