The Federal Government on Thursday called on Amnesty International to stop attacking its military military personnel and casting them as “the bad guys” while they prosecute the war against terrorists.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call at a press conference in Abuja.
Mohammed was reacting to a recent report by Amnesty International that the that the military burnt some villages and displaced residents.
The minister said although he was aware that the Defence Headquarters has responded appropriately to the accusation, he will like to set the record straight.
He said: The military denied razing down villages and detaining locals unlawfully; that it does not employ arson as an operational tactic; and that looting and burning of villages is the style of Boko Haram terrorists.
“I will like to add that in carrying out their duties, Amnesty International should not cast themselves in the league of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists. They should stop the growing practice of constantly attacking the military and casting them as the bad guys when all they are doing is putting their lives on the line to fight terrorists who have no respect for the sanctity of life, who willfully go after women and children, who attack houses of worship without respect or allegiance to any religion.
“Amnesty International should stop providing succour for terrorists by attributing their atrocities to our troops. Our soldiers, who are defending the country, are guided by extant rules of engagement and operational codes of conduct. They should not be made to look like the aggressors here.
“I am aware that the Federal Government has always taken seriously any allegation of rights violation by soldiers or other security forces. Investigations have been carried out and culprits, if any, punished.
“And it is a continuous process.”