Amnesty International (AI) has revealed that it is investigating the clash in Umuahia, Abia State, between the Nigerian Army and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu.
AI, in a statement on Friday by its Director in Nigeria, Mr. Osai Ojigho, said it is deeply concerned with the reported cases of violence and loss of lives following the clashes, cautioning the Nigerian Army on the use of force against armless civilians.
Amnesty International recalled that in November 2016, it “published details of an investigation discovering mass extrajudicial executions and other serious violations by the Nigerian security forces during peaceful demonstrations by Biafran activists and other gatherings.”
AI said with the recent reports of rights abuses in Abia State, it was calling for the prioritization of the protection of the lives of the people by the Nigerian government.
It further noted that the Nigerian authorities should rein in the security forces and ensure accountability after reports of violence.
“We are deeply concerned by reports of violence and alleged loss of lives across Nigeria following clashes between the Nigerian military and supporters of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Umuahia, Abia state.
“We are calling on the authorities to ensure the security forces prioritize the protection of people and avoid excessive force.
“We are investigating all allegations of human rights violations and urge the authorities to investigate and quickly bring those suspected of unlawful killings and other serious violations to justice,” Ojigho said.
Meanwhile, the Army on Friday said politicians are behind the agitation by Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB.
Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, lamented that they were doing so for their selfish interest.
“It is so sad and unfortunate that a particular group of people, for political expediency and mischief, are trying to set the military and Nigerian society against each other,” he said.