Presidency accuses Amnesty International of colluding with IPOB
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, claimed that Amnesty International’s latest salvo at Nigeria was but more of the same.
“Speaking the language of universal human rights, Amnesty International deploys it only in defence, even outright promotion of those that violently oppose the Federal Government of Nigeria. Parroting the line of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, a proscribed terror organisation, they work to legitimise its cause to Western audiences. This puts them in bad company. Controversial American lobbyists are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly to do the same, laundering IPOB’s reputation in Washington D.C.
“IPOB murders Nigerian citizens. They kill police officers and military personnel and set government property on fire. Now, they have amassed a substantial stockpile of weapons and bombs across the country. Were this group in a western country, you would not expect to hear Amnesty’s full-throated defence of its actions. Instead, there would be silence or mealy-mouthed justification of western governments’ action to check the spread of terrorism,” Shehu stated.
According to the Presidency, despite Amnesty’s self-proclaimed mandate to impartially transcend borders, in Nigeria, it plays only domestic politics.
The international NGO, it added, is being used as cover for the organisation’s local leaders to pursue their interests.
He said: “Regrettably, this is not uncommon in Africa. There is nothing wrong with an activist stance; there are claims of neutrality when all facts point to the opposite.
“Amnesty International has no legal right to exist in Nigeria. It must open a formal investigation into the personnel that occupies its Nigerian offices. They should reject the outrageously tendentious misinformation they receive and bring some semblance of due diligence to the sources they base their claims on. Currently, we see none.”
The Federal Government has vowed to fight terrorism with all the means at its disposal while ignoring Amnesty’s “ranting.”
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