The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday in Maiduguri, Borno State, commissioned a new office building for handling cases of human right abuses by soldiers.
The office is located within the Brigadier General Maimalari barracks where the headquarters of the Operation Lafiya Dole is located.
The human rights office is amongst other projects that were executed by the army through its direct labour initiative.
The army had in February 2016 announced the setting up of a human rights desk at its headquarters where issues of alleged rights abuses by soldiers during any military operations could be handled.
The need for such desk came up amidst wild accusations that soldiers prosecuting the Boko Haram war in the North-east have engaged in several cases of human right abuses.
Civic rights groups like Amnesty International have been relentless in exposure of human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by Nigerian soldiers in the country’s war against Boko Haram and the military’s ruthlessness in quelling protests in other parts of Nigeria.
The organisation’s reports stated that 240 people including infants died in a dreaded military detention centre in Borno in 2016 while 177 pro-Biafran agitators were extra-judicially killed same year.
But the military described the claims in the said report as a continuation of AI’s “series of spurious fabrications aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Nigerian military.”
Commissioning the building projects which also comprise the Corporal and Below Quarters, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers Quarters, Single Officers’ Quarters, Married Officers’ Quarters and a Hospital Ward, the Army chief said the initiative was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts towards addressing the acute shortage of accommodation in the Nigerian Army, in order to boost the morale of troops as they strive to surmount the daunting security challenges in the North-east.
He said the projects “are meant to provide decent living accommodation for officers and soldiers and their families as well as conducive office environment to execute your tasks efficiently.”
He urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the facilities while remaining focused in their tasks to consolidate the army’s achievements in the country so far.
“The Nigerian Army under my direction will continue to provide you with the requisite welfare and logistics to enhance your efficiency in the discharge of your constitutional responsibilities.
“I wish to reiterate here that the execution of these projects could not have been possible without the support of the federal government which has remained fully committed to the provision of welfare and logistics support for the Nigerian Army to perform its roles professionally. I therefore urge you to remain loyal and be reassured of the unflinching support of the President, Commander-in-Chief and the entire nation.”
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...