Nigerian Army accused of ‘serious’ human rights abuses

Nov.1 (PREMIUM TIMES) “We are in the middle of two things. If you take a look at your right or you take a look at your left, both of them they are deadly. It is a lose lose situation.”

Nigerian security forces have carried out serious human rights abuses in their campaign against the terrorist Boko Haram sect, Amnesty International says.

The rights group, in a report released Thursday, said Nigerian security forces have extrajudicially executed, detained without trial or charge and forced the disappearance of hundreds of people accused of links to the Boko Haram sect.

Since July 2009, the Boko Haram Islamic sect have carried out increasingly deadly terror attacks across Northern Nigeria and the capital city, Abuja. Their targets are mainly churches, government establishment, media houses and security agents. The group claimed responsibility for the August 2010 bombing of the United Nation’s headquarters in Abuja.

A rough estimate of the deaths resulting from the group’s attacks is put at over 1500. But the amnesty International said the cycle of attacks and counter attacks has been marked by unlawful violence on both the government and the terrorist group’s side, leading to a devastating human rights abuses on the people trapped in the middle.

The rights group blamed the Nigerian government of failing to adequately prevent or investigate attacks or to bring perpetrators to justice. It also accused the government of neglecting victims.

“People are living in a climate of fear and insecurity, vulnerable to attack from Boko Haram and facing human rights violations at the hands of the very state security forces which should be protecting them,” the group’s secretary general, Salil Shetty said.

Reports of people being shot dead by the army or beaten to death in detention were particularly common in Borno and Yobe states, Amnesty said.

“We are in the middle of two things. If you take a look at your right or you take a look at your left, both of them they are deadly. It is a lose lose situation,” a civil engineer, aged 32 from Maiduguri, whose brother was killed by security forces in June 2012 told Amnesty.

In response, the spokesperson of the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, in Maiduguri, Col Sagir Musa said he could not comment on the issues raised in the report.

He told PREMIUM TIMES he had received the report minutes before we called and can only comment after perusing it.

The Nigerian army spokesman Col SK Usman told the BBC that soldiers were professional and properly trained.

“There is no Nigerian soldier that goes out on the streets to just kill innocent Nigerians,” he said.

“So whatever we do we always make sure it is done within the ambit of the law.”

Amnesty said the report presents its research gathered during five visits to Kano and Borno states and Abuja, the Federal Capital City between February and July 2012. the report also included research gathered during numerous to Nigeria, including to Borno and Bauchi states and FCT, between 2010 and 2011.

The rights groups calls on Nigeria’s government to clarify the truth about incidents linked to Boko Haram, establish accountability for abuses and bring those responsible to justice.

It also calls on Boko haram to cease all activities that result in human rights abuses.

 


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  • NAGODI_1

    JUST TODAY I MADE REFERENCE TO THE FACT THAT SENATOR ZANNA WAS FRAMED BECAUSE HE CALLED A SPADE A SPADE. SOMEONE CLAIMING TO BE A MUSLIM WHO HATES BOKO HARAM SAID IT WAS UNTRUE. THE FACT REMAINS THE FACT.

    IF BOKO HARAM KILL INNOCENT CIVILIANS THAT IS WHAT WE EXPECTED THEY ARE AN IRRATIONAL TERRORIST GROUP. BUT IF THE GOVT OUT TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE END UP EXTORTING MONEY AND ULTIMATELY KILLING THE SAME PEOPLE THEY ARE SENT TO PROTECT, THAT IS SOMETHING ELSE.

    NIGERIANS SHOULD EXPECT MORE VIOLENCE FROM THIS. NO ONE SHOULD FEEL SECURE IF THE CRIMES OF JTF GOES UNPUNISHED. THE REASON IS SIMPLE IF IT HAPPENS IN MAIDUGURI IT WILL HAPPEN EVERYWHERE. A GOOD CASE IN POINT IS WHEN THE CALL WAS MADE TO CHECK THE EXCESSES OF THE ARMY IN ZAKI-BIAM AND UDI. A NORMAL NIGERIAN LIVING IN MAIDUGURI THEN WILL LAUGH AT THE SUGGESTION THAT HE SHOULD RAISE HIS VOICE TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF UDI. NOW IT IS FUNNY FOR HIM.

    THE REALITY IN MAIDUGURI TODAY IS THAT THEY PREFER BOKO HARAM TO THE JTF. IF THE JTF STOPS YOU AT THE CHECK POINT THEY EXTORT MONEY. IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE UNLUCKY THAT A TERRORIST HAS PLANTED A BOMB NEAR YOUR HOUSE, THEN YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE DEAD. PEOPLE KNOW WITH CERTAINTY WHAT THEY WILL DO AND BE KILLED BY BOKO HARAM, BUT THEY HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO BE FREE OF JTF BULLETS. THEY CAN BE PASSERBY ON OR NEAR A SCENE B/H ATTACKS THE JTF AND THEY WILL BE DEAD. THEY COULD BE SITTING IN THEIR ROOMS EATING AND STRAY JTF BULLET WILL HIT AND KILL THEM. THERE IS NO ESCAPE.

