The Presidency has once again accused global human rights watchdog, the Amnesty International of taking side with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which it accused of stockpiling substantial weapons and bombs across the country.
The position of the Presidency is contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in response to what it called Amnesty International’s report accusing Federal Government of gross human rights violation in its dealings with the proscribed group.
Reacting to the report, Garba Shehu on behalf of the presidency accused IPOB of amassing weapons and bombs to destabilse all parts of Nigeria.
The statement said while the global rights group did not say anything new, it has decided to side with “terrorists.”
The statement read in part: “Again, they have decided to side with terrorists, before the liberty of those they injure, displace and murder. Speaking the language of universal human rights, Amnesty International deploys it only in defence – even outright promotion – of those that violently oppose the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Parroting the line of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, a proscribed terror organisation, they work to legitimise its cause to Western audiences. This puts them in bad company.
“Controversial American lobbyists are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to do the same, laundering IPOB’s reputation in Washington DC. IPOB murder Nigerian citizens. They kill police officers and military personnel and set government property on fire.
“Now, they have amassed a substantial stockpile of weapons and bombs across the country. Were this group in a western country, you would not expect to hear Amnesty’s full-throated defence of their actions. Instead, there would be silence or mealy-mouthed justification of western governments’ action to check the spread of ‘terrorism.
“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.