The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups (CHRMG) says Nigeria has made significant strides in human rights compliance in the prosecution of the war against terrorism.
The human rights group, which made this known at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, also noted that the troops have adhered to international best practices in its various operations across the country.
The CHRMG said it arrived at this conclusion after an appraisal of the war against terrorism in the country and the compliance to international conventions by the leadership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
The coalition’s position invalidates that of Amnesty International and the International Criminal Court which levelled human rights violations against the military.
And Executive Director, Gabriel Agibi, while speaking on behalf of the group, singled out the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai for special praises, adding that he qualifies to be conferred with the highest Human Rights Compliance Award.
According to Agibi, the establishment of human rights desks in all Nigerian Army units and formations to address human rights violations is an illustration of the COAS’ ingenuity.
The coalition, therefore, hailed President Muhammadu Buhari, the Armed Forces’ leadership and the troops for adhering to global standards in human rights preservation.
It, however, warned those peddling false information with regards to the human rights compliance of the military to desist as it serves only as a means of distraction and not a reflection of the reality on the ground.
The CHRMG further urged the troops not to be discouraged by the antics of Amnesty, ICC and their likes.
Read the full statement below:
I welcome you all to this press conference in furtherance of our mandate to give an appraisal of the government’s efforts in the war against terrorism and other acts of militancy in North-East Nigeria and other parts of the country.
The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups has been actively engaged in ensuring the adherence to international conventions in the preservation of human rights by the Nigerian government and by extension the Armed Forces in its various operations across the length and breadth of the country.
It is indeed a fact that we have been credited to have held the government accountable through the various mechanisms introduced to ensure strict compliance to the rules of engagement in warfare and ensure Nigerians’ rights and privileges are not trampled upon under whatever guise.
It is on this strength we convoked this press conference to give a detailed appraisal of our fact-finding mission on the operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the preservation of human rights in its various operations.
We wish to state in unequivocal terms that there has been a considerable improvement in the conduct of the Nigerian Armed Forces regarding human rights and compliance to international conventions, especially in the last five years.
The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups wishes to put it on record that the Nigerian Army’s operational strategies in the prosecution of the war against terrorism and other acts of criminalities have been outstanding with an excellent rating on human rights compliance. From all our ratings and feedback mechanism, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai leads the pack of military commanders who have displayed an unalloyed commitment to upholding human rights tenets and adherence global best practices in the rules of engagement in warfare. This is on the heels that Operation Lafiya Dole’s organizational composition has in place measures to curb excesses by officers and soldiers in the discharge of their duties.
The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups also reiterates that President Muhammadu Buhari in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has been exceptional in ensuring that the Armed Forces’ operations comply with international conventions.
We are using this medium to commend President Muhammadu Buhari and the Armed Forces’ leadership for the exceptional conduct regarding the adhering to global standards in human rights preservation.
The establishment of human rights desks in all Nigerian Army units and formations to address human rights violations is another exemplary display of ingenuity by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai who by all standards qualifies to be conferred with the Highest Human Rights Compliance Awards.
The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups indeed applauds other Service Chiefs, such as the Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, AVM Mohammed Saliu Usman, the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas for their invaluable contributions in the entrenchment of human rights in Nigeria.
We also wish to use this medium to commend officers and soldiers in the theatre of operations for exhibiting high standards of compliance with regards to the protection of human rights. Their display of professionalism even in the face of provocation is noteworthy and indeed, commendable.
The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups’ position is that the security agencies engaged in the war against terrorism in Nigeria have exhibited high regard for human rights, which is in line with global best practices.
The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups is sending a strong message to all those that are at the forefront of peddling false information with regards to the human rights compliance of the Nigerian Armed Forces to desist from such ignoble ventures which by all intent and purposes serves only as a means of distraction and not a reflection of the reality on the ground.
The fact remains that in the past five years, the level of human rights compliance by the Nigerian Armed Forces in the prosecution of the war against insurgency and other militants acts in Nigeria has been commendable. Credit must be given to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and other heads of security agencies that have been involved directly or indirectly in the prosecution of the war against insurgency in Nigeria.
The Coalition of Human Rights Monitoring Groups is by this medium conferring on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and other top commanders of the Nigerian Army and the troops the Human Rights Compliance Awards for service to country and humanity.
We also want to use this medium to encourage the Nigerian Armed Forces’ leadership not to rest on their oars and continue to preserve the tenets of human rights in their operations.
Thank you all for your time, and God bless.