By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICREL) has described the allegations of human rights abuse against the military by Â Amnesty International (AI) asÂ a campaign of attritionÂ aimed at damaging the fighting capacity of Nigerian soldiers.Â
It said having monitored the proceedings of the Presidential Investigation Panel to Review Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement, AIÂ has finally being Â exposed as a massive scam that was contrived to undermine countries like Nigeria.Â
Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, Â NICREL Executive Director, Steven Onwu, said the group would Â continue to applaud the efforts of the Nigerian military Â aimed at placing the interests of humanity above other considerations.
According to him, â€œthe dedication with which we have followed the proceedings was informed by our understanding and acknowledgement that the issue of human rights in conflict situations is multifaceted.â€
Onwu stated: â€œThe trend prior to the sitting of this panel has been for the focus to be on the rights of the aggressors who despite (possibly) committing heinous crimes have international organisations and their domestic branches canvassing the rights of groups and persons that engage in acts of terror, kidnapping, intimidation, extortion and other forms of harm to the civilian population and attacks on military and security personnel deployed to counter them.Â
â€œNowhere in the argument are the rights of the victims â€“ local populations and the security operatives that are killed â€“ get mentioned.Â
â€œOur concerns at those times stemmed from the impact that their lies have on international support for counter-terrorism war in Nigeria and the negative pull the have on morale of soldiers that are sacrificing even their lives to keep the rest of the citizens safe.Â
â€œA front liner among these fifth columnists is AI, which most recently centered its existence on Nigeria. It ran a campaign of attrition against the Nigerian military and even took the unprecedented step of awarding media contracts to defend its reports, which have been found out to be nothing but a pack of orchestrated lies aimed at damaging the fighting capacity of Nigerian soldiers.Â
â€œIt was therefore surreal that the same Amnesty International had its fifteen minutes of fame before the presidential panel but fortunately left no one in doubts that all it had ever done in the past was misleading the entire world.Â
â€œAIâ€™s representatives before the panel had expect the usual practice where they are able to get away with lying with Power Point presentations that are produced from doctored pictures and videos; but the panel in this instance expressed the need for concrete evidence. This was evidence that Amnesty International is short of as it could not even point to the physical locations of the mass graves for which it had earlier claimed to have coordinates and satellite imaging.Â
â€œNICrel can confidently, on the strength of the presentations made before the panel, which it monitored, declare that Amnesty International lied against the Nigerian authorities in all its previous reports and statements as the military have continued to monitor and discipline their own officers and personnel where the leadership gets any report of infractions,â€ he said.