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Government moves to establish civil authorities in liberated Borno communities


Director, Finance and Accounts, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Hakeen Akinbola (left) handing over to the New Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja in Abuja, yesterday PHOTO: NAN<br />

• HURIWA faults DHQ report on IDP camp’ bombing 

The Federal Government has begun moves to establish civil authorities in liberated communities in Borno State.The Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja, disclosed this at the weekend in Maiduguri.

He said the moveswould help to “facilitate and establish” a framework for the distribution of food to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the difficult terrains.

Receiving the Presidential Committee for North-East Initiative (PCNI), which visited the communities,he said the on the spot “assessment exercise” was to enable the Federal Government to appraise the situation.He added that it would also be necessary to facilitate the deployment of police and other para-military personnel to maintain law and order in the communities.

The DG said: “The Federal Government designed a scheme, named ‘Bama Initiative,’ whereby civil authorities, social services such as health, water supply and education would be restored.

“We are currently doing an assessment of the situation and in a couple of weeks, specifically in September, we expect to have a semblance of civil authorities in the liberated areas of the state.”He disclosed that the committee had so far visited Banki, Kumshe, Bama and other liberated communities in the state.

He explained that federal and state government, in partnership with some donor agencies, had recorded significant progress in the reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes in the liberated communities.

He further disclosed that government has started to distribute 40,905 metric tons of foods and non-food items to the displaced persons in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Taraba and Yobe states.

Meanwhile, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has dismissed the Defence Headquarters’ report on the bombing of an IDP camp in Rann, Borno State.

The National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf disclosed their position stated this in a statement in Abuja yesterday.He said the probe amounted to the height of insensitivity and irresponsibility, especially as it absolved the army of such callous logistical error.

The statement said the report fell below the global best practices, since it wasn’t independence or transparent, adding that it was manipulated by the military to shift the blame on the displaced persons.

HURIWA stressed that the Nigerian Air Force personnel involved in the January 17, 2017 strike, should have been brought to book, since the Defence Headquarters had rightly branded the incident as an erroneous airstrike.

The group called on the Federal Government to intervene in the matter.“What happened was human error which may have occurred due to criminal negligence or crass incompetence and lack of professionalism. 

“Legally, ethically and morally whenever such an incident happens, the families of the unfortunate victims ought to be adequately compensated and if someone or a group of persons were found negligent of their lawful duties, they must be sanctioned in accordance with the laws of Nigeria,”
the statement reads.

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Mustapha MaihajaNema

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