FG Urged to Investigate Allegation of NGOs Sponsoring Terrorism against IDPs in North-east

Hammed Shittu in Kwara

Foundation for Peace Professionals also known as PeacePro has called on the federal government to investigate the allegation of recruitment of some people by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the country to burn down Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in North-east region of the country.

PeacePro said the news of an NGO recruiting and paying individuals and groups to commit an act of terror in the most vulnerable place such as IDP camps is a scary development that should not be treated with kid’s cloves.

In a statement issued in Ilorin at the weekend by the foundation which was signed by the Executive Director of the Foundation, Mr. Abdulrazaq Hamzat, the group said that in recent weeks, cases of fire outbreaks have been reported in some displaced persons camps in Borno State.

“In March, three persons, including children, were confirmed dead after a fire gutted an IDP camp at the Muna Alambari area of Borno State.

“Another fire incident ravaged two IDP camps and a market, resulting in two deaths and N50 million property damaged,” he said.

While it is assumed that these fire incidences were accidental, the Foundation  stated that: “The reports is now claiming otherwise.”

According to him, “A viral video circulating online shows a young man confessing to arson-deliberately causing fire outbreaks-in IDP camps and other areas in Borno State.

“The unidentified suspect, apprehended by a vigilante group, alleged that he was sponsored on the burning mission by two non-governmental organisations (NGOs). One of the suspected arsonists said he and his accomplices were paid N10,000 per fire, targeting Monguno, Gubio, and Maiduguri. The suspect added that the alleged scheme began over a year ago.”

PeacePro said it followed the reaction of the Borno State Government and that of the Nigeria Police, and it believes that the federal government must wade into the matter to establish what is truly happening.

Hamzat explained that Borno State Government claimed that a suspect has admitted that he and his “co-conspirators” were “hired” by some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) (names withheld) to set internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps on fire.

The announcement was made by the state Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Professor Usman Tar.

The police on the other hand were not so vocal about their findings, calling to question the entire reaction to such a scary development.

PeacePro is therefore calling for a more proactive response to the development by the federal government.

Hamzat maintained that the indictment of NGOs as contained in the statement of the Borno State Government is enough to declare a state of emergency on the operations of all humanitarian groups in the North East to truly ascertain what is happening, because NGOs are supposed to be aid workers not terrorist suspects.

“We are calling on the federal government to look into the matter and establish the truth of what is happening in the North East, particularly on the allegation against NGOs sponsoring burning of IDP camps,” he said.

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