FOLLOWING reports by the UNICEF that it is pulling out its aid workers from the north east region after Boko Haram reportedly ambushed their convoy, the Northern Inter-Faith and Religious Organizations for Peace (NIFROM) has said the world body never ready to provide relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the north east.
The group, which condemned the attack in strongest terms, however, said the attack was just a deliberate excuse for the U.N. to suspend its relief operations and pull out its workers.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, National Cordinator of NIFROM, Bishop Musa Fomson, commended the military for repelling the attack and thanked the officers of the army for their sacrifice in maintaining security of lives in the north east.
He said: “It is hypocritical that the same world body that that did not do the needful to halt Boko Haram’s rise has agencies that are today making a show of providing relief to affected persons. Had there been a prompt international response to the threat of Boko Haram in the initial stage we would not be at this point now.
“It took the horror pictures that emerged from the Internally Displaced Person’s (IDPs) camps in North Eastern Nigeria to provoke the intervention for which the convoy came under attack. Interestingly, it took just that one attack for the UN to announce a suspension of the humanitarian efforts.
“The feeling we have is that the attack provided a much needed excuse for these agencies that have no interest in doing anything for the tens of thousands of people dislocated by Boko Haram. Had there been no attack it would have been a question of time before they cook up another excuse that would have still been used to suspend the so called humanitarian efforts.”
The clerics also slammed the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki for not carrying out a proper assessment of the situation before reacting to it. It said had Dr Saraki and his likes done right by the country as expected of their positions we would not be here having nationals of other countries give handouts to our distressed brothers and sisters.
“The amounts allocated for the North East would have done something meaningful towards rehabilitating the population had the institution, the National Assembly, that Dr Saraki presides over as chairman performs its oversight functions diligently and curb the corruption associated with local relief efforts.
“For those who do not understand our grouse, the Senate President and the UN have been insensitive to what happens in the North East over the years. Many Nigerians have been killed and or maimed on the same road by terrorists in the past without them taking any notice neither did they show the sympathy now being shown to the aid workers. For us this is hypocrisy at work.
“We therefore urge Nigerians to accept that it is their responsibility to rise up to the challenge and support their brethren. It is now glaring that we must forget about the inadequate and often strung out humanitarian assistance that serves no purpose other than providing photo ops for those behind them,” he said.