The Federal Government has said that Amnesty International (AI) was wrong to have concluded in its report that the government had done nothing to stem killings in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a media brieffing on Thursday in Abuja, said the report by the body “is largely outdated’’.
He said contrary to the claim of ineptitude by the Amnesty International, the Federal Government arrested 947 suspected terrorists, prosecuting 841, while 68 of them had been convicted.
Giving the breakdown, the minister said that in Taraba, 49 were arrested and 42 being prosecuted; while in Plateau 43 were arrested and 31 being prosecuted.
He said in Benue, 120 were arrested, 81 prosecuted and 68 convicted, while in Niger, 47 were arrested and 40 being prosecuted.
Mohammed also disclosed that in Zamfara, 172 were arrested and 162 being prosecuted, while in Nasarawa, 43 were arrested and 40 being prosecuted
He said 38 suspected terrorists were arrested in Adamawa and 34 are being prosecuted while in Yobe, 42 were arrested and 38 are being prosecuted.
Mohammed said that in Borno, 40 were arrested and 36 being prosecuted, while in Katsina, 49 were arrested and 46 being prosecuted
In Kogi, the minister said that 23 were arrested and 20 are being prosecuted, while the Operation Absolute Sanity in North-East and North-Central arrested 158 suspected terrorists and 150 are being prosecuted.
He also disclosed that the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team had arrested 123 and is prosecuting 121 suspected terrorists.
“You can now see that the alleged government inaction is not true.
“I think Amnesty International should update its report to reflect the present reality, which is that the killings from the herders-Farmers clashes have thinned down.
“This is because of concerted efforts by the federal government and that perpetrators of the killings are being brought to justice,’’ he said
The minister reiterated that the killings resulting from the farmers-herders clashes, and indeed killings from cattle rustling and other causes, had gone down drastically.
He said the achievements did not happen by accident, but by concerted and determined efforts by the Buhari Administration.
Mohammed also responded to a report and video clip by the New York Times alleging indiscriminate killing of Shiite protesters in Abuja
“I have read the report and watched the video.
“First, let me say that as an Administration that believes in the sanctity of human life and
the rule of law, the Nigerian Government does not and will never condone extrajudicial killings or the willful violation of the rights of its citizens,’’ he said.
He said the government would study the report and the video with a view to determining their authenticity and taking necessary actions.
The minister said that on the whole, there was a seemingly choreographed campaign to demoralise the military.
He said such move was dangerous, considering the sacrifice, gallantry and patriotism of the military.
Mohammed cautioned against doing anything that would kill the morale of the military thus hampering the fight against terror.
He described the killing of former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, as “most dastardly and very unfortunate’’.
He said in line with the directive of the President to the security agencies to find the
killers, he had no doubt that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.