The Nigerian army has announced that it is suspending the activities of UNICEF in the North-eastern Nigeria.
The army made the announcement in a statement circulated by PRNigeria, a news agency with close ties to security agencies.
The army’s statement was signed by Onyema Nwachukwu, a colonel and deputy director public relations.
“This has become inevitable since the organisation has abdicated its primary duty of catering for the wellbeing of children and the vulnerable through humanitarian activities and now engaged in training selected persons for clandestine activities to continue sabotaging the counter terrorism and Counter insurgency efforts of troops through spurious and unconfirmed allegations bothering on alleged violations of human rights by the military,” the army said.
It is not clear if the military got the permission of President Muhammadu Buhari to make such decision as it does not have such powers.
See the full statement by the Nigerian army below.
Nigerian Military Suspends UNICEF Activities in North East
The Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE has observed with dismay that some of the activities of International humanitarian agencies and Non-governmental organisations’ operating in the North East have left so much to be desired. There is credible information that some of them are indulging in unwholesome practices that could further jeopardise the fight against terrorism and insurgency, as they train and deploy spies who support the insurgents and their sympathisers.
It is baffling to note that some of these organisations have been playing the terrorists’ script with the aim to continue demoralising the troops who are doing so much to protect the lives of victims of Boko Haram Terrorism and safe guard them from wanton destruction of property and means the of livelihood. The Theatre Command considers the actions of these organisations as a direct assault and insult on the sensibilities of Nigerians, as they tend to benefit more from expanding the reign of terror on our people.
Consequently, the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE is suspending the operations of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in the North East theatre until further notice. This has become inevitable since the organisation has abdicated its primary duty of catering for the wellbeing of children and the vulnerable through humanitarian activities and now engaged in training selected persons for clandestine activities to continue sabotaging the counter terrorism and Counter insurgency efforts of troops through spurious and unconfirmed allegations bothering on alleged violations of human rights by the military.
Information within the reach of this Command specifically indicates that the organisation commenced the said training on Wednesday 12 December 2018 at the Ministry of Finance Conference Hall, Musa Usman Secretariat, Maiduguri and ended on 13 Thursday December 2018. The Theatre command will not tolerate this kind of sabotage from any individual, group of persons or organisation.
We call on all NGOs and members of humanitarian agencies to keep to their legitimate norms in the discharge of their acclaimed humanitarian duties.
In another development, and in an effort to put the Commanders and Staff officers newly posted into Operation LAFIYA DOLE theatre in the correct frame of mind to conduct Counter terrorism and Counter insurgency operations in the North East, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Benson Akinroluyodeclared open an orientation and induction cadre for commanders and staff officers at the Maimalari Cantonment Officers’ Mess, Maiduguri.
During the inauguration, the Theatre Commander reminded the newly posted in officers that their selection, posting and appointment into the Operational theatre was premised on the confidence reposed in them by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and therefore urged them to work hard to justify the confidence. He further noted that the cadre is the first of its kind in the Theatre and aims at equipping the officers with vital information which they will require in planning for effective command and administration in their respective appointments.
While urging the officers to take the cadre course very seriously, the Theatre commander pointed out that the cadre course for the newly inducted officers is no doubt in tandem with the actualisation of the Chief of Army Staff vision to enhance professionalism in the Nigerian Army through training, seminars, management retreats and exercises.
General Akinroluyo recalled the days when the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) received global accolade for combat efficiency outside the shores of Nigeria and urged the newly inducted officers to repeat those glorious battlefield successes in Nigeria.
He expressed grief over the cases of negligence, lackadaisical and cowardly attitudes of some personnel during Boko Haram terrorists offensive actions in the North East , adding that these unprofessional and disgraceful habits have led to the death of gallant colleagues while weapons and equipment were carted away by the adversary. He admonished that these unwholesome attitudes must not be allowed to continue.
The Theatre commander assured troops of Operation Lafiya Dole of the commitment of the leadership of the Nigerian Army in ensuring that their welfare is paramount at all times. He urged the newly inducted commanders to accord utmost attention to the welfare of their troops, describing it as an inevitable motivation for the troops in the North East theatre of operation.