President Buhari responds to Amnesty International
President Buhari has come under intense international pressure for alleged crime against humanity.
The pressure is as a result of chilling reports of extra-judicial [neutralization] of hundreds of IPOB members since 2015.
Amnesty International (AI) had both published and released videos of gruesome torture, including acid bathing of IPOB protesters.
AI says it analyzed 87 videos, 122 photographs and 146 eyewitness testimonies.
AI says Nigerian President had ordered the Army to fire live ammunition in a protesting crowd of men, women and children.
“This deadly repression of pro-Biafra activists is further stoking tensions in the South East of Nigeria.
“This reckless and trigger-happy approach to crowd control has caused at least 150 [neutralization].
“The authorities must immediately launch an impartial investigation and bring the perpetrators to book.
“By far, the largest number of pro-Biafra activists were [neutralized] on Biafra Remembrance Day on 30 May 2016.
“An estimated 1,000 IPOB members and supporters gathered for a rally in Onitsha, Anambara State.
“The night before the rally, the security forces raided homes and a church where IPOB members were sleeping.
“On Remembrance Day itself, the security forces shot people in several locations.
“Eyewitnesses and local human rights activists said that many of the protesters at Aba were rounded up and taken away.
“On 13 February, 13 [neutralized] bodies, including those of men known to have been taken by the military were discovered in a pit near the Aba highway.
“The video evidence shows that this was a military operation with intent to [neutralize] and injure,” AI said.
But the President swiftly denied Amnesty International’s claim.
The President’s position was made know by the Army spokesperson, Colonel Usman Kukasheka.
“This is an outright attempt to tarnish the reputation of the security forces in general and the Nigerian President.
“The evidence of IPOB violent secessionist agitations is widely known across international domains. T
“These security agencies are always targeted for attack by the MASSOB/IPOB instruments of barbarism and cruelty.
“For instance, in the protests of 30 – 31 May 2016, more than 5 personnel of the Nigeria Police were [neutralized] by IPOB.
“In the aftermath of the encounter that ensued between security agencies and IPOB militants, many of our troops sustained injuries.
“In these circumstances, the Nigerian Army has continued to act responsively to de-escalate the series of IPOB violent protests.
“Instructively, the military exercised maximum restraints despite their flurry of provocative and unjustifiable violence.
“The adherence to Rules of Engagement by the military has been sacrosanct in all of these incidents.
“Therefore, it is rather unfortunate that Amnesty International allowed itself to be lured and fooled by cheap rhetoric,” the statement read.