Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Northern Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace (NIFROM) has expressed dismay over the suspension of relief support for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Boko Haram ravaged North-east part of the country after the insurgents reportedly ambushed its aid workers.
Its National Coordinator, Bishop Musa Fomson while addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, condemned the attack in strongest terms, but maintained that the attack was a deliberate excuse by the U.N to suspend its relief operations and pull out it’s workers.
The inter-faith organisation emphasised that it took the horror pictures that emerged from the IDPs camps in the North-east to provoke the intervention for which the convoy came under attack.
Fomson stated: “It took the horror pictures that emerged from the Internally Displaced Person’s (IDPs) camps in North Eastern Nigeria to provoke the intervention for which the convoy came under attack. Interestingly, it took just that one attack for the UN to announce a suspension of the humanitarian efforts.
“The feeling we have is that the attack provided a much needed excuse for these agencies that have no interest in doing anything for the tens of thousands of people dislocated by Boko Haram. Had there been no attack it would have been a question of time before they cook up another excuse that would have still been used to suspend the so called humanitarian efforts.”
“It is hypocritical that the same world body that that did not do the needful to halt Boko Haram’s rise has agencies that are today making a show of providing relief to affected persons. Had there been a prompt international response to the threat of Boko Haram in the initial stage we would not be at this point now,” he noted.
The inter-faith group also slammed the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki for not carrying out a proper assessment of the situation before reacting to it.
According to him, “the amounts allocated for the North-east would have done something meaningful towards rehabilitating the population had the institution, the National Assembly, that Dr Saraki presides over as chairman performs its oversight functions diligently and curb the corruption associated with local relief efforts.
“For those who do not understand our grouse, the Senate President and the UN have been insensitive to what happens in the North-east over the years. Many Nigerians have been killed and or maimed on the same road by terrorists in the past without them taking any notice neither did they show the sympathy now being shown to the aid workers. For us this is hypocrisy at work.
“We therefore urge Nigerians to accept that it is their responsibility to rise up to the challenge and support their brethren. It is now glaring that we must forget about the inadequate and often strung out humanitarian assistance that serves no purpose other than providing photo ops for those behind them,” the group stressed.
It however commended the military for repelling the attack and also commended the officers of the army for their sacrifice in maintaining security of lives and property in the North-east.