Thursday, 1 October 2015

SERAP want Buhari to investigate missing N80bn Fund to be disbursed under Jonathan administration to victims....

Probe N80bn Victims Support Fund initiated under  Jonathan administration, SERAP tells Buhari.

SERAP want Buhari to investigate N80bn Fund disbursed under Jonathan administration, with details on the number of victims and their families that have so far benefitted from the funds.

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called for an investigation into the Victims Support Funds initiative launched by the immediate past government led by former president, Goodluck Jonathan.

SERAP noted that for the victims of insurgency in Nigeria, the 55th anniversary of independence was an “unhappy birthday for hundreds of victims of Boko Haram who continue to suffer the consequences of the conflict in the Northeast of the country.”

SERAP in a statement issued on 1 October 2015 and signed by its executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the spending of the over N80 billion (naira) under the Victims Support Funds to ensure transparency and accountability and adequate support, assistance, and care for families and victims of Boko Haram across the country.”

“Nigerians would like to know how exactly is the over N80 billion disbursed, with details on the number of victims and their families that have so far benefitted from the funds,” the group said.

It would be recalled that the Victims Support Fund Committee was inaugurated in the State House in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on 16 July, 2014 by Jonathan.

The committee was led by General Yakubu Danjuma, who was assisted by Fola Adeola.

SERAP however wants Buhari’s government to identify the real victims of Boko Haram and attend to them appropriately. “It is clear the plight of victims of bomb blasts won’t end unless and until the funds are appropriately and transparently spent. If Nigeria is to celebrate its 56th independence anniversary in better shape than it is today, the victims of bomb blasts and other victims of Boko Haram including the internally displaced persons need to know that they will never be forgotten in their difficult moment.”

The group also urges President Buhari to “in conformity with his fight against corruption set up a framework that would identify the real victims of Boko Haram and facilitate their access to the Victims Support Funds to ensure that victims and their families can live in dignity, access appropriate medical and other care, and enjoy basic necessities of life. The Bomb Victims Association and other stakeholders should be fully consulted and involved in the disbursement of any funds.”

The group also quoted the Bomb Victims Association of Nigeria as saying that “Victims are dying needlessly, deaths that are avoidable if urgent and continuous medical attentions are provided. We have cases of first-degree burns, cornea opacity, compound fractures and orthopedic cases, limb amputees, tympanic membrane and osicular bone damages on the ear, keloid skins, intensive nerve and tissue injuries and so on, which are in need of urgent medical attentions.”