By Caleb Ayansina, Vanguard under heading “Amnesty International: Nigerians in peaceful protest against AI report.”
ABUJA – A CIVIL Group *** on Monday morning trooped to the streets of Abuja in a peaceful protest against the Amnesty International (AI) report against the Nigerian Military, describing it as vindictive, lacking in merit and an international conspiracy against the people of Nigeria.
The protest, which started around 9am from the Catholic church close to AYA junction down to the United Nations office in Abuja, according to the group, was to register its displeasure against AI report which discredited ‘our military’.
The AI report tagged: “Stars on their Shoulders, Blood on their Hands” had alleged extra judicial killing and human right abuses by the Nigerian Military in the ongoing war against Boko Haram in the northern part of the country, recommending top military officers, serving and retired for trial in International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes.
The President of the Coalition of Civil Society Group (CCSG), EtukBassey Williams, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, told newsmen that most of the information in the AI report was largely false to satisfy a clandestine motive.
He alleged that the AI was commissioned by “some Muslim elites in the north, who are sympathetic to the Boko Haram cause” to sabotage the county’s efforts against insurgency.
Williams disclosed that they were in UN office to submit their stance to the UN Secretary General, Ban-ki-moon, demanding apology from AI while passing vote of confidence on the Nigerian Troops.
He maintained that Nigerians could not be pinched against their military through ‘cheap blackmail’, wondering why AI refused to focus its activities on Boko Haram and their sponsors, saying “AI should not play politics with terrorism, but be objective, meticulous and holistic in their assessment and investigations.
Continuing, he said; “Enough is enough! This is political witch-hunting, AI should be stopped. At this point, we are calling on UN secretary to call Amnesty International to order.
“The report of AI is political, inhuman and international conspiracy against the Nigerian Military and the people of Nigeria.
“AI should leave the Nigerian military alone with the good work they are doing against the Boko Haram. Since the Military started this war no international support, why should they (AI) come now and victimizing our military?
“We pass a vote of confidence on the Nigerian Military and also call on AI to withdraw that petition against the Nigeria Military in the International Criminal Court (ICC).”
Related: Etuk Bassey Williams tried to stop us from protesting yesterday on the killing of some 17 Nigerians by the Ministry of Interior [read Defenders of Nigerian Criminals Appear At #NIStragedy Protest ]. It is now clear that Etuk Bassey Williams definitely makes a living from defending criminals and murderers.
READ this report from Daily Trust Abdulwasiu Hassan written February, 2013
“A group that calls itself ‘The Pensioners’ Children’ yesterday staged a protest against what it called the persecution of the chairman of the pension task force, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, by the Senate.
The protesters, carrying placards that read: “Pensioners’ children support Maina,” “Senate, don’t crucify Maina because he has done well,” “Chairman PRTT deserve merit Award instead of condemnation,” marched from the Eagle Square to the first entrance of the National Assembly complex.
The leader of the group, Etuk Bassey Williams, wondered why the Senate was ‘fixated’ on an individual like Maina when there are several important issues it needs to focus on.
While claiming that Mr Maina was being persecuted for exposing corruption in the sector, Williams challenged the Senate to bring out anything they have against him so that the public can know if he is really guilty of any crime.
The fliers distributed by the protesters read in part “That the Senate’s claim of 159bn misappropriated by Alhaji Maina is not true, and that the said misappropriation was observed in 2004-2010 before appointment of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina in 2011,” adding “that the claim that Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina kept the recovered pension money in his private account is fictitious and also a blackmail.” Read more
While collecting the letter from the coalition for onward submission to the UN Secretary General, Ban-ki-moon, the UN official , who preferred anonymity said they would ensure that the report is delivered timely to the appropriate authority.
“We are not suppose to react to this, ours is to collect and submit to the UN Secretary General,” the official told reporters who asked him for reaction.