October 23, 20114 – President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday declared that reports of human rights violations in Nigeria by the military are in the main exaggerated.
The President who spoke at the International workshop on civil-military cooperation said government is doing everything within its powers to protect rights of citizens.
“We have taken very seriously, reports from some international organisations about perceived human rights abuses by our security forces during military operations. Findings, have generally shown that these reports are, in the main, exaggerated.
“ However, we will do everything in our powers to ensure that the rights of our citizens as enshrined in our constitution are respected. We want to appeal to the human rights community for broader cooperation, and deeper understanding of the circumstances that we face and for greater appreciation of the efforts put in place for improved civil-military relationship, as exemplified by this workshop”, the President said, adding that the commitment of Nigeria continue to investigate and bring to a just and fair closure, any suspected or reported case of human rights abuse shall go on unhindered.
He said that those making the allegations have been called upon to bring in their soldiers to join in the fight against insurgents but that they have failed to bring in their men.
He said the Nigeria Military and security forces have had a long history of involvement in internal security operations globally, noting that the current spate of insurgency throws up fresh and distinct challenges for the security forces.
“Today’s counter insurgency operations represent complex and unpredictable battles against enemies, often concealed within civilian populations. It is therefore logical that the support of the populace is critical to the success of these security operations.
“Counter insurgency operations in most countries facing challenges of terrorism, call for extensive cooperation between the civilian populace and the security agencies. Therefore, improving on Civil-Military Cooperation must be a matter of priority and urgency, for the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies, for enhanced humane security operations towards the attainment of national and international security objectives”, he said.