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The statement credited to Amnesty International (AI) on the 10th of June, 2024, on the alleged treatment meted to Nigerian girls who had escaped from Boko Haram and the ones captured by the Nigerian Armed Forces to safety in order to reintegrated them to their communities is false, unethical, unprofessional, worrisome and cannot stand the test of time.

Infact, the aspersions cast by AI on these efforts by the Nigerian military with the recent report accusing the Nigerian military of illegally detaining the girls and young women who had escaped from Boko Haram captivity because the military believes they supported the Islamist insurgent group should be trashed as lies from the pit of hell orchestrated by AI to smear the hard-earned reputation of the Nigerian Armed Forces once more in their usual tradition.

The AI report as captioned ‘Help us build our lives’ stated that the Nigerian government has failed to uphold their human rights obligations to protect and adequately support these girls and young women. It accused the Nigerian military of detaining and abusing female survivors of Boko Haram in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without access to medical care or legal representation.

The report also highlighted the abuses and violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed by Boko Haram and the Nigeria authorities. It highlighted the unique experiences of girls and young women who were forced to marry, subjected to sexual violence and domestic servitude.

After critically examining the contents of the Report by AI and its antecedence over the decades against the Nigerian state and military, the Guild of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Equity, Justice and Transparency in Nigeria (GOCMEJ) is compelled to issue the following statement.

That since the present leadership took over the mantle of the Nigerian Armed Forces (NAF) headed by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Christopher Musa, the military image has blossomed on a positive trajectory, a narrative both local and internationally due to their stomping all over the country, the new sense of urgency, direction, patriotism, transparency, rules of engagement that was brought into the fight by the new leadership. The enormous improvement in military accoutrements such as equipment, gadgets, ICT infrastructure, fire power and the overall capabilities, the exotic names given to military operations/exercises all over the country, the string of successes recorded by various military formations and commands culminating in the recapture of the Boko Haram elements, bandits leaders and criminal elements has diminished their fighting ability and power all helped to turn around the image of the Nigeria military across the globe.

Since 2023, Nigerians and indeed the international community have given a pat on the back to the Nigeria’s military for their national sacrifice to keep the country in unity and peace in spite of the daunting challenges faced not only at the war front but in also reducing criminality across the length and breadth of the country.

However, one major factor that has held the Nigerian military force down in spite of their enormous efforts to defend her territorial integrity and safe guard the lives and property of Nigerians is the negative narrative of the amnesty international that have pervaded Africa since the last decade of which Nigeria is not an exception due to its negative framing and consistent bias reportage. Unfortunately, AI has failed to acknowledge in its report the on-going fair trial and conviction of culpable members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect and the release of those not found guilty. The number of persons released, re-oriented, de-radicalized and re-integrated with the larger community which is running into millions to date and they are accommodated in a place relatively safer with enough space while providing the detainees with social amenities and three square meals daily has also been left out of the report.

The AI report on the 10th of June, 2024, according to fact finding mission and pool conducted by Nigerians is a systematic campaign of calumny against the Nigerian military and a calculated narrative that have kept even the best of cynics astounded including the international community. “This could be corroborated by inherent lopsidedness in AI’s portrayal of Nigeria, its involvement in local politics and taking side with terrorists and other belligerent groups, to cause internal disorder, which no country can tolerate. The Guild therefore reiterates that the military in this new dispensation has maintained an open-door policy and has been cooperating with all stakeholders in ensuring that the Nigerian armed forces remain one of the best and a proud institution for all Nigerians”. For AI to be making spurious allegations, especially without been substantiated and cogent reasons given, apart from those adduced by the AI itself for the reason best known to it and its collaborators is disturbing and unethical of an international organization that is supposed to stay clear of local politics and to be seen as maintaining neutrality in its reportage of the countries it operates.

Emphasizing that “incessant negative report on Nigeria in general and the armed forces in particular by AI in condemnable by all well-meaning Nigerians who have seen and appreciate what the military and other security agencies have done to decimate Boko Haram terrorists and contain other criminal elements.

“As much as the military welcomes comments, criticism and observation that could help the institution to grow higher for the interest of our nation, the activities of the AI to say the least, is far from being noble, AI has negative mission in Nigeria”, the Guild asserted.

