ABUJA (Sundiata Post) Following the reaction of some groups to recent Amnesty International Nigeria report indicting Nigerian Army fighting Boko Haram in the North East, Civil Society Groups have come together to frown at the dismissive actions of those groups and the government.
These civil society groups that work at the intersection of the protection and promotion of human rights and good governance in Nigeria, said in a joint statement that they condemn in totality the recurrent breach of peace, brazen lack of patriotism, and absolute disregard for fundamental democratic values and principles of good governance by a malicious group that has persisted in threatening and issuing unjustified ultimatums to Amnesty International Nigeria to vacate the country.
The full statement read:
“We are aware that Amnesty International, as a duly registered organisation, possesses legal operational rights and mandate to protect and defend rights of the citizens irrespective of their socio-economic, ethno-religious and political backgrounds as pledged by Government of Nigeria under relevant national, regional, and global laws including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Protocols on Human Rights and Rules of Law, and particularly, Section 33 to 44 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We in strong terms denounce the unjustifiable recurring threats against the staff and facilities of Amnesty International Nigeria , and reiterate that no responsible individual, group or government will disparage the protection of the rights of vulnerable individuals or groups.
“We find it worrisome that rather than extending sincere support and solidarity to Amnesty International Nigeria in complementing the activities of credible civil society groups to enhance democratic values in the country, an unidentifiable mischievous group continues to engage in empty threats—a ridiculous attempt to frustrate efforts to protect human rights, and suppress civil society activities ostensibly to hamper the recurring demand for good governance. We are disturbed but not surprised at such clearly sponsored malicious moves by some individuals, hands gloved by an undemocratic group, to divert the attention of Amnesty International Nigeria, and other credible civil society groups from their progressive struggles to dig deep and uprooting the persistent human rights abuses and violations in the country.
“Ironically, the on-going attack on Amnesty International Nigeria is a glaring endorsement of its stellar strides in the protection of human rights. A pointer that their impactful work must be supported and sustained by all well-meaning Nigerians to enhance the rule of law, social equity, and justice.
“We call on the government to ensure adequate protection for the operatives and facilities of the Amnesty International Nigeria that are currently under vicious and persistent threats.
The statement was signed by the following civil society groups:
1. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
2. Partners for Electoral Reforms (PER)
3. State of the Union (SOTU)
4. Say No Campaign
5. Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)
6. Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
7. Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC)
8. Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA)
9. Civil Society Network Against Agenda (CSNAC)
10. Accountability Mechanism for Maternal New Born and Child health in Nigeria (AMHiN)
11. Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED)
12. Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA)
13. Protest to Power
14. Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CRDDERT)
15. Organisations of Trade Unions of West Africa
16. National Procurement Watch Platform (NPWP)
17. African centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
18. Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP
19. Global Rights
20. Enough is Enough
21. Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC}
22. Social Action
23. Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
24. Girl Child Africa