The presidency has accused Amnesty International (AI) of supporting the call for the overthrow of the Nigerian constitution.
The Nigerian government made the accusation via its Twitter handle on Sunday. It said even though it has no objections with the operations of AI, the human rights watchdog is promoting tweets calling for lawlessness.
It wrote: “The Government of Nigeria has absolutely no difficulty with @amnesty, and no objections to the work that they do in line with their stated mandate.
“But does @AmnestyNigeria have any defence for their promotion of tweets that call for the overthrow of the Nigerian constitution?”
The accusation comes days after AI commented on the social media movement calling for protests against “bad governance” tagged ‘Revolution Now’.
The organisation had tweeted: “#RevolutionNow is movement of Nigerian youths committed to fighting for freedom and justice in exercise of right to freedom of expression and freedom of association.”
Although it later deleted the tweet, a similar one asked Nigerian authorities to respect the rights of campaigners of the movement.
“Authorities must respect the rights of #RevolutionNow movement to assemble and seek for freedom and just without fear or any intimidation,” it tweeted, adding: “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.
It was also reported that the organisation was placed under watchlist after the comments.
Isa Sanusi, AI spokesman, when asked to react to the allegation, restated the group’s stance that it “will not stay silent” and would continue to call for the respect for human rights.
“Amnesty International is a human rights organization and not affiliated to any interests, political, religious or commercial. 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,” Sanusi said.