CAN joins Buhari to seek aid for IDPs


President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday asked the international community for humanitarian assistance to victims of terrorism in the Northeast.

Buhari disclosed in New York that the advances being made by his administration against Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast go beyond degradation through just force of arms.

At a meeting with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa in New York, on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, President Buhari said: “The de-radicalization process is also going on, and we are achieving some measure of success. Even suicide bombing is becoming rare, as the local people are themselves rejecting indoctrination by the insurgents.”

And back home in Abuja, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday asked for help for those displaced by the criminal activities of the Boko Haram insurgents.

Meanwhile, two international humanitarian groups operating in the northern part of the country have insisted that attacks on religious and ethnic minorities in Nigeria are the worst in the world.

CAN President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, lamented that though the humanitarian crisis is the worst in the world, there has been no commensurate response from the western world.

At a workshop in Abuja on “Religious Freedom in Northern and Central Nigeria”, Ayokunle said: “This displacement is regarded today by many international bodies as the biggest humanitarian crisis or disaster in the world. The most disheartening thing about it is that it has not received substantial humanitarian response from the world, especially the most powerful nations, as other disasters of smaller degree in other parts of the world.

“I am therefore calling on the world’s powerful nations to come to the aid of Nigeria in seeing the end of insurgency. Come to the aid of many victims of insurgency in many internally displaced people’s camps or homes who are naked, jobless, orphaned, maimed or widowed.”

Vice President of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, Dr. Elijah Brown, said the situation in “northern and central Nigeria is one of the gravest current humanitarian crises in the world,” adding that the terrorist activities of Boko Haram are further fired by ingrained discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities in the region.

His group recommended the presence of adequately trained, equipped and accountable police in all communities impacted by religious and ethnic violence.

In a related development, the Nigeria Army has confirmed that an ambush by suspected Boko Haram insurgents killed six civilians and injured others, including soldiers yesterday afternoon in Borno State. But the army denied that the insurgents carried out another attack near Chibok.

A statement issued by the spokesman of the Army, Col. Sani Usman, said the killed civilians were in a commercial convoy being escorted by the troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole when the suspected terrorists attacked and killed five people on the spot and injured several others, possibly in search of food, as the military operations in the general area have blocked all the food supply links.