From UBONG UKPONG, Abuja
The Nigerian Army High Command yesterday accused the Amnesty International of working in favour of the dreaded Boko Haram sect in the country. Amnesty International (AI) had last week, launched its report on the country and accused the military of extra-judiciary killings in its counter terrorism war against the sect.
Apparently unhappy with the position of the human rights group, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, expressed serious exception to the indictment on the Joint Tasks Force (JTF) and the Nigerian Army, saying the report was not just fraudulent, but capable of escalating the conflict.
At a press briefing in Abuja, Ihejirika said he wondered why Amnesty International decided to carry out the survey and release such report in the first place, considering that the military was working to quell the conflict that was threatening the survival of citizens and continuous peaceful co-existence of the country.
Represented by the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR,) Brigadier General Mobolaji Koleoso, Ihejirika faulted the methodology used in the survey as being inaccurate, stating that Amnesty International was being insincere in its report. “Amnesty International is a body that is respected globally, but it should also feel the pulse of the military because, if a group of people uses women and children as shield to launch Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) against soldiers, what would they say that the soldiers should do?
“Amnesty International is not sincere and its report is in favour of the other group and not the Nigerian security. The JTF is a serious minded group,” the Army boss stated. Pointing out that there were serious exaggerations in the report, he said given the huge figures of daily death reported by the Amnesty International, one would think that people had all been killed and people were not living in Maiduguri anymore.
On the killing of Major General Shuwa (retd), which the Boko Haram sect had since denied knowledge, General Koleoso said the denial by the sect should not be taken serious, as all fingers were pointing to the sect.