By AUSTIN PEACEMAKER

A human rights group has called for the ban of Amnesty International from Nigeria indefinitely. The Group known as COALITION OF CSOs ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN NIGERIA led by Barrister Gowon Maxwell made this call during a live interview with one of its Board of Trustees (BOT) member known as Comrade Isaac Ikpa on Television Nigerian (TVN News).

Comrade Isaac who was a guest on TVN Breakfast show “Day Break Nigeria” to analyse the recent “2018 First Quarter Appraisal On the Ongoing War Against Terrorism in Nigeria” presented by its Human Right Group called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to ban Amnesty International indefinitely from Nigeria.

It will be recalled that the Coalition of CSOs on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria had earlier undertaken an ‘on the spot assessment’ of the ongoing war on terrorism to ascertain maximum adherence of the military to the rules of engagement by the Nigerian military, enforcement of fundamental human rights of civilians and protection of man’s dignity and respect for person and to ensure that the activities of non-state actors are in conformity with the general principles and purposes of the United Nations and other conventions’ rights.

The review monitored troops closely in their operations to appraise their conduct, observance of rules of engagement and compliance with best international standard to ensure that human rights remains sacrosanct. Layered on this, the review also monitored the activities of international NGOs to ensure that their activities conform to the principles and purposes of the United Nations.

The review found that the Nigerian Military sustained its operation against Boko Haram terrorists in the affected areas, reducing the existence of the terrorists groups to restricted areas mostly outside the border of Nigeria. The operations continue to attract the interest of International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that make assessments based on their preconceived templates.

The report also stated that “These NGOs, which were once accused of using underhand tactics to blackmail the military, have moved from accusing troops of human rights abuse and violation of rules of engagement to expand their accusations to sexual exploitation and abuse of vulnerable IDPs in the course of their work. Their affiliates also faulted reports that the Nigerian Army freed 1, 000 captives in the three-month period. Detailed follow-up on these allegations revealed there is collusion between the NGOs and some external interests that are committed to undermining the Nigerian military as to pave way for the unfortunate humanitarian crisis to prevail against reason in some parts of the north-east.

Gallant troops of the Nigerian Army

Against this backdrop, Comrade Isaac Ikpa when asked by the TVN Presenter Anthony Momodu during a live appearance on TVN’S live Breakfast show called on the Federal Government to immediately ban Amnesty International from Nigeria indefinitely.

Among other recommendations by the CSOs included the following among others:
– Reports of NGOs should be subjected to detailed reviews since they do not usually declare the interests of their organizations or that of their staffers in the counter insurgency war against Boko Haram. In too many instances, reports have simply been used as covers to service the interests of third parties to the detriment of Nigerians.

– The Federal Government should engage international and supranational bodies to prevail on their staffers, appointees and officials desist from making comments that could bolster Boko Haram to regroup.
– NGOs that are genuinely desirous of improving the quality of life in the north-east of Nigeria should weigh the longer-term consequences of their intervention. Their parent organizations are urged to audit the activities of their country teams to ensure they are not deploy the organizations as cover for agenda that do not tally with improvement of human condition.