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Nigerian Army Lifts Ban On UNICEF Activities In North East Nigeria

Barely 24 hours after The Nigerian army banned UNICEF from operating in North Eastern Nigeria, the ban has been lifted.

In a press statement released yesterday, The Nigerian army accused the humanitarian agency of working for Boko Haram insurgents.

Onyema Nwachukwu, deputy director, public relations of the Nigerian Army, said the organisation had been sabotaging the war against insurgency.

“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,” the statement read.

“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.”

But in a surprising twist, barely 24 hours later, the ban was lifted. Read the press release by the Nigerian army below.

Sequel to intervention by well meaning and concerned Nigerians over the recent suspension of UNICEF operations in the North East theatre of operations, the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE convened and held an emergency meeting with representatives of UNICEF this evening.

During the meeting, the Theatre Command admonished the representatives of the organization to desist from activities inimical to Nigeria’s national security and capable of undermining ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency. The Command also urged UNICEF representatives to ensure they share information with relevant authorities whenever induction or training of new staff is being conducted in the theatre.

Consequently, after extensive deliberations on the need to seek modalities to work harmoniously with the security agencies in the theatre of operation, the Theatre Command has henceforth lifted the three months suspension earlier imposed on UNICEF activities in North Eastern Nigeria.
Onyema Nwachukwu
COLONEL
Deputy Director Public Relations
Theatre Command

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