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Rivers: CSO faults CLO’s genocide accusation against Army

The Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER) has faulted the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) for accusing the Nigerian Army of genocide over the…

The Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER) has faulted the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) for accusing the Nigerian Army of genocide over the crisis in parts of Rivers State and military actions that follows.

The Executive Director of CASER Frank Tietie said in Abuja that it would submit a counter petition to the National Assembly and that the CLO was wrong to have accused the Army of killing innocent civilians in Rivers when what happened was different from the CLO accounts including the killings of Army officers.

“Contrary to claims by the CLO on the alleged raid on Yeghe community on February, 22nd, 2016, citizens confirmed to CASER that the said Solomon Ndigbara was a known former militant whose followers engaged men of the Army in a shoot-out on the said 22nd and 23rd March, 2016. The response of the Army was commensurate with the attack.

“Citizens also confirmed to CASER that hooded and masked men in military uniforms have always accompanied politicians of either of the political divide during political meetings and are mostly the ones responsible for the violence which are later attributed to the military,” he said in a statement.

Tietie said the Nigerian Army has been the saving grace of the citizens in Rivers State as the wanton mayhem and carnage by the political and cult groups in Rivers State would have been unimaginable.

He said his organisation visited Ogoni Land in the build up to the Rivers State Re-Run elections in order to engage the citizens with regards to the claims and counter claims over violent killings in the land and that his delegation interviewed a number of Ogoni citizens who had first-hand experience of recent violence in Ogoni Land, particularly at Gokana and Bori, who related the facts of the matter.

He said while they applaud the CLO’s initiative to ensure security operatives respect the rule of law and sanctity of live, it was wrong for the organisation to accuse the Army of genocide even when it was obvious that political and cult elements were responsible for the killings.

He therefore urged the Attorney General of the Federation to prosecute all those who have denigrated the Army by making false allegations against the institution.

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