The Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria has called on the Nigeria Army to leave a human right body, Amnesty International alone.
The group in a statement issued on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 by its spokesman, Ibrahim Musa said the recent statement issued by army spokesman, Col S.K Usman Kuka Sheka, condemning the Amnesty International over its report on the December 2015 incident.
Shiites said Army accused Human Right Watch of being biased, hasty and intruding into the internal affairs of Nigeria, among others, without providing any proofs to counter those that informed Amnesty's report.
“Not long after that a mushroom group sprang up casting aspersions on the person of the country Director of Amnesty International, Ambassador M.K. Ibrahim. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) believes that what the Army ought to do is to discuss issues and not personalities. They should have addressed the facts Amnesty Report brought forward using rigorous methodology and meticulous attention to details.”
“They should be addressing the scores of pages containing proofs obtained after an extensive field investigation, which also contain pictures and satellite images. Thus instead of the Army to use superlatives in describing what Amnesty International is not, it should have disputed the incontrovertible facts brandished by the organization to the world espousing the enormity of the war crimes of the Army,” the group said.
While the Nigerian Army labels the Amnesty Report that took months to be prepared as being hasty, Shiites said it forgot that its own attempt to hide its crime and cover its tracks was more appropriate to be so labeled.
“Its warped logic would not let them realize that it was dishing out baseless allegations against the IMN without proofs or awaiting the JCI to conclude its work. Probably that is why the Army in the said press released. Nothing was mentioned on the rebellious attitude and the violations of human rights by the IMN. Neither did they [Amnesty] bother to ask why the IMN attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff. If they saw no wrong in maligning IMN without proofs, why should they be irked by solid facts brought up by the internationally acclaimed Rights group,” the group said.
The group said by now, the army should be able to tell the Nigerian public how many civilians it murdered in Zaria.
“From the highest ranking officer, COAS to the Major who appeared before the Kaduna state judicial commission, they were all incoherent in their testimonies of how many they gunned down in December. If they don’t have skeletons in their cupboards, why is the army economical with the truth? Information of great importance to Nigerians is the question of whether the army was involved in a mass grave as elucidated by Kaduna state government.”
“This is a straightforward question, which the army is not doing itself good by shying away from. The army should have addressed this issue, but as usual with those accused of crime against humanity, it rather chose not to talk about that. Even the officers who appeared before the judicial commission in Kaduna were just quibbling,” the statement added.
“The IMN strongly believes the army should not be engaged in justifying the unjustifiable, paying huge sums of money in propaganda involving unknown NGO’s, bereft of credibility and hired integrity-challenged journalists. It should rather realize that a secular national army is supposed to be for all Nigerians and should not be acting the script of Saudi Wahabbis against Shia Islam. We also advice the Army as did the AI to focus on coming clean on this one and own up to its crime here and at The Hague.”