UN House Bombing: Rights Group Wants $30m Refunded To FG
Seeks succour for Boko Haram victims SAN FRANCISCO, March 13, (THEWILL) - The United Nations (UN) has been asked to refund to Nigeria the sum of $30m (about N40billion) which the Federal Government contributed to the rebuilding of the UN House in Abuja which was bombed by Boko Haram insurgents few years ago.
A United States (US) based rights organisation, Washington Working Group on Nigeria (WON), made the call in Abuja,saying the payment was insensitive, unfair to Nigeria, and its people who, according to the group, have been paying their dues to the UN.
Making the call after meeting with some of the victims of the bombing and relief organisation in Abuja, a member of the group,Mr.
Emmanuel Ogeben, lamented that despite being a target of the terrorist body, the UN has not designated Boko Haram as International Terrorist Organisation (ITO).
Ogeben also lampooned the UN that it had not deemed it fit to designate Boko Haram as ITO despite the atrocities being committed in the Northern Nigeria by the terror group which have affected about six million persons between 2009 and 2014.
Last year, the US, United Kingdom and Canada were compelled to designate Boko Haram as Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO).
Ogeben who made a case for the refund of the money to the Federal Government said:"We are asking that the UN should refund the N4bn 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.
"It 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 officeers, 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.
" Recalling how his group led the initiative to compel the US Government to designate Boko Haram as FTO by testifying in the US Congress, Ogeben said: "UN Building was bombed by Boko Haram and the UN which 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.
" He stressed that the meeting would afford international partners like his group know what areas to offer assistance to the victims of the insurgency.
He also called on the Federal Government to make adequate provisions for the six million people affected by the insurgency, some of whom now take refuge in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
"The 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 which wants to assist will know how best to approach them," he said.