By Angela Atabo
Abuja – Nigerians have urged the Federal Government to establish EFCC, and ICPC desks in all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the country to curb corruption.
The spoke at a Town Hall meeting organised by Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, the Convener of “Say No Campaign’’ on Wednesday in Abuja.
A communiqué signed by Nwagwu, said that the meeting was organised in collaboration with the Centre for Peace Studies, Modibbo Adama University of Technology Adamawa.
Nwagwu said that the call for the establishment of those desks became imperative in order to monitor activities in the camps, investigate and prosecute cases of corruption in the IDPs camps.
He urged the media to engage in investigative journalism to report facts with regards to IDPs situation in order to uncover the magnitude of corruption going on in those camps.
The convener said rather than rely on statements from government officials on the affairs of IDPs camps or any other issue of corruption, there was the need to study the facts on ground.
“The town hall discussion was focused on corruption issues in IDPs camps in the North-East region of Nigeria.
“Participants extensively deliberated on issues relating to transparency and accountability in the distribution of humanitarian resources to IDPs camps such as food, relief and medical supplies.
“The discussions also involved disbursement and utilisation of funds; sexual assault and exploitation perpetrated by camp officials and security operatives, insecurity and sanitary conditions at the camps.’’
Nwagwu said that the participants resolved to have a third-party monitoring system to track information from the sources of relief materials through transit to camp sites.
This, he said was to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of relief materials donated to IDPs camps.
He said that the participants resolved that camp officials, and media partners and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) should investigate these cases and expose those involved in the act.
Nwagwu said the participants also resolved to form a coalition of CSOs tagged `Corruption Monitoring Unit’ to investigate issues of corruption in IDPs camps around the region and demand for accountability and justice.
“Participants also noted that international NGOs connive with government officials to divert resources meant for IDPs camps. Such organisations come through government structures, which have already influenced the management of IDPs camps.
“They cut deals with government officials to side-line some IDPs termed; informal IDPs camps from benefitting from the relief materials supplied in favour of those IDPs camps that are controlled by their accomplices.
“Participants said only 20 trucks carrying 600 bags of grains each were delivered to IDPs camps out of the 260 trucks of same 600 bags of grains.
“To be distributed by the Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Distribution in North East.’’
Nwagwu said that participants urged the Vice President to investigate the whereabouts of the remaining trucks each carrying 600 bags of grains and every official involved in the scam should be held accountable.
He said that they also agreed to investigate the diversion of more than 200 trucks special intervention to IDPs camps in North East.
The convener said that the participants resolved to employ more tenaciously the instrument of protest to demand accountability and justice for the vulnerable in camps and communities.
He said that it had been noted that the states governments were abdicating their responsibility to CSOs and displaying a worrisome lack of willingness to address the misery of IDPs.
Nwagwu said that this was shown by the poor way the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) funded IDPs camps with a paltry one million naira in six months.
He said that this attitude fatigued the international donour organisations working in Nigeria.
He said that it was resolved that participants would henceforth pressurise the government to strengthen its institutions and provide adequate funding for agencies to avoid making them vulnerable to illicit deals. (NAN)