The Nigerian military has accused the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) staff of spying for Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria.
The military also suspended the agency’s activities in the war-torn region, saying its staff “train and deploy spies who support the insurgents and their sympathizers,” according to a statement obtained by Thisday, and signed by Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Deputy Director, Public Relations in charge of Operation Lafiya Dole.
The statement said:
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.
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 safeguard them from wanton destruction of property and means 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 Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the North East theatre untill 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.
Information within the reach of this Command specifically indicates that the organisation commenced the said training on Wednesday 12 December 2018 at the Ministry of Finance Conference Hall, Musa Usman Secretariat, Maiduguri and ended on 13 Thursday December 2018.
The Theatre command will not tolerate this kind of sabotage from any individual, group of persons or organisation. ALl NGOs and members of humanitarian agencies should keep to their legitimate norms in the discharge of their acclaimed humanitarian duties.