Presidency accuses Amnesty International of siding with terrorists

…alleges IPOB stockpiling bombs, weapons

The Presidency has accused Amnesty International (AI) of siding with terrorist organisations by endorsing their activities in the country. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a release yesterday said the organisation has no legal right to exist in the country.

Apparently responding to the latest AI reports condemning the catalogue of human rights violations and crimes under international law by the nation’s security agents in the South-East, Shehu said the organisation would rather ignore the liberties of those injured, displaced and murdered by the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB).

The Presidential spokesman, who alleged that the IPOB have been stockpiling weapons and bombs across the country to cause mayhem, said that the AI, in its reports, deployed the language of universal human rights in defence and outright promotion of those that violently oppose the Federal Government of Nigeria. He said: “Parroting the line of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, a proscribed terror organisation, they work to legitimise its cause to Western audiences. This puts them in bad company. Controversial American lobbyists are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to do the same, laundering IPOB’s reputation in Washington DC.

“IPOB murder Nigerian citizens. They kill police officers and military personnel and set government property on fire. Now, they have amassed a substantial stockpile of weapons and bombs across the country. “Were this group in a western country, you would not expect to hear Amnesty’s full-throated defence of their actions, instead, there would be silence or mealy-mouthed justification of western governments’ action to check the spread of ‘terrorism’.

“Despite Amnesty’s selfproclaimed mandate to impartially transcend borders, unfortunately in Nigeria they play only domestic politics. “The international NGO is being used as cover for the organisation’s local leaders to pursue their self-interests. Regrettably, this is not uncommon in Africa. There is nothing wrong with an activist stance; there are claims of neutrality, when all facts point to the opposite.” Saying that AI has no legal right to exist in Nigeria, Shehu urged the organisation to open a formal investigation into the personnel that occupy their Nigerian offices. “They should reject the outrageously tendentious misinformation they receive and bring some semblance of due diligence to the sources they base their claims on. Currently, we see none. “The Nigerian government will fight terrorism with all the means at its disposal. We will ignore Amnesty’s rantings. Especially when it comes from an organisation that does not hold itself to the same standards it demands of others,” Shehu added.




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