Presidency Says Amnesty International Damaging Military’s Morale

The Presidency yesterday said it is increasingly concerned about the role that Amnesty International (AI) is playing in the war against terror in Nigeria’s northeast.

The Presidency’s statement is coming hours after the Nigerian Army threatened to shut down the organisation over claims it is trying to destabilize Nigeria.

Presidential Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said while President Muhammadu Buhari cherishes and encourages the noble ideals on which institutions like Amnesty International were 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 report on Nigeria risk Amnesty’s reputation as an impartial international organisation,” he said.

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

Earlier, a statement by army spokesman Brigadier General Sani Usman said: “The Nigerian branch of Amnesty International that has hitherto been well respected has deviated from the core values, principles and objectives of the original Amnesty International domiciled in the United Kingdom.

“There is a credible information that the Nigerian branch of the International Non-governmental Organisation is determined to destabilise the Nigerian nation.”

“This is noted through fabrication of fictitious allegations of alleged human rights abuses against the Nigerian security forces and clandestine sponsorship of dissident groups to protest, as well as unfounded allegations against the leadership of the Nigerian military.”

AI recently accused the Nigerian Army of war crimes in the fight against insurgency in the northeast, a claim the army has denied.

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