By Jamiu Yisa
A pro-democracy activist and legal practitioner, Richard Akinola, has condemned the Global Peace and Rescue Initiatives protest at the Abuja office of Amnesty International.
The GPRI on Monday morning, barricaded the AI’s, demanding that it leaves Nigeria within 24 hours.
Akinola, the executive director of Media Rights Agenda, who rues the protest on his Facebook post this afternoon, stated thus: “I read with shock and utter consternation, that a group of persons, masquerading as Human Rights activists, today stormed the Abuja office of Amnesty International, giving the International Human Rights body a 24-hour ultimatum to quit the country.
“These protesters, ostensibly were protesting over a recent report of Amnesty, highlighting several alleged abuse of Human Rights and extra-judicial killings in the country.
“As one of the four founders of the first Human Rights body in Nigeria in October 1987, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), l find the action of the picketers as a disgrace and an embarrassment to the human Right Movement.
“In the CLO of yore, despite the fact that we were operating under a military government where we churned out several of such similar reports, no group of Nigerians ever picketed our office to close us down. What we normally encouraged was for the government or any group with contrary opinion to conduct its own investigation and issue its own report.
“Though, Amnesty is the foremost Human Rights body in the world, its reports are not infallable. What any aggrieved body ought to do is to point out areas of either exaggeration, misrepresentation or wrong statistics.
“Amnesty International was founded in July 1961 by a lawyer, Peter Benenson. It has grown to be the foremost human rights body in the world with offices in all parts of the World. My colleagues and l got inspiration from Amnesty to form CLO in 1987. It is unfortunate that some ill-informed people, masquerading as human rights advocates are tarnishing this image. This is quite unfortunate,” stated the human right lawyer.”