The Centre for Information Technology and Development, CITAD, an NGO which has been monitoring efforts to rehabilitate and resettle IDPs affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria has said it was “horrified by the callous way the IDPs were treated” as well as “the culpable silence of governments” calling on the Nigerian government to investigate the issue.
“We at CITAD are calling on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately launch a serious investigation into the diversion of relief materials meant for various IDP camps across the region,” said the statement. “Governments must take immediate steps to ensure that relief materials, especially food items are delivered promptly to these needy and unfortunate Nigerians whose only crime is been victim of Boko Haram insurgents.”
CITAD decried the fact that food items meant for the displaced were being diverted and sold in the market or misappropriated by aid officials for their private use, adding that there were many stories of extortion of IDPs including demands for sexual gratification from the IDPs by government officials.
“On several occasions, both state and federal governments have been alerted to this, but they have often either dismissed it or simply make some symbolic noises and let the matter to continue unabated. We feel that this is not the way a government elected on the basis of its promise to stem out corruption in our country should respond to these unscrupulous acts of corruption,” added the statement.
It added that Nigeria was yet to “wake up” to the fact that it had no proper instrument or institution to deal with IDPs including a national policy on IDPs adding that the country had failed to domesticate the African Convention on the Protection of IDPs.
“We like to reiterate a point we have make in several times that corruption cannot be corruption by mere official declaration, it can only be fought when government embrace openness, transparency and demand accountability from its officials and agents: that is the minimum we expect form a government that has made a promise to rid the country of corruption,” it concluded.