The Nigerian Army Should Leave Amnesty International Alone, By Shiites In Nigeria

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C. USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. We invite you to donate to our fundraiser to help us keep our quality news free and available for all.

Recently, the Nigerian Army through its spokesman, Col. S.K Usman Kuka Sheka issued a statement condemning the renowned Human rights group, Amnesty International over its report on the atrocities committed by the Nigerian army in Zaria last December. He accused the organization of being biased, hasty and intruding into the internal affairs of our country, among others, without providing any proofs to counter those that informed Amnesty’s report. Not long after that a mushroom group sprang up casting aspersions on the person of the country Director of Amnesty International, Ambassador M.K. Ibrahim.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) believes that what the Army ought to do is to discuss issues and not personalities. They should have addressed the facts Amnesty Report brought forward using rigorous methodology and meticulous attention to details. They should be addressing the scores of pages containing proofs obtained after an extensive field investigation, which also contain pictures and satellite images. Thus instead of the Army to use superlatives in describing what Amnesty International is not, it should have disputed the incontrovertible facts brandished by the organization to the world espousing the enormity of the war crimes of the Army.

While the Nigerian Army labels the Amnesty Report that took months to prepare as being hasty, it forgot that its own attempt to hide its crime and cover its tracks was more appropriate to be so labeled. Its warped logic would not let them realize that it was dishing out baseless allegations against the IMN without proofs or awaiting the JCI to conclude its work. Probably that is why the Army in the said press release says, “Nothing was mentioned on the rebellious attitude and the violations of human rights by the IMN. Neither did they [Amnesty] bother to ask why the IMN attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff.”  If they saw no wrong in maligning IMN without proofs, why should they be irked by solid facts brought up by the internationally acclaimed Rights group?

By now the army should be able to tell the Nigerian public how many civilians it murdered in Zaria. From the highest ranking officer, COAS to the Major who appeared before the Kaduna state judicial commission, they were all incoherent in their testimonies of how many they gunned down in December. If they don’t have skeletons in their cupboards, why is the army economical with the truth?

Another information of great importance to Nigerians is the question of whether the army was involved in a mass grave as elucidated by Kaduna state government? This is a straightforward question, which the army is not doing itself good by shying away from. The army should have addressed this issue, but as usual with those accused of crime against humanity, it rather chose not to talk about that. Even the officers who appeared before the judicial commission in Kaduna were just quibbling.

What Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s senior crisis response adviser, told IBTimes UK is a food for thought for the army. She explained that in addition to the 347 people allegedly killed and whose bodies were dumped in mass graves, another 350 have gone missing.

“They have not been found neither in hospitals, nor in prison, nowhere, and they are feared they have been killed. There are allegations of other mass graves and these families are entitled to have their grievances addressed and the army is not doing that,” she continued.

“We hope the judicial commission of inquiry and the National Human Rights Commission are doing their own investigations with the necessary independence and impartiality. The fact that Amnesty has put in the public record its own findings can only help the work of the various commissions that are investigating.

“By burying bodies in mass graves and destroying places where these people were massacred, the Nigerian army has committed an additional crime. They are really in no place to speak about what is appropriate and what is not. They should focus on coming clean and telling the truth and speeding up the process that can hopefully lead to the families of the victims getting justice and reparation and those responsible be held accountable,” Rovera concluded.

The IMN strongly believes the army should not be engaged in justifying the unjustifiable, paying huge sums of money in propaganda involving unknown NGO’s, bereft of credibility and hired integrity-challenged  journalists. It should rather realize that a secular national army is supposed to be for all Nigerians and should not be acting the script of Saudi Wahabbis against Shia Islam. We also advice the Army as did the AI to focus on coming clean on this one and own up to its crime here and at The Hague.

IBRAHIM MUSA is the President, Media Forum, Islamic Movement in Nigeria



[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

TODAY NEWS AFRICA is registered and headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America. Our publication is widely read, respected and influential. By providing daily answers to questions our readers have about the people, the businesses and the continent of Africa, we are reaching a diverse and wide audience from around the world. Our readers, many of them world leaders, trust us because we are independent and truthful. Our advertisers understand the difference between news, views and ads. Contact us:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now



IMF has given $31 billion to 76 countries to respond to COVID-19, including over $10 billion to 47 low income nations

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has given $31 billion in emergency financing to 76 countries in the world to respond to...

Gunmen ambush convoy of Governor Umar Babagana Zulum of Borno State in Nigeria, kill several people

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned an ambush on Friday on the entourage of Governor Umar Babagana Zulum of Borno State, which...

Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadéra announces candidacy for December election

Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadéra has announced his candidacy for the presidential election next December.“It’s...

Mali’s new president, 70-year old former defense minister Bah Ndaw, sworn in following coup

Newly sworn in Mali's president is 70-year old former defense minister Bah Ndaw. President Ndaw was inaugurated on Friday, five weeks...

More than 300,000 used condoms being packed for resale intercepted by police

More than 300,000 used condoms which were being packed for resale have been seized during a police raid in Vietnam, Reuters...


Ethiopia charges prominent opposition figure Jawar Mohammed with terrorism

As human rights organizations continue to warn that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is turning Ethiopia into a dictatorship, his administration on...

Damning report finds detainees in Iran were sexually abused and given electric shocks in gruesome post-protest crackdown

Iran’s police, intelligence and security forces, and prison officials have committed, with the complicity of judges and prosecutors, a catalogue of...

Bill Gates praises Africa’s response to COVID-19 but warns against collateral damage

Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Sunday praised Africa's response to the novel coronavirus but warned against collateral damage, including a drastic...

Activists warn Nigerian President bill will render anti-corruption agency EFCC ‘a toothless bulldog’

Nigeria's Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to “urgently instruct Mr...

Ramphosa urges world leaders to fight racism, grant Africa more Security Council seats, lift sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan and cancel continent’s interests on debt

African Union Chairperson, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Tuesday, urged the United Nations General Assembly to fight racism,...

Nigeria at 60: The colonialists never left – they are Nigerian politicians – Perspectives by Fredrick Nwabufo

The British colonialists chucked the power console to the aborigines of Nigeria in 1960. Let me rephrase that. The British prowlers tossed power into the palm of native champions and ‘’non-functionally’’ exited the dais before the close of 1960. But these infiltrators did not go with the evils and vices of their craft.  The perils of colonialism remained. So, long after they...


[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]