RECEPTION / CALL QUALITY
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Army restates pledge to respect human rights
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called for probe of alleged extralegal killings of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) shortly before it was proscribed.
The group condemned the silence by officials of the current administration on the alleged human rights violations committed by officers of the Nigerian Army during the month-long Operation Python Dance II in the South East.
In a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, to mark this year’s International Human Rights Day, HURIWA lamented that the presidency and the National Assembly failed to investigate the clampdown on the IPOB which at the time was not proscribed. The group said Mr. President must tell Nigerians the whereabouts of the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, after his home was invaded by security forces.
“We use this auspicious occasion of the World’s Human Rights Day to call on the Federal Government to dismantle the notorious police roadblocks in the South East which are used to extort commercial drivers. We condemn this military and police occupation of the South East.”
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. pledged the army’s commitment to respecting the rights of citizens.
He said the army firmly believed that human rights constituted an essential component of military operations, and would protect and advance the rights and fundamental freedoms of Nigerians.
Buratai, in a statement signed by him in Abuja yesterday, said this year’s human rights day was commemorated at the time when the Nigerian Army was being increasingly called upon to intervene in a number of security challenges facing Nigeria, particularly the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East.
“The Nigerian Army has itself suffered tragic human loss as a result of violent terrorists acts. Terrorism clearly has a very real and direct impact on human rights, with devastating consequences for the enjoyment of the right to life, liberty and physical integrity of victims.
“The human and economic cost of these acts of terrorism and insurgency has been felt in virtually every corner of Nigeria. In addition to individual costs, these acts of terrorism jeopardize peace and security in a number of states and threaten social and economic development.”
On the rules of engagement and code of conduct, Buratai said the army would adopt measures to ensure respect for human rights as the fundamental basis of the army’s civil military relationship.