A United States-based rights organisation, Washington Working Group on Nigeria (WON), has demanded that the United Nations refund the $30 million given it by the Nigerian government for reconstruction of its building that was bombed by the Boko Haram insurgents.
It insisted that the payment was insensitive, unfair to Nigeria, and its people who had been paying their dues to the international body.
A member of the group, Emmanuel Ogebe, who spoke after a meeting with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), some of the victims and relief organisations in Abuja, also lampooned the UNâ€™s inability to designate Boko Haram as an international terrorist organisation despite the atrocities being committed in the northern Nigeria by the sect affecting about six million people between 2009 and 2014, with members of the UN Security Council also loosing their citizens.
Already, the US, United Kingdom and Canada had designated Boko Haram as Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO).
â€œWe are asking that the UN should refund the N4billion because we believe that an international organisation of that class should have the resources to fix the building. The fact of the matter is that Nigeria should not foot the bill of an international organisation funded by all countries of the world and then, poor people who have nothing will loose their houses, churches and the Nigerian government will not provide for them.
â€œIt is only obligatory that Nigeria pays its dues, and we have even gone far to provide peace keeping troops. We have paid our dues even with the lives of some officers, and now we have an atrocity like this, instead of the UN to take care of the building and allow us have resources to take care of ourselves,â€ he stated.
Ogebe said, â€œUN Building was bombed by Boko Haram and UN lost 24 people spread across several of its agencies has not designated Boko Haram as international terrorist organisation whose finances should be tracked and frozen around the world. It is incumbent on the UN to do so.â€
â€œWe feel it is unfair for an international body like UN which is funded by foreign governments to collect such an assistance from the government of Nigeria when the government itself is not rebuilding the homes, churches, mosques and businesses lost by Nigerians.
â€œWe asked the UN Secretary General to refund the $30 million into a Victim Compensation Fund that would assist victims of the insurgent,â€ he stressed.
To this end, Ogebe told journalists that the campaign for the refund of the $30 million and protest would be launched in major cities across the world, including, Canada, London, Geneva and Paris.
Ogebe, who said the meeting would afford international partners like his to know what areas to assist the victims of the insurgency, also called on the federal government to make adequate provisions for the six million people who are affected by the insurgency, some of whom now take refuge in Cameroun, Chad and Niger.
â€œThe figure we have received concerning the people who have been impacted by the crisis is approximately six million in northern Nigeria. We did this meeting so that we as an international partner who wants to assist will know how best to approach them,â€ he stated.
He told journalists that the refuge nature of Nigerians with the current Boko Haram onslaught had now pushed Nigerians to become refugees in Chad, Niger and Cameroun.
He maintained that â€œthis is the first time since after the Biafran war, we now have a situation where Nigerian citizens are now refugees and this is a sad indictment,â€ he added.
He went on to stressed that â€œwe just celebrated the centenary but there are Nigerians whom the celebration is a non-issue to them.â€