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Human Rights: Amnesty International ‘studying’ Army’s allegations against NGOs funding Boko Haram

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Urges Buhari’s administration to end  Rights violations, abuses

Senator Iroegbu

The Amnesty International has said that it is still investigating the latest allegations by the Nigerian Army that some humanitarian aid and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are funding Boko Haram terrorist activities in Nigeria’s Northeast region.

This was disclosed on Friday by the Media Manager, AI Nigeria, Mr. Isa Sanusi, while fielding questions from journalists at the launch of ‘Nigeria: Human Rights Agenda’ in Abuja.

The Nigerian Army had on Thursday said that an arrested Boko Haram Commander has revealed organisations funding terrorists activities in Nigeria

Against this backdrop, the Army again accused some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), operating in the North East of breaching security and sabotaging ongoing counter terrorism operations in the zone.

“We are still studying the statement from the Nigerian Army. As a research based organisation we have to take our time to look at the situation and afterwards make our position known,” Sanusi said.

“We struggle with implementation of treaties. Yes we sign up to alot of treaties to look good at the international community but we hardly implement them,” he added while explaining Nigeria’s records on observation of human rights.

Earlier, the Director of AI Nigeria, Ms. Osai Ojigho, stressed that the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the second term in office provides an opportunity to end growing impunity for human rights violations and abuses.

 Ojigho in a briefing on the ‘Nigeria: Human Rights Agenda’, lamented that rights violations were rampant in Buhari’s first term

To this end, she outlined several human rights violations which the new administration must urgently address, noting that “state and non-state actors were violating rights with impunity; victims of human rights violations rarely get justice; arbitrary arrests and harassment of human rights defenders, activists and journalists threaten freedom 9f expression and media freedom”.

In the briefing, AI Nigeria alerted of what it described as “appalling human rights situation in Nigeria”, documenting alleged killings of hundreds by state and non-state actors, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, violence against women, restrictions on freedom of expression, arrests and detention of journalists, mass forced evictions, and environmental pollution especially in the Niger Delta region.

The Eight-Point Human Rights Agenda for Nigeria, Buhari’s administration was launched on Friday, May 31, 2019 in Abuja

Ojigho said: “During the first term of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, more than 350 minority Shiites are believed to have been unlawfully killed by soldiers in December 2015, in Zaria. From 2015-2016 at least 150 supporters of the Indegenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were killed. Also, many peaceful protests were violently disrupted by security forces.

“As President Muhammadu Buhari prepares to lead the country for the next four years, we are calling on the government to seize this moment to end violations and the impunity that continues to fuel them, by placing human rights protection top of its agenda for the next four years. The government should publicly commit to promote, protect, respect and fulfill all human rights of everyone.”

To this end, she urged the new administration to strengthen mechanisms that ensure justice for past abuses and enable meet its human rights obligations under the Nigerian constitution and human rights treaties to which Nigeria is a state party.

She reminded thatvNigeria is a Member State of the African Union and United Nations under which, she has ratified several regional and international human rights treaties including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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