Presidential Panel on Human Rights: Yoruba Group to Sue Amnesty International

By Dipo Olowookere

Amnesty International has been warned to stop interfering in security situations in Nigeria or be ready to face a legal action.

The National Committee of Yoruba Youth and the Coalition of Civil Society against Terrorism in Nigeria accused the global body of deliberately trying to embark on espionage missions in the country.

The groups, in a statement issued this weekend and signed by its Convener, Comrade Oladimeji Odeyemi, noted that this warning became necessary because of the appearance and submission of Amnesty International before the Justice George Biobele Presidential Panel set up to review the compliance of the armed forces, with human rights obligation and rules of engagement, during their operations in the country.

The youth group said it was amazed by the “audacity of the Amnesty International to tender classified security documents as evidences against the Nigerian military, particularly the Nigerian Army, during the sitting of the Presidential Panel.

Comrade Oladimeji said the group was vindicated by the latest action of the Amnesty International, having earlier accused the AI of consciously embarking on actions and making statements that clearly impugn on the integrity of the nation’s military, mostly based on “unsubstantiated accusations” and the tacit encouragements usually given to the dreaded Boko Haram sect, thereby sabotaging the war against terrorism in the country.

The pan Yoruba youth group further described as ‘shameful’ the petition by the AI to the Presidential Panel, describing it as uncharitable and a mere attempt to further blackmail the Nigerian Army into inaction in order to further entrench the activities of separatist groups and the Boko Haram at the detriment of the nation’s national security and collective well-being of innocent Nigerian.

The group therefore said it will use every legitimate means to resist further attempt by the Amnesty International (AI) to continually denigrate and assault the collective sensibility of Nigerians and in its ploy to continually encourage some anti-democratic forces and sympathizers of the dreaded Boko Haram group to undermine and compromise the country’s national security.

“We are deeply worried over the continued desperation of Amnesty International in using unconventional means to attack the institution of our military, thereby using illegitimate avenues to extort classified information and documents for its personal clandestine operations and that of its foreign collaborators without recognizing that the current threats that Nigeria and her citizens are facing under the Boko Haram insurgency is a global threat that requires global solidarity instead of the lies and campaign of calumny that has become the preoccupation of the Amnesty International,” the statement said.

The group urged members of the armed forces, particularly the Nigerian Army, not to be discouraged by the antics of Amnesty International, stating that it remains committed to his position as earlier submitted before the Presidential Panel and also reminded them that Nigerians were appreciative of their continued sacrifices towards the protection of our lives and properties and the territorial integrity of our country.

The group said it will explore every possible legal option to declare the activities of Amnesty International as illegal and a threat to national security in the country while also restating its support for the war against terrorism as presently being prosecuted by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in the country.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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