Nigeria’s President attacks Amnesty International over critical reports

The presidency has attacked Amnesty International, stating that the international human rights organization is “on the side of terrorists” and that it has “no legal right to exist in Nigeria”.

Garba Shehu, the spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, said so in a statement to journalists on Wednesday.

Mr. Shehu responded to that current report from Amnesty International (AI) called on the Nigerian government to end enforced disappearances.

“The attempts by the Nigerian security forces to crack down on militants of the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) have resulted in arbitrary arrests, detentions, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions in the southeast and Niger Delta of Nigeria,” AI said in the. published report PREMIUM TIMES where she also listed several other enforced disappearances in the country.

In its response, the presidency accused AI of “promoting those who violently oppose the Nigerian federal government”.

“They parody the line of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, a banned terrorist organization, and are working to legitimize their cause to Western audiences,” Shehu wrote.

The latest declaration by the Presidency joins a growing list of similar attacks on the international human rights organization by the Nigerian government and some of its agencies over AI’s critical reports on the human rights situation in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Army, the military, the Ministry of Information and others have issued statements at various times to attack AI.

Read Mr. Shehu’s full statement below.



However, the recent Amnesty International volley in Nigeria is more of it.

Here, too, they have decided to side with the terrorists before driving away and murdering the freedom of those who violate them.

Amnesty International speaks the language of universal human rights and only uses them to defend – even directly promote – those who violently oppose the Nigerian federal government. By parroting the line of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, a banned terrorist organization, they are working to legitimize their cause to Western audiences. This puts them in bad company. Controversial American lobbyists receive hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for this, which undermines the reputation of IPOB in Washington DC.

IPOB murders Nigerian citizens. They kill police officers and military personnel and set fire to government property. Now they have amassed a considerable supply of weapons and bombs across the country. If this group were in a western country, you would not expect Amnesty to defend their actions with full throat. Instead, the measures taken by Western governments to curb the spread of “terrorism” would be justified with silence or flimsy justifications.

Unfortunately, despite Amnesty’s self-proclaimed mandate to cross borders impartially, they only play domestic politics in Nigeria. The international NGO is used as a cover for the organization’s local executives to pursue their own interests. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon in Africa. There is nothing wrong with an activist stance; Claims to neutrality exist if all facts indicate the opposite.

Amnesty International has no right to exist in Nigeria. She must initiate a formal investigation into the personnel in her Nigerian offices. They should reject the outrageously tendentious misinformation they receive and show due care to the sources on which they base their claims. We don’t see any at the moment.

The Nigerian government will fight terrorism with all means at its disposal. We will ignore the Amnesty skirmishes. Especially when it comes from an organization that doesn’t adhere to the same standards that it demands of others.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & advertising)

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