Nigeria: Buhari Speaks On Nigerian Army's Accusation Against Amnesty International

17 December 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to allegations levelled by the Nigerian Army against Amnesty International.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the army on Monday morning accused Amnesty International of plotting to destabilise Nigeria.

The army's allegation came three days after it accused UNICEF of encouraging Boko Haram activities in Nigeria's North-east.

In a statement on Monday evening, President Buhari's spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said the federal government is increasingly concerned about the role that Amnesty International is playing in the war against terror in Nigeria.

"While President Muhammadu Buhari cherishes and encourages the noble ideals on which institutions like Amnesty International are founded, the organisation's operations in Nigeria seem geared towards damaging the morale of the Nigerian military.

"It often appears as if the Nigerian government is fighting two wars on terror: against Boko Haram and against Amnesty International.

"The obvious bias and inaccuracies in Amnesty International's recent country reports on Nigeria risk Amnesty's reputation as an impartial international organisation.

"President Buhari appeals to the leadership of Amnesty International to scrutinise its advocacy in Nigeria, especially as it relates to the war against terrorism."

Before the presidential statement, Amnesty International had rejected the allegation by the army.

The army's threat to shudown Amnesty International or any human rights organisation "is not the solution to the negligence or the failure to the untimely response to the issue of human rights and providing security for Nigeria," Amnesty International Nigeria Chair, Auwal Rafsanjani, said on Monday.

Mr Rafsanjani spoke at the unveiling of the Amnesty International report titled "Harvest of Death: Three Years of Bloody Clashes Between Farmers and Herders" at Reiz Continental Hotel in Abuja.

The Amnesty report showed how government negligence has worsened the farmers, herders conflict which has caused over 3,000 deaths in the past three years.

"We are not a threat, we are not joining issues with anybody. We are not the agents of destruction and we are not a politically motivated organisation," Mr Rafsanjani added.

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