Buhari made this accusation through his spokesmen, Garba Shehu, while reacting to a request by Amnesty International to probe “missing” IPOB members and #EndSARS protesters.
Amnesty had in its latest report accused the Nigerian security operatives of harassing government’s critics and unfairly killing and arresting members of IPOB.
The human rights organization had also alleged that at least 200 members of IPOB, #EndSARS protesters, and former militants from Niger Delta have been subjected to “unresolved enforced disappearances”.
Buhari Slams Amnesty For Defending IPOB
Reacting in a statement on Wednesday titled: “Why Amnesty entreaties should be ignored”, Buhari accused Amnesty International of taking side with terrorists, before the liberty of those they injure, displace and murder”.
Buhari alleged that IPOB has amassed a “substantial stockpile” of weapons and bombs after killing Nigerian citizens, police officers, military personnel and setting government property on fire.
The Presidency described Amnesty’s allegations as “mere rants”, insisting that it will continue to fight terrorism with all the means at its disposal, no matter the criticism it faces for doing so.
“Amnesty International’s latest salvo at Nigeria is but more of the same. Again, they have decided to side with terrorists, before the liberty of those they injure, displace and murder.
“Speaking the language of universal human rights, Amnesty International deploys it only in defence – even outright promotion – of those that violently oppose the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Parroting the line of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, a proscribed terror organisation, they work to legitimise its cause to Western audiences.
“This puts them in bad company. Controversial American lobbyists are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to do the same, laundering IPOB’s reputation in Washington DC.
IPOB Has Stockpile Of Weapons, Bombs – Buhari
Buhari accused the IPOB of stockpiling weapons after killing security agents and setting government facilities in the Southeast ablaze.
“IPOB murder Nigerian citizens. They kill police officers and military personnel and set government property on fire.
“Now, they have amassed a substantial stockpile of weapons and bombs across the country. Were this group in a western country, you would not expect to hear Amnesty’s full-throated defence of their actions.
“Instead, there would be silence or mealy-mouthed justification of western governments’ action to check the spread of ‘terrorism’, the statement read in part.
Amnesty International Playing Local Politics In Nigeria
The presidency also accused Amnesty International of playing local politics in Nigeria, adding that the organization has no legal right to exist in Nigeria and advised it to probe its personnel in Nigeria.
“Despite Amnesty’s self-proclaimed mandate to impartially transcend borders, unfortunately in Nigeria they play only domestic politics,” he said.
“The international NGO is being used as cover for the organisation’s local leaders to pursue their self-interests. Regrettably, this is not uncommon in Africa. There is nothing wrong with an activist stance; there are claims of neutrality, when all facts point to the opposite.”
“They should reject the outrageously tendentious misinformation they receive and bring some semblance of due diligence to the sources they base their claims on. Currently, we see none.
“The Nigerian government will fight terrorism with all the means at its disposal. We will ignore Amnesty’s rantings. Especially when it comes from an organisation that does not hold itself to the same standards it demands of others,’’ he stated.
KanyiDaily recalls that Buhari had declared that IPOB are not freedom fighters, but thieves who are committing acts of terrorism by attacking police stations and property to steal money.