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The West sponsoring Amnesty International to destabilize Nigeria – AU

The Economic, Social and Cultural Council, one of the organs of the African Union, on Wednesday said Western countries are sponsoring Amnesty International to destabilize Nigeria.

Leader of a delegation of the group, Mr Tunji Ashaolu, stated this during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General, Tukur Yusuf Buratai at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

He said, “You have reorganized the army through professionalism and has retrained them, adding that the Army has been experiencing rapid promotion.

He added, “You have established human rights desk in all the Army formations. If you have been able to do this, I don’t see why some group would say that you are violating human rights. Someone violating human rights would not establish those desks.

“I think they have put this in place not only to undermine your office but the Nigerian government.

“The Amnesty International that is saying you are violating human rights is being sponsored by western people,” he said.

“You have won the war against terrorism. There was nothing like Boko Haram before, it came, you are facing it, tackling it and winning it. You have worked effectively in civil military relations and you have supported democracy to succeed in Nigeria.

“I, on behalf of AU, Economic and Social Council, passed vote of confidence in the Nigerian Army under your leadership”.

“You have done it all, all you need is encouragement”, he added.

Continuing he said, “We are here to tell you, we are behind you. African Union is behind you. It means you have to do more. We are not partisan, we are not politicians, and we can’t be used.

“Whatever we see, we say it. You have done a lot. And we are now saying enough is enough for international organizations to be using Amnesty International as part of their foreign direct agencies to destabilize the government of Africa which we will not take any longer.

He explained that the group had the capacity and willingness to “step in, in empowering the youth in the North east, train them and empower them.

“Terrorism has a link with poverty. We can partner with Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution to do this job,” Ashaolu said.

In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff said, “This visit is a morale booster. This has increased our confidence, that we are being appreciated not only in Nigeria but across the continent and globally.

“You have come with a message from the African Union. The AU Agenda 2063, of silencing the gun is a laudable initiative. It should be imbibed by all and sundry.

“We have had this challenge for a long time, the proliferation of Small Arms across the country.”

Buratai said the Nigerian Army has been working with other security agencies to ensure that the menace of proliferation of small and light weapons is addressed.

He said the “borders are being properly monitored to check smuggling, human trafficking and other vices” noting, “these are efforts supporting the “AU silencing the gun”, agenda.

Emphasizing that the Army is reinforcing the security at the borders, the COAS said, “The country has a national data on recovery of light weapons” and strategy to verify, to know countries of origin of recovered weapons.

“Efforts to address security challenges in the country include the kinetic and non-kinetic approach. We do carry out information operation and De-radicalization where our soldiers are involved in teaching in IDP camps in collaboration with civil societies and other security agencies.

There is also bilateral cooperation. What army personnel need is support and not condemnation and we want to call on all international organizations operating in the country to have a rethink and support Nigeria in winning the war against insurgency.

He disclosed that some Boko Haram terrorists that were captured had locally produced ammunition assuring that such a situation is being addressed by the government.

While urging everybody especially critics to have “a rethink and come to support the fight against insurgency, Buratai said, “Come, let us focus effort to solve the socio-economic situation in the country; to ameliorate the suffering of the people instead of vilifying the men and women working hard to make the country safe.

“We can’t go back to how it was. We cannot go back to 2015 until insurgency is eliminated.”

END

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