The Federal Government has said that the 2015/2016 report of Amnesty International (AI) lacked both local and international standards on evidence gathering.
Foreign Affairs ministry in a statement by Mr. Clement Aduku, spokesman, expressed misgivings that the report never condemned the atrocities committed by Boko Haram terrorist groups in Nigeria.
Emphasizing that Amnesty did not deem it fit and proper, in line with best practice, to subject its Report process to wide consultations and in-depth engagement, Aduku said, “Hence, it casts unnecessary and unverifiable aspersions on critical institutions of the Nigerian State.
“Such omission made the scenario captured in the report itself to totally lack conformity to both local and international standards.
“It is in this regard that the Ministry encourages AI to endeavour to consult widely before releasing its future publications to ensure a more balanced, credible and unbiased reportage”.
“The Federal Government does not, and will not condone, the brazen and needless display of lack of regard for constituted authority by any unlawful groups.
“Accordingly, no persons or group of persons will be allowed to destabilize the peace, stability and security, or jeopardize the unity and sovereign existence of Nigeria.
“No matter how highly placed and the level of external supports such individuals or group of persons enjoy,” he warned.
The ministry noted that where terrorists have unleashed their dastardly acts, legal means and measures are usually deployed by affected countries to counter violent extremism.
“Nigeria should therefore, not be unduly pressured or pilloried for taking similar measures in defence of its national security, he said.
“Even if AI does not deem it fit to report on the atrocities committed by violent groups, the Government of Nigeria will ensure that the culprits are brought to book,” it stated.
On El-Zakzaky and IMN, which AI pronounced on, the ministry said the matter was a high and sensitive national security issue.
It said activities of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in general and El-Zakzaky Movement in particular, was reminiscent of Boko Haram.
“The conduct of the El-Zakzaky movement is one that cannot be tolerated by any progressive democratic government.
“The AI, in dabbling into Nigeria’s legal and judicial system, did not give due credence to the Federal Government’s appeal filed against the decision of the lower court for El-Zakzaky to be released”.
Regarding agitation for a sovereign State of Biafra, it stated that the scenario captured about killings of IPOB members and the report itself lacked conformity to both local and international standards on evidence gathering.
“Nonetheless, if any security personnel are found to have flouted the rules of engagement, or acted unprofessionally, such officers would be punished in accordance with the provisions of the law.
“Nigeria remains committed to the freedom of expression and association, peaceful assembly and protest within the confines of the law”.
On the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTI), it said, “The inviolability of the enactment of the National Assembly and the sovereign right of Nigerians expressed through their religious-cum-ethical values and cultural rights must be respected by all”.
“The Government of Nigeria is deeply concerned about the rights and safety of all Nigerians” it also said.
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