Nigeria’s Presidency has written off Amnesty International over its recent comments on the government, saying that it had turned itself into an American Lobbyist and working to legitimize proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and local politicians who are using it as cover to carry out nefarious activities.
In a statement today, September 1, Senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said that the amnesty had again, decided to side with terrorists, before the liberty of those they injure, displace and murder.
The Presidential spokesman further accused the Amnesty International of deploying its language of universal human rights only to defend and even outrightly promote 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 annually to do the same, laundering IPOB’s reputation in Washington DC.
“IPOB murder 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 their actions. Instead, there would be silence or mealy-mouthed justification of western governments’ action to check the spread of “terrorism.”
Garba Shehu said that despite Amnesty’s self-proclaimed mandate to impartially transcend borders, “unfortunately in Nigeria, they play only domestic politics. “The international NGO is being used as cover for the organisation’s local leaders to pursue their self-interests. “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.”
The Presidency argued that Amnesty International has no legal right to exist in Nigeria, saying that it must open a formal investigation into the personnel that occupy their 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 Nigerian government will fight terrorism with all the means at its disposal. We will ignore Amnesty’s rantings. Especially when it comes from an organisation that does not hold itself to the same standards it demands of others.”