A group, the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has accused the International Committee on Red Cross (ICRC) of peddling falsehood to undermine the efforts of the Nigerian military in the North-East.
ICRC according to the Centre reported that nearly 22,000 Nigerians are missing in the North-East and this is the highest number of missing persons registered in any country.
CESJET, however, faulted the report stating it is nothing but false in its entirety.
The group countered the Red Cross claim in a press conference on Monday in Abuja. The Executive Director of the Centre, Isaac Ikpa said that there’s no element of truth in the piece, describing it as propaganda which can dampen the morale of the troops.
While urging Nigerians to always verify such reports, the Centre, however, called on the ICRC to tender an unreserved apology to the military authorities, as well as withdraw the statement credited to it.
“It is also somewhat curious that this is coming on the heels when the Nigerian Military has made considerable gains in the fight against terrorism in North-East Nigeria that has seen the remnants of Boko Haram flee to the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin region,” Ikpa said.
“The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency wishes to highlight the fact that on November 17, 2019, Nigerian troops deployed in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State rescued women and children, as well as an older woman in her 80s from Boko Haram captivity.
“On May 19, 2019, The Nigerian army rescued 54 women and children held captive by the extremist group Boko Haram. On June 24, 2019, over 120 women and children were rescued by the Nigerian military from Boko Haram captivity. On March 7, 2018, over 1000 women and children were rescued by the Nigerian military from Boko Haram captivity.
“On June 5, 2018, the Nigerian Military rescued 54 women been used as sex slaves by the Boko Haram terrorist. And the list goes on and is verifiable.
“The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency, believes that the report by the ICRC is intended for mischief purposes as there is no iota of truth in the claims made therein.
“It consequently behoves on all well-meaning Nigerians to disregard whatever postulations the ICRC has canvassed with regards to missing persons in North-East Nigeria, as well as a probe of military operations in North East.
“The Centre for Social Justice, Equity, and Transparency are worried about this trend that is capable of misleading unsuspecting members of the general public on the actual state of affairs in North-East Nigeria, as well as the efforts of the Nigerian Military in Search and Rescue operations.”
“The Centre of Social Justice, Equity and Transparency as a result of this calls on the ICRC to tender an unreserved apology to the military authorities, as well as withdraw the statement credited to it.”
Ikpan advised Red Cross to always verify the information before the publication of such.
“The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency wishes to advise the ICRC to always verify the information before going to press, else it might lose its credibility before the relevant authorities in Nigeria, as well as the Nigerian people.”