From Steph Clem, Umuahia
The youth arm of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation , Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has warned the Amnesty International to tread cautiously in its call to try former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika for alleged war crimes.
The group threatened that “another Ojukwu will go to war” if Gen. Ihejirika, is prosecuted as being clamoured by the Amnesty International.
Amnesty International had on Wednesday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands to investigate some former and serving Nigerian Service Chiefs for war crimes committed in the fight against Boko Haram in the North-East between March 2011 and 2014.
It said in a comprehensive report, entitled, “Stars on their shoulders, blood on their hands: War crimes committed by the Nigerian military,” that no fewer than 8,000 persons were “murdered, starved, suffocated and tortured to death“ in the North-East during the period.
National president of the Ohanaeze Youth Council, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said the call for Ihejirika’s trial is “utter rubbish”.
He accused some Northern personalities of trying to use the international body to revenge on southern military top brass who staked their lives in defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
According to him, “the last insult Ndigbo can take from those who think they are the owners of Nigeria is to allow them touch Gen. Ihejirika who served his father land meritoriously, what Ihejirika and other military personnel who staked their lives fighting Boko Haram deserve is commendation and not politically- motivated prosecution”.
“Where was amnesty international when Boko Haram fighters were annihilating Christians in Northern Nigeria? Where was Amnesty International when Boko Haram was throwing bombs inside churches , mosques, markets , motor parks etc and killing innocent Nigerians?
The group further accused amnesty international of “bias, hypocrisy and playing double standards”, and urged President Buhari to disregard it’s report ” if he wants to lead a united Nigeria”.