The Nigerian Army has been honoured with the Certificate of Professionalism by the International Human Rights Commission Geneva, Switzerland, Jointly with Committee of Foreign Observers, for their efforts at protecting Human Rights during the just concluded 2019 general elections in Nigeria.
The award was presented to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai at the Army Headquarters by the delegation from the International Human Rights Commission, African Region with headquarters in Kenya.
While presenting the award on behalf of the team to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the leader of the delegation, Rev. Father Semaka Sesugh, applauded the Nigerian Army for exhibiting acceptable restrain and discipline even in the face of provocation by some politicians.
“During our tour of the country’s terrain, on this election duty as foreign observes, we were assured first by the nation’s electoral body INEC of peace and security during, pre, post electoral processes. We were also assured of the military’s readiness to complement the conventional security forces to enhance peace, during and after the elections, while non-interference of the military was quarantined to the International community in the process.”
“The International Human Rights Committee on Civil Military Relations and Foreign Observers Committee alongside the Committee of Foreign Observers noted the neutrality and professionalism of the Nigerian military and the Nigerian Army in particular in comparison with our experiences in other countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Niger, Chad and Cameroon during similar election processes. Our organisation compared and reviewed notes with other foreign observer groups and the high point of convergence was and agreement was the integrity and professionalism of the Nigerian Army in relation to the respect for human rights of civilians during the election processes,” said Rev. Father Semaka Sesugh.
Responding, the Chief Of Army Staff who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Planning Army, Major General Ali Nani expressed the army’s gratitude for the recognition and plague of honour presented to the army by the organisation while assuring them that the army will continue to discharge its functions in line with the Constitution of the country.
“On behalf of the chief of Army Staff, let me once again thank the International Human Rights Commission, Switzerland, African region, for this award. They have objectively observed in the fields across the nation the activities of the Nigerian Army and the roles played in the conduct of 2019 general election, and there is no doubt that the support to the civil authorities especially the Nigerian Police had greatly assisted in the successful conduct of the elections,” said Major General Ali Nani.
The International Human Right Commission, Geneva Switzerland stands on the fundamental core value of freedom and believes that it should be pursued by all human beings and has been involved in a number of interventions and as a result the independent National Electoral commission INEC accredited the organisation as one of the electoral observers for the 2019 elections.