Former military president, General Yakubu Gowon, has denounced claims by Amnesty International that the Nigerian security forces committed crimes against humanity in their fight against insurgents.
Speaking at a book launch in Abuja, yesterday, June 30, the former military head of state said the reports from Amnesty International is misleading.
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Gowon, rather, lauded the military, stressing that support for them in the counter-terrorism fight will ensure the military restores safety and peace in Nigeria.
Speaking further, he eulogised Major Gen. Olukolade, for his role as the spokesman of the Nigerian military.
The former military head of state maintained that if any faction was to be condemned, then it should be the Boko Haram sect, and not the Nigerian military.
Speaking through Evangelist Austin Kemie, Gowon said:
“The [Amnesty International’s] report was most unfair and misleading; they were alluding to the Nigerian military what the Boko Haram was doing against the Nigerian public – military and civilians alike.
“It is Boko Haram that has been committing atrocities and horrendous, mindless killings of innocent citizens and security personnel. It is Boko Haram that must be condemned, not the Nigerian armed forces.
“I therefore congratulate you on the publication of these two books which tells the Nigerian public and the world at large, the truth about the Nigerian military,” the statement read.
A number of prominent figures, who were in attendance at the book launch included Professor Jerry Gana and General Abdusalam Abubakar, amongst others.
Earlier, the Amnesty report alleged that in the course of Nigeria’s war against the Islamic Terrorist sect, Boko Haram, at least 7,000 people were said to have died in government detention owing to brutal conditions; with an additional 1,200 extra-judicially executed by Nigerian security forces. Also, a total of 20,000 have been “arbitrarily arrested” by the authorities.
The Nigerian army has, however, dismissed the claims by Amnesty International as untrue. It also alleges that the report of the human right body is full of inconsistencies.