    • Amos

      In one fell swoop, you have made the killings by you
      brothers in Boko Haram acceptable to all? They are irrational and as such their
      killings do not matter? Your own irrationality is a case study. Go and tell the
      children who have lost their parents that it does not matter. Tell the wives of
      the slain men that it does not matter because these are the handiwork of
      irrational people. If they agree with you, then there is nothing else to say on
      the matter. The point here is that I think you are talking through your anus.
      The very fact that there are irrational people carrying guns in the North and
      aiming them firmly at Christians does not bother you. Why should it? After all
      they are infidels in your books.

      Rather, the response to these attacks is bothering you
      because it is affecting the so called innocents. But tell us, who are these
      innocents? The one with is AK47 leaning against the wall while he writes crap
      on the internet? The one who has just managed to hide his IED in the garden
      before a search of his property? Or is it the one who is waiting for the next
      attack of the dastardly sect with a ready prepared defense of their actions? We
      know your type and no amount of bull crap from you is going to impact on the
      pursuit of the members of this criminal gang.

      • NAGODI_1

        CALM DOWN, TRY TO READ THE AMNESTY REPORT. ITS ON THEIR WEBSITE IT TAKES ABOUT 5 SECONDS TO DOWNLOAD. I KNOW ITS DIFFICULT BUT YOU HAVE TO TRY TO READ PLS. THERE IS A POPULAR SAYING AMONG WHITE PEOPLE THAT GOES; IF YOU WANT TO HIDE SOMETHING FROM A BLACKMAN, PUT IT IN A BOOK! READ, PLS DONT PROVE THEM RIGHT!

        • Easy

          F*ck Amnesty International. All I know is that there are
          people roaming the streets in Northern Nigeria with their AK47s and IEDs,
          seeking out Christians for slaughter. The Army is trying to contain the carnage
          and restore order. If we did not have a genocidal Islamic sect killing with
          reckless abandon, the Army will be in their barracks.

  • igbiki

    The Nigrian army spokesman must have his head examined, for not keeping quiet when he has nothing to say.

    “that soldiers were professional and properly trained”. To kill, I am sorry to say. Maybe he hasn’t seen the viral videos on the internet, of Nigeria security forces shooting un-armed people who are either sitting or lying on the ground.

    “There is no Nigerian soldier that goes out on the streets to just kill innocent Nigerians,” In light of the internet videos, tell me what the soldiers are out on the street to do, if not to just kill people?

    • You should have your head examined too. Will Ross, the BBC reporter interviewed me yesterday and what we discussed was 1 Division Nigerian Army covering mostly Northwest. And if there is any human right abuse or extra-judicial killing by troops of the Nigerian Army in this area please let me know. I stand by that because it is the truth. Col SK Usman.

      • igbiki

        Dear Col Usman, how many Nigerian Armies do we have in Nigeria today? I believe the people shooting un-armed people on the internet are Nigeria security forces. Talking about 1st or last division is begging the question.

        There is no where in the world where on duty security personnel are allowed to take alcohol or drugs. But Nigerian military personel are known to indulge in drinking of kai kai (local schnapps) and smoking of marijuana whike on duty. No amount of training will condition some one who is under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

        Nigeria might have well trained and professional officers because they are mostly educated and enlightened, but the rank and file are mostly illitrates, ill-trained and lawless. Armies anywhere in the world are trained to kill and are not suited for policing duties no matter how well trained. The earlier we accept that the better.

        No profesional soldier or policeman will see a mob trying to kill some one or people attacking a school for ours and kiiling students in their area of operation and decides to do nothing.

        Nigeria needs to retrain its policemen and employ more if needed, take its soldiers to foriegn wars or to the barracks where they belong. Basta.

        • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

          stop shocking Usman. He runs a kill and go army.

          • I still insist that we are well trained, professional and law abiding soldiers not ‘kill and go’ as you alluded. Have a nice day. Thank you.

        • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

          stop shocking Usman. he runs a Kill and Go army.

          • NAGODI_1

            I CONCURR, THE ARMY HAS NO PLACE IN A CIVILIAN ENVIRONMENT. THEY ARE NOT TRAINED FOR THAT, ITS POLICE DUTY. ANY ONE CAN SEE THAT THE BATTLE AGAINST THE BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY IS AN INTELLIGENCE BATTLE NOT A BATTLE OF ARMS.

