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‘Protection of human rights, cardinal objective of Buhari’s administration’


Nigeria’s Ambassador to the US, Sylvanus Nsofor (left); Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and Director, Africa Centre, Atlantic Council Dr. Peter Pham at a High-Level Roundtable convened by the Council in Washington, DC, US

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the protection of human rights is a cardinal objective of the Buhari Administration and that the violation of rights is not a government policy.

Addressing a High-Level Roundtable organized by the Atlantic Council, an American think tank on international affairs, in Washington, DC, he said the picture of impunity and complete disregard for extant laws and international obligations painted by Amnesty International, in a recent report, is not a true reflection of the character and ethics of the Government of Nigeria or any of its agencies.

Since the counter-insurgency war started in 2009, Amnesty International has issued periodic reports on alleged human rights violations by the Nigerian military, with the latest of such reports bordering on violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law by the Nigerian Armed Forces and other government agencies.

Mohammed said the government has taken several measures to address human rights violation in the course of the counter-insurgency operations, including the establishment of Human Rights Desks in all military formations.

He also claimed that Boko Haram has been badly degraded hence it is incapable of carrying out organized massive attacks beyond using women and children to carry out suicide bombings against soft targets.

He also said the incessant farmers-herders clashes were neither religious nor ethnic in nature as has been portrayed in some circles.
The Minister said beyond the main causative factors, however, disgruntled politicians and beneficiaries of corruption, who have vested interest in undermining the Buhari administration through any means necessary, have latched on to the conflict.

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