Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria has challenged Amnesty International to a debate over the organization’s latest report on alleged human rights violations in Nigeria.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Chairperson of the Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria, Comrade Adams Otakwu, faulted the Amnesty International report, saying the methodology adopted by the organization does not meet the international best practice of researching on such sensitive issues.

They lampooned AI for never seeing anything good and its failure to condemn terrorism in Nigeria at any point in time.

“We have been closely following events across Nigeria including activities of international organizations as they relate to our advocacy.

“It is in this light that we hereby raise concerns over the recent report by Amnesty International (AI) on North-East Nigeria titled ‘My Heart is in Pain’ which highlighted amongst others: humanitarian response by the Nigerian Government, killing of older persons, unlawful detention and maltreatment of citizens in the Northeast by the Nigerian Military.

“Firstly, the said report of research conducted between November 2019 and October 2020 was released at a time when many Nigerians and Civil Societies are raising questions about the integrity and honesty of Amnesty International (AI) – an organization they say has never seen anything positive about Nigeria and not known to have vehemently condemned terrorism in Nigeria at any point in time.

“Secondly, we see the release of the said report at a time when Nigeria is healing from an EndSARS protest as capable of inciting another wave of violent protest in the country.

“Thirdly, many analysts have dismissed the 69-page report as lacking in merit and credibility, given the methodology adopted by Amnesty International which they believe does not meet the international best practice of researching on such sensitive issues as security and humanitarian response in a sovereign nation.

“Fourthly, analysts believe the said report (in many ways) tends to assault the sensibility of citizens and older persons, roundly undermine humanitarian responses by the Nigerian Government as well as squarely discredit and criminalize Operations and engagements of the Nigerian Military in the Northeast.

“As a watchdog of society, we commit to the utmost analysis of the claims of the report as well as observations raised by citizens and groups on contradictions of the report.

“Consequently, we invite Amnesty International to an open debate on the content of this report any time between now and 31st December 2020.

“Until then we urge the international community, the civil society, and the general public to discountenance and disregard the report which has been widely condemned and currently been criticized in many quotas.”

 


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