Protesters want Amnesty International to leave Nigeria

Protesters occupy Amnesty International office

A group of protesters on Monday barricaded the Abuja office of Amnesty International and asked the international organisation to quit Nigeria within 24 hours.

Speaking for the protesters, Melvin Ejeh warned that the group would lead other Nigerians on a five-day Occupy Amnesty International protest as a first warning, if the organisation does not shut down its operations and leave Nigeria in the next 24 hours.

“Let us warn at this point that there will be no interval of respite if AI failed to leave Nigeria at the end of the five days as we will activate other more profound options to make them the organization leave Nigeria”, Mr. Ejeh, who is Executive Director, Global Peace and Rescue Initiative, GOPRI, said.

He called on Nigerians to “join the movement to get this evil out of our land before it plunges us into real war.”

Mr. Ojeh said organisations like the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, and the Global Amnesty Watch had condemned a recent report by AI which alleged human rights abuses by Nigerian security agencies against arrested Boko Haram suspects.

He accused AI of having ulterior motives.

“Previous calls by concerned groups for the government to kick Amnesty International out of Nigeria for the safety of citizens have gone unheeded. Unfortunately, if this organisation is allowed to continue carrying out its atrocities here it will destabilise Nigeria.

“Unlike our leaders, most of us do not have the resources to relocate our loved ones to other lands if Amnesty International succeeds in ruining this nation.

“Like the victims of AI’s operation in the Middle-East, we would be left without a country and we would not be welcomed in other nations. We will become mere footnotes in its next annual report since it stops showing interest in places it has successfully destroyed.”

Amnesty International in its report alleged human rights abuses by Nigerian security agencies in the war against Boko Haram and in quelling protests in other parts of Nigeria.

The organisation’s latest reports stated that 240 people, including infants, died in a military detention centre in Borno in 2016, while 177 pro-Biafran agitators were extra-judicially killed in the same year.

However, the military denied the claims contained in the report, saying “they were contrived lies orchestrated to blackmail and ridicule the Nigerian Armed Forces.”

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