President Muhammadu Buhari has spoken of his experience at camps holding people displaced by Boko Haram, saying he saw “pathetic scenes” that were “really terrible” he could not return there.
Mr Buhari said he saw children who neither knew their fathers nor where they came from.
He said after Mr Danjuma, a former defence chief and now a billionaire, said he could not take up the role he wanted him to due to his advanced age, he took a decision to set up a ministry with the sole mandate to oversee humanitarian issues in the country.
“I went only three camps and since then I have not gone back because I couldn’t stand it, it’s really terrible,” the president said.
He spoke Thursday in Abuja at the inauguration of the government’s humanitarian coordination committee.
Read part of the president’s comment below:
“As a digression, I will like to make some comments based on my visit to some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps. The pathetic scenes I saw pushed me to ask one of the most respected generals we had in the military, Gen. T. Y. Danjuma, initially to head this organization.
“Because, what we receive from NGOs sometimes does not permeate; it does not go down to the people there. If you see the children, they don’t know their fathers not to talk of where they come from. So I had to go and beg General Danjuma to please come and be in charge of that so that our resources are properly utilized, because some Nigerians are really reckless.
“There don’t care whose money it is they will put it in their own pockets. So I had to get General Danjuma. But when he told me that age was not on his side, I got documents from intellectuals so that we could set up a ministry so that it will coordinate the activities of NEMA and others; so that the sources can be properly accounted for.
“This is the reason the ministry was set up so that the minister will account to the executive council and make sure that the resources are properly utilized.
“I went only three camps and since then I have not gone back because I couldn’t stand it, it’s really terrible. I hope you will give your patriotic support so that they will properly get the advantage of the contributions made by the country and the NGOs and international bodies.”
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