The Defence Headquarters has described a recent report by the Amnesty International, alleging death of 240 people including babies in Borno and 177 pro-Biafran agitators as yet “another spurious fabrications’’.
The Acting Director Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said on Wednesday in Abuja that the report was aimed at tarnishing “the good image of the Nigerian military’’.
Abubakar rejected the reports in its entirety and appealed to Nigerians to disregard it and discountenance its contents as they were meant to paint Nigeria in a bad light.
He said, “Without mincing words, the allegations contained in the said report are not only inconceivable but has no place in the Nigerian military.
“The report is rather contrived lies orchestrated to blackmail and ridicule the Nigerian Armed Forces which the amnesty international has unsuccessfully tried to do in the past.”
Abubakar said it was on record that the organisation embarked on such series of false allegations against the military and sister agencies since the inception of military action against terrorists in the North East.
He said, “Amnesty International would only encourage activities of non-state actors who take up arms against the state, killing, maiming and destroying public property but would always accuse security forces who are sacrificing everything to restore peace and normalcy.”
Abubakar said that the military welcome constructive criticism of individuals, groups or even international organisations, including amnesty international.
He, however, said that it would not “fall for nor accept the deliberate falsehood that has no bearing with the fact or reality on ground.”
He added, “The truth is that the Nigerian military has always been open in its operations and do not hide its activities from the probing eye of the public.
“Amnesty International chose to bandy fabricated reports and concocted stories instead of seeking clarifications from the relevant authorities.
“The Defence Headquarters run an open door policy in terms of information on its activities in the North East or elsewhere and is ever ready to provide clarifications on any issue.
“On a number of times, the National Human Rights Commission had sent its delegation to seek clarification on issues they are not comfortable with, and in each occasion, the DHQ always oblige them with the information they sought.
“Amnesty international will rather contrive their report to suit their intention which is to cast slur on the image and integrity of the Nigerian military.
“It smacks of mischief for the amnesty international to insist on publishing unverified and unsubstantiated report as it is only the organisation that knows why it embarks on such dishonourable venture over a period of time.”
Abubakar reassured Nigerians of the commitment of the military to deal with the myriads of security challenges facing our country in spite of the unfounded reports and cheap blackmail by amnesty international.