By Paul Obi in Abuja
The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) monday warned Amnesty International (AI) to stop meddling in national security matters and local politics of the country.
The Director of Defence Information, Brig Gen Rabe Abubakar, said the incessant cases of intrusion by AI portends great danger to the nation’s security apparatus.
This came on the heels of a recent report by AI indicting the Nigerian military over the killings of the indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) agitators in the South-east and 240 persons, including children, in the North-east.
Abubakar said: “Nigerian military wishes to warn international non-governmental organisations operating in the country such as AI and their affiliates to desist from meddling into security issues in our country which is inimical to national interest, cohesion and unity.
“Activities of AI in our nation have shown that AI never meant well for Nigeria and the situation is getting clearer to national and international communities what the AI is up to.
“This could be corroborated by inherent lopsidedness in the AI’s portrayal of Nigeria, its involvement in local politics and taking side with terrorists and other belligerent groups to cause internal disorder which no country can tolerate.”
He observed that “the military in this new dispensation has maintained open door policy and has been cooperating with all stakeholders in ensuring that Nigerian Armed Forces remain one of the best and a proud institution for all Nigerians.
“For AI to be making spurious allegations, especially without substantiated and cogent reasons, apart from those adduced by the AI itself for the reason best known to it and its collaborators is disturbing and unethical of an international organisation that is supposed to stay clear of local politics and to be seen as maintaining neutrality in its reportage of the countries it operates.
“Incessant negative report on Nigeria in general and the armed forces in particular by AI is condemnable by all well-meaning Nigerians who have seen and appreciate what the military and other security agencies have done to decimate Boko Haram terrorists and contain other criminal elements.”
Abubakar added that “the AI infamous act only succeeds in giving an insight to the possibility of the organisation sponsoring various criminal gangs in our country with a view to achieving the sponsor’s intent.
“As much as the military welcomes comments, criticism and observation that could help the institution to grow higher for the interest of our nation, the activities of the AI, to say the least, is far from being noble. Al has negative mission in Nigeria,” he said.
“It is an agent of destabilisation, masquerading as a reputable international NGO which Nigerians must rise up to this daunting challenge of not giving AI the chance to truncate our hard earned democracy and unity.
“It does not operate like this in other nations of the world, hence the military once again condemns the activities of the AI and its affiliates in Nigeria, that it is not until you write negative report about Nigeria before you are seen working or justifying the huge amount you receive from international bodies.”
The military director maintained that “while the military and other security agencies remain focus in tackling the mirage of security problems in our nation, we urge our citizens, partners and international communities to continue to support Nigeria in its quest to free us from the hands of criminal elements which AI and its cohorts are supporting.
“It is our conviction that, despite AI fanning the ember of disunity, hate and destabilisation in our land, Nigeria would continue to remain united, strong and prosperous to take her rightful place in the comity of nations.”