The authorities of the Nigerian Military have expressed dismay over allegations made by Amnesty International against some senior military officers, serving and retired, of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Major Chris Olukolade, Director of Defense Information, in a press release, said it is unfortunate that the allegations were geared towards the continuation of blackmail against the military hierarchy which has endeavored under difficult circumstances to defeat the terrorist insurgeny in northeast Nigeria.
“The officers mentioned in the report have no reason whatsoever to indulge in the offenses they have been accused of. It is unfortunate that the organization is just out to gather names of specified senior officers, in a calculated attempt to rubbish their reputation as well as the image of the Nigerian military,” Major Olukolade said.
It is curious that Amnesty International has never been able to condemn the terrorists in Nigeria but now it claims to have done extensive research with the aim of discrediting Nigeria’s effort at curtailing the terror.
According to him, each of the previous allegations had been thoroughly responded to and cleared publicly and officially.
“It is unfair to rely on records or reports provided by certain disgruntled elements or faceless collaborators who have axes to grind with the system as evidence against officers who have been conscientiously doing their duty to defend the nation and her citizens,” Major Olukolade contended.
He said the Nigerian Military had observed that Amnesty International becomes more active in presenting distractive allegations whenever the terrorists are losing ground in the battle, stating that Amnesty
International has used this report to further confirm its questionable interest in the counter-terrorism effort in Nigeria.
He recalled that the joint investigation team was set up by the Defence Headquarters as part of efforts to ensure that no detainee suffered unjustly, which made the detention facilities open for visits and inspections by independent bodies, such as International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international organizations and personalities.
Major Olukolade called on Amnesty International to stop playing the role of an irritant coming up loudly only when the terrorists are losing and remaining silent or complacent whenever the terrorists heighten their atrocities.
“This is unfair to persist in discrediting Nigerian Military by seeking all avenues to stigmatize individual officers purely to satisfy an agenda against the security agencies and the image of Nigeria before the international community,” he noted.