By Kayode Olarewaju
A former Minister of Defence, Gen. Godwin Abbe, on Sunday joined several Nigerians, including the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), in condemning the recent report of Amnesty International (AI) on uprisings in Nigeria.
Abbe, who turns Septuagenarian in January, was also a former Minister of Interior.
He queried the rational behind the Amnesty’s position, while addressing newsmen in Benin.
“The Amnesty International, are they here to help us or they are here to destabilise us? What kind of comments are they making?
“Somebody slapped my son, he has bitten him, my son is bleeding and you say I should not hit him with a club and break his head and remove the teeth that he used in biting my son.
“You will say you are Amnesty International and you are coming here to talk about fundamental human rights of people who are destroying and killing innocent Nigerians in the north eastern part of this country.
“Removing their teeth is what the Nigerian Army should be doing. We have to succeed in incapacitating them by any means possible. Incapacitating terrorists, anywhere in the world, is usually a long drawn struggle.
“We have to attain military victory substantially, clear the coast and then move development there.
“Give them water, give them light, empower the local government and then you have law and order; nobody will come and ask them whether they are Nigerians or not,” he said.
Similarly, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Edo chapter, alleged that some previous reports of AI had been biased, adding that the one in question did not reflect the true state of affairs in the country.
A statement by the state Chairman of CNPP, Mr Roy Oribhabor, said the chapter expected the international NGO to be more concerned about the numbers of harmless Nigeria that have so far been murdered by Boko Haram.
“We are not impressed with the report and conclusion of Amnesty International; we frown at the conclusion reached by the global body.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as matter of patriotism and concern, draw the attention of AI to this report and call for investigation of its activities in Nigeria.
“In all the reports so far released in recent times, they show that the organisation is anti-Nigeria,” Oribhabor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that AI alleged that 2,000 deaths occurred in 2018 due to farmers and herders clashes, claiming the number would have been significantly reduced had security operatives acted accordingly.
The Nigerian government, particularly the military authority, accused the group of plotting to ‘dismember’ the country and derail the ongoing war against terrorism.
NAN also reports that the Nigerian Army spokesperson, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, said AI’s goal was to cause the erosion of confidence in military commanders for the benefit of terrorists and criminals.
“Indeed, it is a deliberate attempt to cast aspersions on the leadership and cohesion of the military, thus demoralising them, thus affecting their performance.
“It would make them lose credibility and public support, thus giving terrorists and other criminal elements an upper hand,” he said.