The Public Accountability Network (PAN) has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to investigate the activities of certain Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) covertly undermining the country’s fight against terror.
The group appealed to the anti-graft agencies to forthwith probe the funding sources of NGOs in the NorthEast in a press conference signed by Executive Director, Mark Daniel Atawodi, on Sunday in Abuja.
This plea comes on the heels of the odious exposure of the Action Against Hunger, a supposed global humanitarian organization, secretly aiding and abetting terrorists, supplying them food and drugs.
After several cautions from the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE (TC – OPLD), the Nigerian Army declared persona non grata for aiding Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West Africa.
Consequently, the Public Accountability Network reckons that there could be more secret terrorist sympathisers disguising as NGOs, hence the Army should conduct an audit to ascertain their authenticity.
The group, therefore, urged the Army to work with the EFFC, ICPC and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to trace the sources of finances of these NGOs.
According to PAN, these so-called humanitarian groups’ mission is to sabotage the military’s remarkable progress for their own selfish interest.
However, PAN called on the Army to not only ban any group found to be collaborating with Boko Haram but indict them and their managers put on trial with a view to securing the stiffest punishment possible.
Read full statement below:
Gentlemen of the press, we invited you here today because of the abominable discovery that some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are in the business of providing wholesale support to Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP).
The confirmation by the Nigerian Army that Action Against Hunger, an NGO operating in the Northeast was “aiding and abetting” terrorists in this regard did not come as a surprise to us. Public Accountability Network(PAN), with its sister NGOs had in the past raised concerns about the surreptitious activities of unscrupulous group that hide behind their international status or affiliation to commit crimes in Nigeria.
It is commendable that the Nigerian Army has proactively banned Action Against Hunger following the discovery of its support for terrorism. We are however concerned that banning this one NGO is not enough. Action Against Hunger is a mere tip of the iceberg. It is just one of the many organizations that have engaged in activities that are inimical to the interest of Nigeria.
With Action Against Hunger being found out, its other accomplices have by now gone underground, since they will by now be doing their utmost to conceal their illicit activities. The network of these groups is extensive since they include local, continental and international NGOs that gained access to the theatre of operations under the pretext of carrying out humanitarian work.
It is therefore critical at this stage that the Nigerian Army, working with sister security agencies, conduct an audit of NGOs working in areas plagued by Boko Haram insurgency. The essence of this audit is to ascertain the authenticity of the statement of claim that each organization made to gain access to the region. Violation of the terms on which they were accredited to the area would flag other mischief they have been up to.
The Nigerian Army must similarly leverage the special skills available in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the ICPC to trace the sources of finances of these NGOs. This is against the background that many of them are being financed by foreign interests that are obsessed with destroying Nigeria as a sovereign nation. Even some local NGOs are complicit of running errands financed from such questionable funds that allowed them to operate as proxies and franchises for the larger saboteurs.
We consequently demand that the Army, working with these anti-graft agencies, immediately investigate the finances of all groups operating in the Northeast. This investigation should cover what entities paid monies to NGOs operating in the area and the expenditure items of these organizations. In order words, Nigerian want to know who gave them money, what the moneys are meant for, who received the moneys and what the funds were spent on. In the event where payments are traceable to individuals, comprehensive background checks should be carried out to rule out any links to Boko Haram, ISWAP or any other terrorist group.
Our demand is based on the realization that these NGOs have the incentive to undermine Nigeria, an assignment they have assiduously carried out with all sense of impunity:
The criminal NGOs are supporting Boko Haram and ISWAP as a way of ensuring that the terrorists survive the military operation in order for them to validate their failed projections that the terrorists will bring about the end of Nigeria. The discovery of this treachery has however confirmed that Nigeria will overcome the evil they plotted for the country.
These NGOs are pained that their militant wings as represented by the terrorists have repeatedly taken beatings from the military. By supplying food and medication to these terrorists Action Against Hunger aims to reverse the progress made against the insurgent. This leaves us wondering if it is only food and medication that this NGO gave the terrorists since they could also have been behind the recent sophisticated weapons that the terrorists have been taking into battle.
They are also disappointed that the campaign of calumny mounted against the Nigerian state by its partners, like Amnesty International have only made the country stronger while the terrorists they are eager to allow to overrun the country are continually being defeated. But they should not have taken their disappointment to the point where they further compromise the safety of the innocent Nigerians that will become the victims of a well fed Boko Haram.
The quest for increased donor funding, which would be possible when Boko Haram continues to remain a treat is an attraction for these terrorist NGOs. They want to provide food and logistics that strengthen Boko Haram so that they will continue to have justification for requesting more funds. This is the lowest form of immorality. No one should prop up terrorists simply in order to raise more funds.
There has been concerns that the subversive activities of these questionable NGOs are at the instance of certain countries that have economic and geo-strategic objectives in Nigeria’s northeast. They have become the vehicles for delivering whatever interventions these countries have for undermining Nigeria.
Nigerians should not forget that the Army had in the past caught out some associates of these NGOs using the cover of their work in the region to gather intelligence that they then pass on to the terrorists. This particular objective of the indicted NGOs is o dangerous that it has been identified as a key factor in the instances when troops were ambushed. Genuine stakeholders had raised concerns about this but they were dismissed as conspiracy theorists.
The lie of providing food and care for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) when in reality they were servicing Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists is also conveniently being used as manipulated data that will be misinterpreted to create the impression that things are more dire than the reality on ground suggests.
