Boko Haram: Coalition Commends Army for Lifting Suspension on UNICEF

By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

A group, Coalition Against Terrorism (CATE), has commended the Nigerian Army’s prompt reversal of its earlier suspension of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) from the northeast of the country.

Its National President, Gabriel Onoja, while addressing a press conference on Saturday in Abuja, however, urged international bodies to investigate the activities of some allegedly compromised UNICEF staff jeopardising military operations in North-east.

Nigerian Army had on Friday ordered the suspension of UNICEF activities in the region after accusing the organisation of engaging in unwholesome activities that aided Boko Haram terrorists.

It had said in a statement that, “There is credible information that some of them are indulging in unwholesome practices that could further jeopardise the fight against terrorism and insurgency, as they train and deploy spies who support the insurgents and their sympathisers.”

But barely 24 hours after, the Nigerian Army reversed the decision.

The group noted that having worked closely with other NGOs in the North-east, it is difficult for it to discountenance the assertions made by the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole.

Onoja added, “But this does not put us in conflict with the decision to reverse the suspension. Rather, we praise the change of heart on the part of the military and highly commend it since it will ensure that there are no sever disruptions to the humanitarian work in the region.”

“It must also be noted that several analysts had expressed the strong belief that Boko Haram has international help. Equally, there was concern that Boko Haram has saboteurs that provide its fighters with accurate information that has allowed it to attack military posts, sometimes with deadly consequences. The revelation by the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole is both an eye-opener.”

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