The Nigerian Army has used President Donald Trump's own words about the use of force against migrants throwing stones to justify shooting at Shia Muslim protesters.
In a since deleted tweet, the Nigerian Army shared a video of a recent speech from Donald Trump, in which he touted anti-immigration messages, stating unequivocally that rocks thrown at military personnel at the U.S. border would be considered firearms.
The Nigerian army posted the video on its account with a caption that read "Please watch and make your deductions". We are not going to put up with that. "They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back", the president said.
According to The New York Times, social media videos show Muslim protesters throwing rocks at soldiers and then being shot in the back as they attempted to run away.
The army has come under fire for the death of Shiites in the Abuja protest.
"We welcome commitments by the Government of Nigeria to conduct a thorough investigation and to take appropriate action to hold accountable any member of the security forces held responsible for violations of Nigerian law".
Amnesty International has accused the Nigerian army of fatally shooting some 45 peaceful Shiite Muslim protesters in demonstrations that began last weekend.
Soldiers had on Monday fired on a march of about 1,000 Islamic Shiite activists who had blocked traffic on the outskirts of the capital, Abuja.
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"We released that video to say if President Trump can say that rocks are as good as a rifle, who is Amnesty International?" a Nigerian Army spokesman said.
About 120 of 400 IMN members arrested by police had been reportedly charged with "rioting, disturbance of public peace and causing hurt" on Friday, November 2. "We're going to arrest those people", he told reporters.
The video of Trump speaking, Nigerian defense spokesperson John Agim told AFP, "was posted in reaction to the Amnesty International report accusing the army of using weapons against pacifist [Shia] protesters".
The Nigerian Army later deleted the tweet, but not before various news outlets and USA officials had seen it. What did David use to kill Goliath?
The Nigerian army's justification for killing protesters highlights a growing concern about whether Mr Trump's hostile rhetoric incites violence and chaos. The army is claiming it killed only six, and that they were armed. "I believe you know that he uses stone", Agim said.
Amnesty's Nigeria Executive Director, Osai Ojigho, on Saturday in a statement said the basic rights of humans are not subject to the whims and caprices of leaders.
The IMN leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, has been in custody since 2015, when an army crackdown allegedly killed 300 of his supporters who were buried in mass graves, according to rights groups.