Protesters yesterday at about 2pm stormed the Abuja office of the Amnesty International (AI), an international human rights organisation, and demanded for its immediate exit from Nigeria.
The protesters with various placards and inscription accused the organisation of “attempting to destabilize Nigeria.” They also accused Amnesty International of being sponsored by the opposition, claiming that the human rights group was taking sides with “mischief makers”.
The protest comes two days after Amnesty International had asked Nigerian authorities to respect the rights of campaigners of a social media movement tagged ‘Revolution Now’.
The rights organisation had tweeted: “Authorities must respect the rights of #RevolutionNow movement to assemble and seek for freedom and just without fear or any intimidation. Nigeria belongs to all of us.” The statement did not go down well with some Nigerians who accused the group of stepping beyond their boundary.
Meanwhile the spokesman for AI, Isa Sanusi, in a statement reacting to the claims, said the group “will not stay silent” over the agitations which he described as “sponsored protests.” “Amnesty International is a human rights organization and not affiliated to any interests, political, religious or commercial.
He said we have been working on Nigeria since 1967 – our role is to hold governments to their obligations to respect and protect human rights, and to ensure that anyone whose rights are violated has an effective remedy,” the statement read. “For this reason, the organization continues to call on the Nigerian government to use its authority and resources to investigate all allegations of human rights violations and abuses, including of rape, torture, arbitrary detentions and unlawful killings, to ensure reparation for the victims, to hold the perpetrators accountable, and to ensure non-repetition of the violations.