Several Protesters gathered in front of the Abuja office of Amnesty International on Friday afternoon, demanding they should leave the country immediately.
Isa Sanusi, a spokesperson for Amnesty International Nigeria, told local media that the protesters appeared to be pro-government, and they expressed anger about how the group has been critical of the government under Buhari administration.
The demonstrators were seen carrying placards critical of Amnesty International and they were heard chanting disparaging songs against the rights group.
According to Premium Times, the protest comes not long after reports emerged on social media that Nigerian government was planning to target Amnesty International and blacklist them as a threat to Nigeria’s sovereignty amidst allegation that it was sympathetic to an upcoming nationwide protest.
The nationwide protest, tagged ‘RevolutionNow’, was allegedly planned by Yele Sowore, a media personality, activist and politician, Premium Times reported. The protest had been planned to commence on August 5 in at least 21 cities across the country.
The protest on Friday was not the first against the global rights group, Amnesty International. The protesters accuse the Rights group of trying to destabilize the country.
In his reaction, the spokesperson for Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi said;
“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,” 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.”
“Despite sponsored protests, we will not stay silent. In the face of efforts to evade responsibility or to smear our organization, we will continue to raise our voices whenever and wherever we see injustice, sexual abuse, discrimination against women, or any other violations of human rights in Nigeria.”