The Military on Wednesday urged the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) to defend it against false accusations by the Amnesty International (AI) and other agencies in its counter insurgency operations.
Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, The Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, made the call when officials of the NHRC paid him a courtesy visit in Maiduguri.
Nicholas said that the AI and other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) had continued to spread false narrative against the military in its counter insurgency operations.
He lamented that the international NGOs were attributing all the problems of the insurgency to the military.
”These organisations are more interested in condemning our military but always turned their back on Boko Haram who are the ones perpetrating all sort of crimes against humanity.
“We are Nigerians too, our soldiers are human beings too and their rights are being violated on daily basis by Boko Haram.
“The National Human Right Commission should not only visit the military but also visit the cemetery and see the number of our soldiers and colleagues that are buried. These are people who died fighting Boko Haram.
“We have had cases where our land is taken away but because we are the military, we don’t want to start joining issues with anybody in the court,’’ he said.
He lamented that the AI and the other organisations did not condemn Boko Haram for the abduction of Dapchi secondary schools girls in Yobe.
According to him, the organisations are only interested in putting all the blames on the government.
“Those, that have issues of human rights are always advised to come forward with such cases so that we can come together as an institution and fight such issues.
“The military will not spare any form of violation in the course of its professional conduct.
“It is our collective responsibility to uplift the image of our country. Nigeria is a sovereign country and we shall do everything within our capacity to defend it.”
In his remarks, Mr Anthony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, reiterated the determination of the commission to strengthen the conduct of the military in the counter insurgency operations.
He said that the commission would partner with the military to enhance its capacity to conduct its operations in the North East and other parts of the country.
“This new collaboration will strengthen the investigation into allegations with the view to unravel the truth. All you needed to do is to give us access.’’
Ojukwu urged the military to always respond to some of the allegations by disciplining erring officers.
”Nobody wants impunity, what is required is for you to objectively respond to these allegations. When an allegation is leveled against you it is left to you to put your own side of the story,’’ he said.
He also urged the military to adopt new strategies of engaging with the organisations.
“If any organisation makes any false allegation against you, how you respond to such allegation will be enough to put such organisation on its toes.
“If they lied against you, your response will be enough to discredit them.