FAO: 3.6m People Risk Food Crisis in North-east in 2020


james Emejo in Abuja

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has said about 3.6 million people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States are likely to be affected by food insecurity from June to August 2020, if no humanitarian support is provided.

It stated that about 2.6 million people in the affected states already suffered a crisis or worse levels of food insecurity in 2019, following the armed insurgency which continued to have devastating impacts on food and nutrition status of people in the states.

The figure though represented a reduction of about 300 000 people from June 2019, it noted.

Quoting a recently released report, the Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis, the organisation, however, noted that there had been slow but steady progress in the North-east region, adding that a resurgence in conflict and insecurity, wide-scale floods ravaging homesteads and farmlands during the rainy season as well as outbreaks of diseases, including cholera, had all contributed to the worsening food crisis in the region.

FAO Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Suffyan Koroma, said: “While continued reductions in the number of food secure are welcome, there is urgent need to accelerate the pace by which we remove people from vulnerable situations.

“This can only be achieved by addressing the root causes of the conflict and by providing sustainable livelihoods support. As agriculture is the largest employer and source of income in these states, the promotion of sustainable and higher income agricultural livelihoods is critical.”

According to the CH analysis, an estimated 4.02 million people in 16 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are facing food insecurity between October and December, 2019. While about 5.9 million are projected to be food insecure across the North from June to August 2020, if no humanitarian interventions occur.

The states included in the analysis were Bauchi, Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Borno and Kano.

Others are Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger, Benue and Plateau.

The Cadre Harmonisé analysis in Nigeria which is funded by Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and USAID, is a part of the ECOWAS regional framework for the consensual analysis of acute food insecurity situations and aims to strengthen food security information and analysis.

The report, among other things, called for the strengthening of food security and nutrition among the vulnerable as well as strong security actions in areas deemed ‘hard to reach’ and disconnected from humanitarian support.

‘Suspended’ Oshiomhole No Longer Party Chairman, NWC Member Alleges

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

All Progressives Congress (APC) may be swimming in another pool of fresh crisis as the National Vice Chairman (North-east), Mustapha Salihu, has alleged that the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, could no longer be the chairman based on a subsisting ‘court order’ ordering his suspension.

Salihu, who claimed to have seen a subsisting court order, said Edo State chapter of the party followed the normal procedure that led to Oshiomhole’s suspension from his ward, local government and state, insisting that his suspension was announced and it was upheld by a court of law.

Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja after he stormed out of the first meeting of the APC National Working Committee (NWC), he promised to follow up on the Oshiomhole’s suspension to know the true position of things.

The fresh crisis, which degenerated yesterday, may not be unconnected with the vacant position of the APC National Secretary. The position became vacant after Mai-Mala Buni was elected as the governor of Yobe State.

The position of national secretary had been zoned to the North-east by the ruling party, while the North-east APC caucus equally issued a communiqué on Monday where it said the position had been micro-zoned to Borno and Yobe states.

Prior to the issuance of the communiqué, some stakeholders from the zone had written the national chairman endorsing the candidature of Waziri Bulama, who is from Bromo State for the position.

Speaking yesterday, Salihu said: “I am here just to give you a brief of what transpired just now, the illegality that just transpired now. This has been prevalent in this party since Adams Oshiomhole took over. There is hardly a time for official meetings. You are forming electoral committees a night before elections. That was the reason why we have all the problems we have during the general elections. The party was moved from the National Secretariat to Aso Drive.”

He explained that at the zonal caucus meeting of the North-east held on Monday, the stakeholders agreed on how to meet and come up with a name.

“I want to tell you this is an illegality because of two things. Number one: this party has set precedence, Babachir Lawal left, I replaced him from Adamawa State; Lai Mohammed left Bolaji Abdullahi replaced him from Kwara State; Bolaji Abdullahi left Lanre Issa-Onilu replaced him from Kwara State…But this is not to say there is no room for consensus. There is serious discussion going on between Borno and Yobe states for them to be able to harmonise and come up with a secretary,” he said.

Salihu noted that National Executive Council (NEC) positions are like ministerial positions and are shared across the states, adding that at the moment Borno State has a NEC position in the name of Acting Auditor, serving presently as substantive Deputy National Auditor, while the only NWC position that belongs to Yobe State is the national secretary. He said if there’s need for Yobe State to give the position to Borno State, there must be consultation.

He insisted that the person who was duly elected at the convention must resign voluntarily and cede his own seat to Yobe, so that Yobe would not be annihilated.

“That is what I canvassed, but the chairman as usual wants to perpetuate his illegality just the way he did in Zamfara State and other states where we lost. He wants to go ahead to adopt Bulama as the national secretary. This will not work. It is an exercise in futility, because it didn’t follow the constitutional procedure,” he alleged.

The NWC member explained that Oshiomhole disclosed at the meeting that President Muhammadu Buhari mentioned Bulama’s name, but he said it was not true because the President was not known for unconstitutional acts.

On the suspension of Oshiomhole, Salihu said: “As I am standing here, I have not seen any court that is vacating that subsisting court order from Edo State. So, I am not recognising him as the national chairman. He doesn’t have the right to call for any meeting.

“We also want to follow up with the suspension of the national chairman to know the status, whether or not, as we speak, is fit to be a national chairman or whether that court order is still subsisting which before the end of today, I will let you know. I will find out if there is any court order that vacates it. But, if there is no court that vacate it, I will produce the subsisting court order for you for publication and will write to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Department of State Security (DSS) not recognise Oshiomhole as the national chairman.”

Meanwhile, the party’s legal adviser, Babatunde Ogala told journalists that he was the one that moved the motion that Bulama should be endorsed to act as national secretary, pending when the NEC would hold its meeting.

Asked if the party has received any court order upholding the suspension of Oshiomhole, he said he was not aware of any court order to suggest that the national chairman has been suspended.

Ogala added that if the court order is on its way, he would wait for it and advise accordingly.