The Nigerian Army has backtracked on her suspension of UNICEF from the North. The decision was made after an emergency meeting was held between the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole and representatives of UNICEF on Friday.
Deputy Director of Public Relations of the theatre command, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement.
He stated that the military reversed its decision following the intervention of well-meaning and concerned Nigerians in the matter.
The deputy spokesperson revealed that the Theatre Command admonished the representatives of the UNICEF to desist from activities that are detrimental to national security and may be a cog in the wheel of the ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency.
The command also urged the UNICEF representatives to always share information with relevant authorities whenever induction or training of new staff was being conducted in the theatre.
Part of the statement by the theatre command read thus:
“Consequently, after extensive deliberations on the need to seek modalities to work harmoniously with the security agencies in the theatre of operation, the Theatre Command has henceforth lifted the three months suspension earlier imposed on UNICEF activities in North Eastern Nigeria,”
Meanwhile, the lifting of the suspension came at the heel of wide condemnation of the military’s action by Amnesty International Nigeria and other organizations.
The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, had described the action of the Army as an act of intimidation.
Ojigho said the suspension of UNICEF would deprive those whose lives have been devastated by the Boko Haram conflict in the region from receiving much-needed humanitarian assistance.