A report of Amnesty International indicting Nigerian Armed Forces of war crime has continued to draw reactions, with an ex-British police officer and a security consultant, Vince Onyekwelu, stressing the need for Amnesty International to show more support to the war against terror.
The rights group had in a recent report alleged that the Nigerian military had engaged in violation of human rights in form of extra-judicial killings in the fight against insurgents in Nigeria’s north-east, calling for the investigation of some top military officials, both serving and retired.
But the military denied the allegations saying it was a blackmail against Nigeria and its armed forces.
Giving his opinion about the report the ex-British police officer said Amnesty International had not showed much concern for the innocent Nigerians killed by the Boko Haram terrorists.
He urged the rights group to equally carry out more social responsibilities to ensure that Nigerians see the group as not being against the government of Nigeria and fight against the insurgents.
“We have not felt their Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria. A lot of Nigerians are asking about what the Amnesty International had done to remedy the situation in Nigeria.
“They have not reported much around the issues of local and national security. They have not reported the killings in Benue State.
“We still need to look into their allegation but we need to encourage Amnesty to talk about the issue of the killing of Nigerians everyday by terrorists. So it would not sound like Amnesty international is against Nigeria,” he said.
Report Requires A Response
Asked if there was a need for investigation into the report, Mr Onyekwelu sid it was necessary that the report should be looked into to ascertain the truth about the claims.
The rights group claimed it got evidences from non-members of the terrorist group who had been accused of being members of Boko Haram.
But Mr Onyekwelu faulted the claims, questioning how the rights group verified the identity of the whistle blowers.
“How are we sure that the persons giving Amnesty International evidence are not members of the Boko Haram.
“We have basic security issues that start from identification of who is a Nigerian to who is a member of the Boko Haram.
“The Nigerian government and the National Assembly have to respond to the report. They can decide if the content of the report is what should be considered.
“The rights group’s report requires a response,” he said.
On the action that should be taken, the security consultant said “If the Nigerian Army had done anything wrong, they should be investigated and the right decisions taken. We should not allow the report to affect the activities of the military in the war against terror.
“It there are credible evidences, the people responsible should be asked to come and defend themselves and give their own account.
“The Amnesty International is a respected and credible organisation across the world, so their report should be looked into and investigated”.
Mr Onyekwelu commended the military for its response to the allegations but advised that a research institution should be set up to look into such crisis and react proactively.
He stressed that every human being, including the criminal arrested, had a right that the military and other security agencies must respect in the course of providing security.
Asked if the report would affect the morale of the military in the counter-terrorism operation in the north-east, Mr Onyekwelu said the allegations were not expected to affect the morale of the troops, urging them to carry out their duty with respect for human rights.