Why US must not sell military hardware to Nigeria – Shiites

Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites has asked the United States not to sell military hardware to Nigeria.

A letter signed by head of the Free Zakzaky Campaign Committee, Abdulrahaman Abubakar, cited the human rights record of Nigerian military as the reason for its “vehement objection to the proposed sale of weapons and military hardware”.

The petition pointed out that “the military’s human rights record in Nigeria is utterly dismal and the Nigerian government’s commitment to the rule of law is even worse off.”

IMN drew the attention of the US government to incessant refusal of the government to acknowledge excesses of the military in handling civilian matters, but even tries to justify them.

They cited the “the blatant murder of 34 unarmed civilians in Zaria in 2014, including the children of Sheikh Zakzaky, without the government doing anything about it.

“As if it was not grievous enough, the murderous soldiers returned in December, 2015 with an even more brutal force, resulting in the death of over a thousand innocent citizens. The initial response of the government to this callous disregard for human lives was to say, it was a military affair.”

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IMN lamented that government also captured its leader and his wife “after shooting them at point blank range, treated them in the most humiliating and denigrating manner before hauling them incommunicado detention without charges for 20 months.

“Even after a Nigerian High Court had ruled that the detention is unconstitutional and ordered their release, the government has continued to contemptuously defy the order.”

Shiites aside its call for complete arms embargo to be placed on the Nigerian military, travel bans should be imposed on senior military and political leaders in Nigeria.

“This should be done until a genuine commitment to the principles of rule of law, justice, fair play and human rights can be demonstrated beyond rhetoric and half-hearted measures by the government,” IMN added.

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