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Presidency refutes reports of looming starvation, deaths in N-East

*Says Nigeria has responsible govt

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

ABUJA—The Presidency has refuted reports by some international organisations that starvation and death were imminent due to the inability of the Federal Government to provide adequately for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.

According to the presidency, an arm of the United Nations recently “screamed that 100,000 people will die due to starvation next year and that a different group says a million will die.

But reacting to the reports through a statement by the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, yesterday, the Presidency frowned on the reports, saying Nigeria had a responsible government at the moment and would not let millions of Nigerians die.

Describing the reports as unnecessary “hype,” the statement, which highlighted measures so far taken and still being taken by the current administration to secure the North East from Boko Haram  and better the lot of the victims, stated that the hype, especially that which suggested that the government was doing nothing, was, therefore, “uncharitable and unnecessary.”

The statement read in part: ”The Presidency wishes to put on clear records the appreciation of the country for the increasing humanitarian assistance which continues to complement the efforts of the federal and state governments in the North-East, a region in the middle of a humanitarian crisis.

“It is a problem that the Muhammadu Buhari administration continues to handle with great sensitivity.

 President Muhammadu Buhar
President Muhammadu Buhar

“Since his coming to office, the President has fully mobilized state mechanisms to deal with the problems and this needs to be appreciated.

“This notwithstanding, we are concerned about the blatant attempts to whip up a nonexistent fear of mass starvation by some aid agencies, a type of hype that does not provide solution to the situation on the ground but more to do with calculations for operations financing locally and abroad.

“In a recent instance, one arm of the United Nations screamed that 100,000 people will die due to starvation next year.  A different group says a million will die.

“There can be no doubt that the effect of the Boko Haram terrorism and their occupation of communities and destruction of houses, infrastructure and means of livelihood has been manifested in the decline of socio-economic activities throughout the North-East.

“Arising from this, farming, pastoralism, trade, exchange of goods and services and social interaction among the people have negatively been impacted, leading to the displacement of more than two million people, mostly women and children. Consequently, there is death, there is hunger and there is poor nutrition.

“The displacement pattern as revealed by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) indicates that there are currently about two million people who are displaced.”


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