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The Presidency on Wednesday went hard on the global human rights advocacy group, Amnesty International, accusing it of playing ‘domestic politics.’
While stating that the organisation has no legal rights to operate in Nigeria, the federal Government accused it of allegedly legitimising the cause of the proscribed group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
This was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, titled, ‘Why Amnesty’s Entreaties Should Be Ignored, by Presidency.’
The statement read in part, ‘Despite Amnesty’s self-proclaimed mandate to impartially transcend borders, unfortunately in Nigeria, they play only domestic politics.
“The international NGO is being used as cover for the organisation’s local leaders to pursue their self-interests. Regrettably, this is not uncommon in Africa. There is nothing wrong with an activist stance; there are claims of neutrality when all facts point to the opposite.
‘Amnesty International has no legal right to exist in Nigeria. It must open a formal investigation into the personnel that occupies their Nigerian offices. They should reject the outrageously tendentious misinformation they receive and bring some semblance of due diligence to the sources they base their claims on. Currently, we see none.’
The presidency asserted that ‘the Nigerian government will fight terrorism with all the means at its disposal. We will ignore Amnesty’s rantings. Especially when it comes from an organisation that does not hold itself to the same standards it demands of others.’
It also said Amnesty International had decided to ‘side with terrorists, before the liberty of those they injure, displace and murder.’
It accused the human rights organisation of speaking the language of universal human rights while deploying it only in defence – even outright promotion – of those that violently oppose the Federal Government of Nigeria.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK