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Insecurity: Report Lauds Nigerian Army On Human Rights, Rescue Of Abductees

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The Nigerian Army has received massive praises for showcasing a high level of human rights compliance in its various operations across the country this year.

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) made the revelation in a special report appraising the performance of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in 2020.

In the report signed by the special rapporteur, Dr. Abubakar Gana, on Wednesday, the army also scored lofty points for its successful search and rescue operations, which was rated above previous years.

The report also rubbished the allegations of human rights abuses against the army, noting that the establishment of a human rights desk and credible leadership provided by the army’s hierarchy made the difference this year.

The report observed that the army’s various internal security operations were successful and appreciated by all Nigerians.

The troops also improved in professionalism, commitment and proactiveness in their line of duty with improved accountability and transparency, according to the report.

To consolidate on these gains in the incoming year, the CESJET, however, recommended that troops cultivate a more robust relationship with the media community towards ensuring that prominence is not given to the propaganda of terrorist and militant groups in the country.

The centre also urged the army to imbibe the habit of controlling the narrative in the public space to keep the populace abreast of its operations and the motives behind its involvement in internal security operations in the country.

Read the full report below:

Introduction:

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency in fulfilment of its strategic mandate of ensuring social justice, equity and transparency in Nigeria, assessed the performance of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the year 2020.

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency relied on the events that shaped the operations of the Armed Forces in the war against insurgency in North-East Nigeria and its role in Internal Security Operations across the country.

Research Methodology

Extensive research was undertaken with the overarching objective of assessing the Nigerian Armed Forces’ operations in 2020. Emphasis was placed on primary sources of data, which includes but not limited to interviews, on the spot assessment visits to the theatre of operations in North-East Nigeria, the convocation of town hall meetings with stakeholders where the Nigerian Armed Forces are in operation, review of the operational manual in terms of clearance operations, rescue operations and other actions surrounding its constitutional mandate of preserving the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

The Issues:

The Centre for Social Justice in the cause of the appraisal of the Nigerian Armed Forces’ operational effectiveness in 2020 identified a couple of issues that were of importance in the assessment of the operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Human Rights Compliance:

Human rights compliance by the Nigerian Armed Forces has dominated the discourse in recent times. It has been alleged that the Nigerian Armed Forces have been engaged in gross human rights violations in its various operations around the country.

The year 2020 indeed presented a renewed commitment by the Nigerian Armed Forces to preserve human rights in the country. From available findings, the human rights record of the Nigerian Armed Forces was quite impressed with the various innovations introduced and implemented throughout the year. The Nigerian Army led the pack with the establishment of a human rights desk in all its units and formations to address issues of human rights violations by officers and soldiers.

This is indeed a masterstroke in the sense that it indeed kept officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army in check in the discharge of their duties and significantly reduced incidences of human rights abuses and brutality that has become the focus of the recent protests across the country.

In the year 2020, cases of human rights violations by the Nigerian Armed Forces were at its lowest ebb compared to previous years that recorded high human rights violations cases. This was achieved through the provision of credible leadership provided by the hierarchy of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the conduct of officers and soldiers in the line of duty.

It was also observed that the Directorate of Civil-Military was very proactive in the year 2020. To a large extent, it contributed to a robust relationship between the Nigerian Military and the civil populace.

Rescue of Abducted Persons:

The year 2020 was indeed eventful from all available findings, and it recorded a high number of search and rescue operations by the Nigerian Armed Forces. The number of persons rescued from captivity in 2020 indeed exceeded previous years.

The number of women and children rescued from Boko Haram captivity signalled a commitment by the Nigerian Armed Forces in the discharge of its responsibilities.

It was also observed that the Nigerian Armed Forces foiled the series of kidnap cases through its involvement in Internal Security Operations. This is also on the heels that the various internal security operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces have been very successful and commended wide and far.

One such instance is Operation Sahel Sanity introduced to combat armed banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnappings. Operation Sahel Sanity was also extended to parts of North Central Nigeria. Its operations were also successful in addressing incidences of high way kidnappings.

In the year 2020, the Nigerian Army also launched Operation Crocodile Smile in South-East Nigeria and Cross River State to address ritual killings, kidnappings and other forms of criminalities in the region.

The Entrenchment of Professionalism:

The year 2020 also witnessed the introduction of professionalism in the operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces that saw an increased level of commitment and proactiveness in the conduct of officers and soldiers in the line of duty. This much was evident in the successes recorded in the prosecution of the war against insurgency in North-East Nigeria and the activities of militant groups across the country.

It was also observed that the welfare of officers and soldiers witnessed a massive improvement. This contributed to a large extent the renewed commitment towards addressing the myriads of security challenges in the country which was quite impressive and a giant leap from previous years.

Improvement in Accountability and Transparency:

It was observed that in 2020 there was an improvement in accountability and transparency in the operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces. This was primarily responsible for the feats achieved in the year and a departure from the norm where there was so much secrecy in defence spending.

Conclusion:

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency after extensive scrutiny of the operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces in 2020, concludes that the Nigerian Armed Forces’ performance was outstanding and commendable in all ramification.

We consequently wish to state that there was a significant improvement in the Nigerian Armed Forces’ operations using all available indices. The year 2020 can thus be regarded as a year that witnessed substantial improvements in all areas of its operations. This is true, commendable.

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency gives the Nigerian Armed Forces an excellent grade in its conduct in 2020.   We consequently commend the leadership of the various security agencies in the country for a job well done.

Recommendation:

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency resulting from the forgoing makes the following recommendations towards ensuring that the successes of the year 2020 are sustained and surpassed in the coming year.

The Nigerian Armed Forces must cultivate a more robust relationship with the media community towards ensuring that prominence is not given to the propaganda of terrorist and militant groups in the country.

The Nigerian Armed Forces must imbibe the habit of controlling the narrative in the public space to keep the populace abreast of its operations and the motives behind its involvement in internal security operations in the country.

The Nigerian Armed Forces must continue to rise in defence in democracy in Nigeria at all times.

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Bandits Lay Siege To Armed Forces Command And Staff College, Jaji

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Some criminals, suspected to be bandits, are currently laying siege around the premises of Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) located in Jaji, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Their mission, according to some locals in the community who spoke to our correspondent during a telephone conversation, was to abduct some staff of the college and the communities around the area.

This is coming in less than two months after bandits stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Mando, also in Kaduna and kidnapped no fewer than 39 students.

AFCSC is a training facility for the Nigerian Armed Forces, including the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Navy.

A resident of the area, who simply identified himself as Adamu, told Daily Trust via telephone that the bandits have always surrounded the institution while terrorising the communities around the college.

“It is only Allah that has been saving us. They (bandits) have always rustled cows in our communities. Military operatives do engage them in gun battle anytime they come around, that is why we don’t have major casualties yet,” Adamu said.

The Commandant of the college, Air Marshal Olayinka Alade, confirmed this on Wednesday in Abuja when he visited the Army Headquarters to brief Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim, on the development and other issues in the institution.

Alade said the institution has decided to launch impromptu searching and clearance operations in some communities where the bandits are operating around the college having informed General Officer Commanding 1 Division.

“There are some communities around the school that have developed and because it is like part of the college, maybe they are hiding under that cover, so some bandits are there. Because of that, there is collaboration with other institution’s heads in the college. Constantly, we try to conduct an impromptu searching. We conduct search and patrol from time to time.

“What we discovered now is that, not too far ahead, some communities… it is like all these bandits have made all that place their aim, so I discussed with GOC 1 Div. From time to time, we need to carry out clearance operations,” the AFCSC Commandant said.

The Commandant further disclosed that the bandits rustled some cows behind the college on Tuesday, April 13 – a development that led to gun duel between them and the military operatives.

He, however, did not disclose whether there was any casualty, noting that he came to brief the COAS so as not to be surprised if he hears anything subsequently.

According to him, “In fact, yesterday (Tuesday), I was told that some bandits came to come and rustle some cows just behind us. There was an exercise that was carried out by the NACI. They actually encountered these bandits, they had to exchange fire during the exercise.

“Those are the things we’re trying to ensure that we are not surprised if they have come that close, then, we need to sit tight and ensure we clear that place.”

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Deputy Nigeria Ambassador to Jordan, Ibrahim Mohammed,(1st left) the Managing Director Ministry of Tourism and Antiquiies, Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, (middle) Executive Secretary NCPC, Yakubu Pam (right) during a courtesy visit paid to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Jordan recently

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Coalition Warns Anti-Vaxxers, Urges Nigerians To Disregard Fake News Of COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

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The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy has urged Nigerians to treat reports of side effects from the AstraZeneca jab as fake news, noting that some elements are out to frustrate the ongoing vaccination exercise.

This follows the claim of blood vomit by a woman in Kaduna after allegedly being administered the vaccine.

While the state government has vowed to investigate the report, the National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy said the assertion is the handiwork of anti-vaxxers.

In a statement signed by its Director of Public Enlightenment, Samson Abu, on Saturday, the group, though, admitted potential side effects from the jab, added that some persons are out to sow fear in the minds of Nigerians.

Abu, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to disregard all fake news pertaining to the safety, efficacy and effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to him, the supposed victim is an isolated case yet to be proven by any expert.

The group, however, urged Nigerians to continue to take the vaccine for their good and the safety of their loved ones around them

Read the full statement below:

The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy is appalled by the deployment of fake news by anti-vaccine elements in Nigeria in their bid to scare and discourage people from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine that is meant to protect against the Corona Virus and save lives.

The fake news, published with the headline “Woman vomits blood after taking COVID-19 vaccine” is a disingenuous attempt at creating a deepfake given the effort that was made to create the impression that one Hannatu Tanko was rushed to Gwamna Awan General Hospital in Kaduna State because she started vomiting blood after receiving the vaccine.

Interestingly, the same script was published by several blogs and a few undiscerning news sites without the publishers carrying out the necessary checks and without speaking with experts on what could have led to the woman’s condition.

The fake news also created the impression that there is coercion in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine whereas people are voluntarily accepting the jab owing to their knowledge of how it protects one from catching the deadly virus. Such a desperate act could have only resulted from people that are keen on seeing the pandemic decimate humanity.

With more than half a million so far vaccinated, even if the account of the woman experiencing reactions to the vaccine were correct, the case would be an isolated one and the fact that sources claimed the woman is recovering confirms that the vaccine is safe while any unintended effect would be at worst temporary. We, therefore, find it unacceptable that the isolated and unproven instance is now being used by purveyors of fake news and anti-Vaxxers to discourage Nigerians from taking the vaccine. This is a huge disservice and unacceptable.

For the avoidance of doubts, experts’ views are required to confirm that what a person experiences after taking the jab is related to the vaccine. To do this, the experts would have ruled out that the symptoms exhibited by such are not caused by other underlying factors that coincidentally flared up at about the same time the person took their vaccine.

The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Vaccine Administration and Advocacy consequently warn detractors and anti-vaxxers in Nigeria that they have a responsibility to society to desist from sowing fear in the mind of the people especially when it is apparent that the fake news they are spreading has all the potential to hurt more people than save them.

We appeal to Nigerians to disregard all fake news about the safety, efficacy and effects of the COVID-19 vaccine and only based their decision to accept the jab or not on sound science, which would make them appreciate the benefits it offers. Nigerians, who truly value their wellbeing as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the world, should make it a personal responsibility to take the vaccine for their good and the safety of their loved ones around them.

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