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Nigerian Army Cites Trump In Its Defense Of Killing Protesters

04 November 2018
Nigerian Army Cites Trump In Its Defense Of Killing Protesters

The Nigerian director of defense, Brigade General John Agim, told the BBC the tweet was in reaction to Amnesty International's damning investigation, released on October 31, that found "excessive force" by soldiers and police led to the killing of at least 45 supporters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) over two days.

The army's official Twitter account posted a video, "Please Watch and Make Your Deductions", showing Trump's anti-migrant speech Thursday in which he said rocks would be considered firearms if thrown toward the US military at the nation's borders.

"We're not going to put up with that".

In Nigeria, Trump is a popular figure among many people who praise what they regard as his straightforwardness and frank talk despite his reported insult to the nation a year ago when he said Nigerians in the United States would never "go back to their huts" in Africa.

In astatement responding to Mr Trump's remarks, Amnesty International's Secretary General Kumi Naidoo had earlier said: "We reject these vicious policies".

"We call on both sides to exercise restraint, and we urge the Government of Nigeria to conduct a thorough investigation & hold accountable those responsible for violating Nigerian law".

The official Twitter account of the Nigerian Army, one of three service branches within the Nigerian Armed Forces, posted a video showing a clip of Trump's speech at the White House on Thursday regarding illegal immigration and border security, in which the USA president said that throwing stones and rocks at American troops would be considered as firearms.

The Nigerian army tweet said: "Please watch and make your deductions".

"They want to throw rocks at our military-our military fights back", Trump said Thursday.

While speaking with New York Times on Friday, John Agim, acting director of defence information, spoke on why the army, through its twitter handle, used a video of US President Donald Trump justifying military force in response to stones from migrants.

On Monday, Nigerian soldiers shot at Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) supporters when they were marching the streets of Abuja, the country's capital as part of days of protest during which 400 Shia Muslims have been arrested.

Samantha Power, who served as ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama, tweeted an image of the now-deleted Twitter post by the Nigerian military. The army maintains that the protesters were armed, and claims that only six were killed.

Brig Agim said it was "not true that they were protesters", and described them as "the aggressors".

Amnesty International stated this on Saturday in a statement signed by its Media Manager, Isa Sanusi sent to Sundiata Post. No president should be embracing the horrific use of excessive force.

The incident has garnered a fury of responses towards both the Nigerian military and Trump from Nigerians and global observers alike.