The military has operated within the strict guidance of the rules of engagement and the code of conduct for troops, according to the GOCMEJ, what needs to be clear is that we have observed a consistent attack pattern on the institutions charged with the mandate to protect the nation against every form of insecurity. The AI has consistently with other agents worked against our nationhood, tried fruitlessly to incite the populace against the military through various malicious publications in the past and “In spite of their distractions, Nigeria has forged ahead and decimated Boko Haram and the military has worked assiduously to improve on its civil-military relations, the result of which is manifest in the unparalleled support, accolades and encouragement received from Nigerians today”. It is appalling that “this position seems to have disappointed AI and their allies, adding that, it is sad that when our national security institutions are gaining traction, these agents after fabricating their reports, sits back and push Nigerians to make the reports known to the public to give it a national colour of some sort”. It is very despicable indeed.

Nigerians must rise up and stand against this subtle and increasing national framing and reportage, for we all have a role to play in this direction. “Our national Institutions must be strengthened, it is our responsibility to do so, no one can love Nigeria better than Nigerians, we only ask the media, to shine their eyes”.

Consequently, after our investigations, we found that the Defence Headquarters have made concerted efforts for years to reach out to AI but all to no avail. The deliberate falsehood peddled by AI could cast the nation and its security apparatus in bad light. The frequent accusations and counter accusation of the military by the human rights body, is becoming appalling and worrisome and Nigerians are beginning to think that AI has an axe to grind or has clandestine plots against the military class. Amnesty International does at mean well for Nigeria going by their previous antecedents and reputation of denigrating the armed forces anytime they make gain against the forces of evil to incite the Nigerian public and international community against the military.

The Guild is emphatic and reiterates for the upteempt time, that the Nigerian people looks at the AI as an organization established to embark on an orchestrated campaign of calumny against the Nigeria military and undermine the laudable achievements against insurgents which have formed the narratives over time, that have happened over the years. Nevertheless, looking at some of the critical allegations of AI on most of the nationalistic operations carried-out by the military, it seems that the AI are not interested in a united and indivisible nation like ours, but are out to denigrate the institution of the military and stop the funding by the western nations knowing full well that the same report from AI had stopped the funding during the Obama’s era.

Nigeria has suffered greatly over the decade based on AI reports on human rights violations and others including the initial refusal of America and its allies to sell critical military weapons to the country to fight the insurgency few years ago. As the AI has advertised itself more as aligning into the agenda of non-state actors, than the interest in protecting the dignity, rights and the rule of law, of law-abiding citizens in a country that has accorded them so much hospitality and respect.

Analysts, pundits and discerning Nigerians posit that protecting the human rights of Nigerians has been the signpost of the Nigerian military in all its operations. The brash and crude force applied by the military soldiers in internal assignments have been replaced with amiable, friendliness with host communities which has brought to the fore the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the military to its host communities in critical areas of needs and operations. The Nigerian military have followed international best practices and rules of engagement during war as the military is determined at sustaining its constitutional mandate of defending the territorial integrity of the nation, as well as, commitment to aid the civil authority to bring about peace and security of the country. Therefore, the 10th June, 2024, report of AI should be disparaged, condemned, discountenanced and dismissed by well-meaning Nigerians as’ lies from the pit of hell’ and a propaganda tool to frame reportage against our national institution.

We therefore call on the military hierarchy not to be distracted by the AI’s report but to remain steadfast and focused on its constitutional assigned mandate and the Guild therefore, overwhelmingly, Pass a Vote of Confidence on the leadership of the Nigerian Armed Forces (NAF),for it’s repositioning and rebranding efforts in making the Nigerian Armed Forces 21st century compliant.

The Guild further maintained that the several commentaries against the Nigerian military are unnecessary, distractive, unfair and doesn’t represent the true disclosure on re-orientation, de-radicalization and re-integration of Boko Haram inmates and estranged wives/captives. The amnesty report smacks of bias and is capable of undermining the results from the hard-fought war by the military against insurgents, demoralizing the Nigerian Armed Forces personnel in the performance of their constitutional mandate.


Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele


Guild of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Equity, Justice and Transparency in Nigeria (GOCMEJ) exist

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