B’Haram: NGOs providing logistics for insurgents — C’ttee

A joint committee of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has alleged that some of the NGOs operating in the North-east are providing logistics for the insurgents.

The committee in its preliminary report on the allegations of human rights abuse in the North-east also alleged that some senior officials were liaising with leaders of the insurgents.

The report, a copy which was obtained by Blueprint in Abuja on Wednesday, was jointly carried out by the committee and the House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights.

The Senior Programme Officer of the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Foundation Nepal, which coordinated the report, Rev Solomon Semaka, expressed shock over the involvement of some of the NGOs in the provision of logistics to the insurgents.

“One of my lowest points and greatest shocker as a development worker myself, whose interest in the committee is to protect NGOs, was when a medical doctor and staff member of Action Against Hunger, one of the NGOs working in the North-east region, confessed before the committee that truly, they offer random treatment and provide food to wounded insurgents.

“However, under cross examination, he admitted that was not the major purpose in the North-east. ‘Sometimes, we offer the insurgents medical assistance because we also want to protect ourselves and at other times, you never can tell whether one is a terrorist or a victim so you just have to treat them’.”

The chairman of the committee, Dr Isaac Dikko, said the report had been submitted to the Senate and House of Representatives’ leadership, Presidency and the United Nations.

He said: “Ladies and gentlemen, this fact finding committee became imperative, given that both the Nigerian military authorities and the non-governmental organisations were demoralised following various allegations against each other’’.

 The committee, however, recommended that the National Assembly leadership should summit that the reports emanating especially from foreign organisations do not represent the true situation of affairs in the North-east.

 “That the National Assembly leadership summit that issues of human rights abuse are subjective, and that the Nigerian military authorities particularly the Nigerian Army have demonstrated adequate will to recognise  international standards on  human rights; with reference to creation of a special desk on human rights in the Nigerian Army.

 “That the National Assembly leadership legalise the auditing of non-governmental organisations by security agencies.

 “That the National Assembly leadership should invite Action Against Hunger and Amnesty International with a view to answering why they should not be banned from operating within the Nigerian territory,’’ the report said.

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