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Defence headquaters accuses amnesty of undermining anti-terror war

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[FILE PHOTO] Outgoing Defence Spokesman, Maj Gen John Enenche (left) and new Defence Spokesman Brig. Gen John Agim

The Defence Headquarters yesterday accused Amnesty International of sabotaging the ongoing anti-insurgency fight in Nigeria by deeds and actions capable of dampening the morale of the combatants.

At a press conference in Kaduna, the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier-General John Agim, alleged that the global agency had designed counter-productive plans to frustrate the war by recycling old reports.

He claimed: “If you read reports of Amnesty International, the one they have started publishing this year is what happened in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and they recycle it every month. So, when you will see their reports, you will think the security agents have done something new. But if you take time to profile the reports, you will discover that they are repeating the same thing.”

Agim stated that the international organisation was not working with Nigeria in ensuring a lasting peace in the land.

The spokesman, who also briefed reporters on the activities of Operation 777 at the headquarters of the I Division of the Nigerian Army, stated that 14 bandits have so far been neutralised, 31 captives (18 children and 13 adults) rescued from kidnappers’ dens and 422 cows and sheep recovered from rustlers since the special military task force began work last month.

He stated that security agencies had taken steps to safeguard human rights, adding that the military was well trained on rules of engagement.

The general continued: “All our institutions in the country are taught law of arms so that you cannot go to any operation and do any thing you like.

“Our service chiefs have human rights desks. In most of our operations, especially in the North East, a court martial is established to try erring officers.”

He clarified that the Operation WHIRL PUNCH, being conducted by troops of the division, was part of the Operation 777 coordinated nationwide by the Defence Headquarters.

However, President Muhammadu Buhari said Boko Haram insurgents had been frustrated from occupying territories and operating freely.

Speaking at the Nigerian Air Force International Air Power Seminar in Abuja, he regretted that the terrorists had resorted to skeletal attacks on soft targets owing to the confinement.

The president stressed that the security situation in the troubled North East region has improved steadily.

According to him, “we remain committed to ensuring that the crisis comes to an end, while making the North East and indeed all parts of Nigeria safe for all to live and prosper.”


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