Lagos State Government Pledges Collaboration With Army In Addressing Human Rights Abuse

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday pledged its commitment to the efforts of the Nigeria Army to frontally address incessant cases of human rights abuse by military officers in the war against insurgency and internal security operations in the country.

The Army, in recent times, has had its image battered in the public owing to violation of human rights by military personnel, a development which compelled the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Tukur Buratai to set up a Special Board of Enquiry to investigate all cases of human rights violation levelled against personnel of Nigerian Army.

Addressing journalists at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja after a meeting with Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, President of the Nigerian Army Special Board of Enquiry, Major General Ahmed Tijani Jubrin (Rtd), said the Army was determined to address the issue once and for all and restore the confidence of the public.

Jibrin said the meeting with the Governor was part of the strategic engagement of the Board to carry along critical stakeholders on efforts being made by the Nigerian Army to stem the tide of human rights abuse by military personnel.

He said: “This Board of Enquiry was set up by the Chief of Army Staff to investigate all cases of human rights violation levelled against personnel of Nigerian Army in their war against insurgents in the North East and in their internal security operation in the South East.

“We are here to brief Governor Ambode on what effort the Army headquarters is making on the allegation making rounds in the media that the Army, in their operations, have committed gross violation of human rights and arising from that, the COAS set up this Board and the committee is made up of retired officers, activists from the legal sector and human rights groups, as well as some serving personnel.

“Our mission here is to brief the people and government of Lagos State on what the COAS is doing in his response to this allegation. I think from the composition of the Special Board of Enquiry, people can see that this time the Army headquarters is determined to get it right by getting a broader representation so that whatever the result of the enquiry is, will be known to the public,” Jibrin said.

He added that the findings of the Board would be made public at the end of interaction with all the necessary stakeholders and concerned actors.

On his part, Secretary to Lagos State Government (SSG), Mr Tunji Bello said the members of the Board were at the Lagos House to brief the Governor on their activities so far.

“They (members of the Board) are here in Lagos to hear the Governor out and explain to him what they have been doing. Like the Governor promised during the meeting, we as a State Government are willing to support them in whatever way we can as we have always done,” Bello said.