        • Igbiki good morning & thank you for your enlightened reply. The distinction matters. I am glad that you also appreciate the fact that it was due to the inability of the police to cope the military was called in. I am not in support of any misconduct by anaybody let alone soldiers. At the same time people should be wary of sweeping generalizations & allegation. A case in point is your opening statement in earlier posting that I should have my head examined and the recent one alleging that soldiers that soldiers smoke hemp & drink Kaikai etc, this is not fair at all. I can tell you that these foreign international agencies have their agendas & plans, take for instance my interview with Ross that was specifically on Kaduna State, but he used it to suit his purpose. Again, I can give you several instance of fake or juxtaposed videos in circulation just to cause panic or cheap political goals. I can recall Showore of SR calling me by 2am one day alleging that KD was on fire. Even yesterday there rumours that 4 soldiers were shot dead. What I want to say is that most of the allegations were not true & you ask yourself why are people doing all these? All the same, thank you and I hope you will continue to help us to serve the nation better. Thank you.

          • NAGODI_1

            S.K. USMAN, THIS IS WHAT MOST NIGERIANS FIND DIFFICULT TO ACCEPT GIVEN NUMEROUS REPORTS AND VIDEO EVIDENCE OF ABUSE BY THE JTF. NIGERIANS ARE DEMORALISED EACH TIME THEY HEAR PEOPLE OF YOUR STANDING COMING OUT TO SAY OUTRIGHT THAT THERE IS NO ABUSE. WHAT WE EXPECT FROM THOSE THAT LEAD THIS OPERATION IS SERIOUS CONCERN WHEN REPORTS ARE RECEIVED OF ABUSE, FOLLOWED BY ACTION THAT PEOPLE CAN SEE, AND KNOW THAT ACTION WILL FOLLOW IF THERE IS ABUSE OR ALLEGATION OF ABUSE.

            I READ THE AMNESTY REPORT AND THERE ARE SPECIFIC ALLEGATIONS BACKED UP BY WITNESS REPORTS, DOCUMENTATIONS INCLUDING THAT OF THE FEDERAL GOVT OF NIGERIA ALL SHOWING ABUSE! WHAT ONE SHOULD EXPECT FROM YOU IS A ONE BY ONE DEBUNKING OF SUCH REPORTS NOT A GENERALISED DENIAL.
            THE ARMY IS ASKED TO DO A JOB IT IS NOT TRAINED FOR, BUT THAT STILL DOES NOT GIVE THE ARMY LICENCE TO COMMIT ABUSES.

          • igbiki

            Dear Sir, I do appriciate your time and your insights. You are prompt, concise and proactive to issues relating to the Army and it rubs off well on Nigeria’s image. Its not that way in the other Government’s arms and agencies where there is always information blackout, when information is actually needed.

            If all the so-called Nigerian stakeholders especially our politicians take time-out to answer and reply to inquiries, misgivings and questions relating to their work, Nigeria wouldn’t be in the sorry state that it finds its self now.

            You are a better spin doctor and highly appriciated, at least by me, more than the trio of Okupe, Wiwa and Abati combined.

            Keep it up and thanks once again, Sir.

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    If we had started complaining about JTF excesses when they were killing people in Ogoniland in early 1990s, may be we could have reached somewhere by now and fashion a decent code of conduct for them.This was the same JTF, a northern member of house of reps said on the floor of the house in 2009, that they are free to kill 2 million Nigerians in Niger Delta. Yaradua and hausa elites never condemned him. The same JTF impunity they have unleashed on Niger Delta since 1990 has graduated into full ‘Kill and Go’ death squad. Your chickens are coming home to roost. Enjoy. If you need survival kits, ask Ghanka,Odi, Choba, Kaiama and Gbaramatu. They have been there. It goes around.

    • NAGODI_1

      EXCELLENT! AT LEAST YOU HAVE NO WAY TO RUN FROM THE TRUTH. YOU CANT CLOSE DOWN PREMUIMTIMES LIKE THEY DID TO BAYELSA TV STATION FOR SOME INVITED GUESTS SAYING THE TRUTH.

    • bono

      Were these fake human rights crusaders when boko haram was killing people in churches and planting bombs around the waist of 10yrs old toddlers in the fulani North-where was their voices when Odi, Ayakoroma was bombed-only animals with human voice would have sympathy for the cannibals in boko haram-led by buhari

  • Innocent

    The conduct of security officer is one thing I doubt Nigeria will get right soon. It is psychological and would much more difficult to deal with. I am sure Jona would read this report and lol.

  • Realist

    And what does Amnesty International have to say about the Christians who were murdered while worshipping in the church as a matter of routine?
    Have the researchers of Amnesty International seen photographs of women, children and other slaughtered? What is their reaction to that?

    • NAGODI_1

      READ THE REPORT ITS ALL IN THERE.

  • erol brown

    If the Nigerian army carried out human right abuses,then what did the Boko Haram do?.When christians are killed their churches/homes,no northerner/muslim talks,when non northerners and security men are killed by Boko Haram,our fake and baised human right/left groups keeps quiet.So we now understand that it is only Boko haram that has right to kill innocent Nigerians in the name of moslem/Islam.Enough of these lies and nonsense against the Nigerian army.

  • ayoyo

    This is one of the reasons why liberals are loosing election in USA