The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr Clement Aduku, wondering why the report failed to condemn the atrocities committed by terrorist groups in Nigeria, and why Amnesty did not deem it fit and proper, in line with best practices, to subject its report process to wide consultations and in-depth engagement.
“Such omission made the scenario captured in the report itself to totally lack conformity to both local and international standards,” government said.
He stated that the AI should be aware that Nigeria was a law-abiding state governed by democratic norms enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“The federal government does not, and will not condone, the brazen and needless display of lack of regard for constituted authority by any unlawful groups.
“Accordingly, no persons or group of persons will be allowed to destabilize the peace, stability and security, or jeopardize the unity and sovereign existence of Nigeria
“No matter how highly placed and the level of external support such individuals or group of persons enjoy,” he warned.
The ministry noted that where terrorists have unleashed their dastardly acts, legal means and measures are usually deployed by affected countries to counter violent extremism.
Nigeria should therefore, not be unduly pressured or pilloried for taking similar measures in defence of its national security, he said.
“Even if AI does not deem it fit to report on the atrocities committed by violent groups, the government of Nigeria will ensure that the culprits are brought to book,” it stated.
Citing the case of the Shitte leader in Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, which AI pronounced on, government said: “The conduct of the El-Zakzaky movement is one that cannot be tolerated by any progressive democratic government.
“The AI, in dabbling into Nigeria's legal and judicial system, did not give due credence to the Federal Government's appeal filed against the decision of the lower court for El-Zakzaky to be released.”
The ministry also reiterated that the agitation for a sovereign State of Biafra was unacceptable and detrimental to the peace, unity, stability and development of the Nigerian State adding that the scenario captured and the report itself lacked conformity to both local and international standards on evidence gathering.
“Nonetheless, if any security personnel are found to have flouted the rules of engagement, or acted unprofessionally, such officers would be punished in accordance with the provisions of the law.
“Nigeria remains committed to the freedom of expression and association, peaceful assembly and protest within the confines of the law,” it stated.
It stated that the right of Nigerian and culture must be respected on the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTI).
“On LGBTI, the inviolability of the enactment of the National Assembly and the sovereign right of Nigerians expressed through their religious-cum-ethical values and cultural rights must be respected by all,” he stated.
The Ministry reminded AI and all other human rights groups, that the victims of the despicable activities of terrorist groups deserve sympathy from all, including national and international non-governmental human rights groups.