Action Against Hunger and its fellow pseudo terrorist NGOs might have tainted the concept and practice of humanitarian relief work as seen from the resulting public ire, we nonetheless recognize that there are good organizations that are doing good work in in providing succour to persons and families affected by the activities of terrorists. We wholeheartedly welcome the objectives and the activities of these good ones especially at a time that humanity is being threatened by insurgents. We recommend such groups as the shining example that those scheming to profit from the human misery caused by terrorism.
With the knowledge that we now have of the subversive role being played by organizations like Action Against Hunger, we call on the United Nations and its subsidiaries, supra-national bodies and responsible donor partners to stop funding this organization and others with links to it. These potential donors must, in the interest of humanity, ensure that they implement stringent pre-qualification parameters for funds recipients to ensure that the resources they have earmarked for helping humanity are not diverted for terrorists’ use.
We want to conclude by asking that ban of any group found to have been collaborating with Boko Haram is not enough. The government should go the extra length to put indicted organizations and their managers on trial with a view to securing the stiffest punishment possible deter those that have the intention of supporting Boko Haram and ISWAP to remain persistent threat to Nigerians.
Troops Neutralise Bandits, Rescue Kidnap Infant In Doka Village In Katsina State
In its efforts towards ridding the North-West zone of banditry and other criminality, troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have neutralized bandits, rescued kidnapped infant in Doka village in Katsina State.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, issued to pressmen on Friday.
In continuation of their aggressive clearance operation against criminal elements across the North West zone, on 24 September 2020, based on credible Information on bandits attack in Unguwar Doka village of Faskari LGA of Katsina State, gallant troops of Opeartion SAHEL SANITY responded swiftly and immediately mobilized to the general area where they successfully cleared the village of the marauders to the admiration of the locals. During the encounter, troops successfully neutralized 21 bandits while others escaped with gunshot wounds into the forest as evident by the trails of blood along the criminals’ escape route.
In the aftermath of the decisive encounter, the gallant troops successfully rescued 3 kidnapped victims including an 8 months old baby who have been in the custody of the criminals for more than 23 days. During the exploitation phase of the operation, the gallant troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, one AK 47 magazine and 3 Motorcycles from the fleeing bandits.
Regrettably, resulting from the encounter with the bandits, one gallant officer and 2 soldiers paid the supreme sacrifice while 2 other soldiers were wounded in action and are currently receiving medical treatment in a military medical facility and responding positively. The fearless troops have continued to pursue the bandits into the forest and dominating the general areas with aggressive fighting patrols to deny them any respite.
Consequently, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY are commended for their resilience and commitment to duty. They are further urged not to rest on their oars until the Northwest zone is completely rid of all criminal elements. The good people of the North-West zone are once again assured of troops’ commitment to the safety of lives and properties within the zone. They are also encouraged to continue to avail troops with timely and credible information that will assist in the conduct of operations to rout the criminal elements.
Nigeria Records 111 New COVID-19 Cases
Nigeria on Wednesday recorded 111 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases confirmed to 57,724.
In a late-night tweet, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) noted that the new cases were reported from 12 states of the federation, including Lagos where 31 cases were recorded.
Other states with new cases include Gombe (31), Kaduna (18), FCT (15), Rivers (14), Imo (3), Kwara (3), Oyo (3), Bayelsa (2), Edo (1), and Osun (1).
The NCDC report shows that 48,985 recovered patients have been discharged while 1,102 deaths have been recorded so far.
Over N10 billion worth of palliatives to be distributed
Wednesday’s NCDC report comes only a few hours after the Federal Government announced that it has commenced the distribution of palliatives worth N10.9 billion to households and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises.
President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed the new move on Tuesday while delivering a speech via video-message, on the first day of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly Debate.
According to him, the disbursement of the sum is part of efforts to reduce the suffering of Nigerians imposed by the COVID-19.
“In order to mitigate its impact on Nigerians, our administration has commenced the disbursement of the sum of N10.9 Billion to households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as palliatives,” he said.
Speaking further, the president restated Nigeria’s commitment to working with other member states to promote the well-being of citizens.
“I should also state that Nigeria is committed to working with the other Member States in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well-being.
“Nigeria will continue to partner with the WHO and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing, as well as the uninhibited supply of safe and effective Coronavirus vaccines to all,” he said.
In addition, President Buhari noted that the government has established a N500 billion fiscal stimulus package and sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to poor and vulnerable households, while our Central Bank has launched a N3.5 trillion-stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution
Army Eliminate Top Boko Haram Commanders, Others
The Defence Headquarters has said that Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have eliminated top commanders and destroyed several terrorist camps at the Lake Chad Basin in recent encounters in the northeast.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche disclosed this on Thursday in a statement in Abuja.
He explained that In continuation of the aggressive clearance operation against terrorism and other sundry crimes in the North East, troops of Army Super Camp Malumfatori at the Lake Chad Basin conducted massive clearance operations.
According to Enenche, the successful operation led to the destruction of several identified terrorists’ camps and hideouts located at Tunbun Gini, Tunbun Nbororo, Tunbun Kayoma, Tunbun Kaza, Tunbun Fulani at the fringes of Lake Chad in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State.
“Several top BHT/ISWAP terrorists commanders were killed during the successful operation including Abu Usman, Alhaji Shettima, Modu Mainok, Bukar Gana, Abu Summayya, Amir Taam and Amir Kuraish among others”.
The Army General stresed that the Armed Forces of Nigeria are working together with other security agencies are highly committed to ending the insurgency and other security challenges in the country.
He said, “While the good people of the North East are once again assured of troop’s commitment to the safety of lives and property within the zone, they are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information that will assist them in the conduct of their operations”.
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