Nigerian Army and the Culture of Denial


Amnesty International released a report on Thursday detailing how extrajudicial execution and torture by Nigerian security forces, especially the Nigerian Army, led to the death of about 150 pro-Biafra activists across the South-east between August 2015 and August 2016. But the Nigerian Army denied the killings and torture, saying the AI report is an attempt to tarnish the image of the army and the security forces.

Similarly, when on December 23 last year Human Rights Watch accused the army of murdering at least 300 Shiites in Zaria in “wholly unjustified” shooting during clashes with the group, the army issued a denial.

Such denials are certainly cliché-ridden and too predictable to inspire the good image that the army desires. What will burnish the army’s and, indeed, the security forces’ image is a sincere attempt to address the well-known human rights issues within the country’s security circle. – Vincent Obia