Osinbajo charges Nigerian Army to respect human rights norms in operations

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The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday called on the
armed forces and those in government to ensure that their activities conform
with human rights norms and basic rules of decency observed across the world.
Osinbajo said history had taught him that the failure of the
nation’s justice system to respond adequately to crisis was a major factor
leading to greater conflict.
He made this remark while inaugurating a Presidential
Investigation Panel to Review the Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human
Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, it is widely known that the conduct of the
nation’s defence and security forces against insurgency in the North East and
militancy in the Niger Delta had in recent times attracted significant
commendation.
He recalled that at the inception of the present
administration, seven local government areas were under the control of Boko
Haram while virtually all of them have now been recovered by security forces.
He said, “Indeed, conventional human right norms and
conventional human rights observers are challenged by some of the various
nuances of asymmetric warfare.
“Nonetheless, there have been a series of allegations levied
against security forces by some local and international commentators.
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“It is our belief, that if left unaddressed, these
allegations are capable of undermining the good work of the men and women of
the Armed Forces who have largely conducted themselves in a disciplined and
professional manner.
“Failure to examine some of these allegations will also
leave those who may have been victims of such abuses without any recourse to
justice.
“And if history has taught us anything, it is that the
failure of our justice system to adequately respond to crisis is usually a
recipe for greater conflict.”
Osinbajo said for the Federal Government, respect for the
lives of Nigerians was not just a constitutional but also a moral duty.
While urging members of the panel to discharge their duties
diligently, impartially and with all sense of professionalism, the Acting
President urged them to also collect information about the conditions of
service of the armed forces or any other factors that might have hindered the
optimal performance.
Members of the Panel are as follows:
1. Hon. Justice Biobele Geogrewill – Chairman
2. Maj. Gen. Patrick Akem – Member
3. Olawale Fapohunda – “
4. Mrs. Hauwa Ibrahim – “
5. Jibrin Ibrahim – “
6. Mr. Abba A. Ibrahim – “
7. Mrs Ifeoma Nwakama – “
8. Dr. Fatima Alkali – Counsel to the Panel
9. Mr. S. Halliru – Secretary (OSGF)

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