Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018—7 By Peter Duru M AKURDI—SEVERAL victims of the herdsmen crisis in Benue State currently taking refuge at the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp in Daudu have come down with malaria, diarrhoea, malnutrition, leading to the death of 12 of the displaced persons in the last one month. Children are also not speared as many are diagnosed of malnutrition and diarrhea. Vanguard gathered yesterday from a health personnel at the Daudu 1 & 2 camps that but for the relentless intervention of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and the state government, the situation would have gotten out of hand. According to her, “the people are getting sick and some die, while others are surviving. In the last one month so many came down with malaria. “We see between 50 and 70 patients every day and about 40 of them are down with malaria and others with diarrhea. They come with complains of headache, pains, fever and all of that which were confirmed to be malaria. “The death rate is not so high because of the intervention of the state government and the Red Cross, but there have been deaths. In the last one month two died of malaria at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, BSUTH, Makurdi, while ten others died in the Daudu camps. “As for children, malnutrition is on a very high rate. It’s a major problem with children in the camp. But for the Red Cross intervention it would have been worse. “At the moment Red Cross has undertaken a programme to stem malnutrition among the children. They are being given food and packs of nutritional diet called Plumpy Nuts each week, which is monitored by the Red Cross to check the malnutrition problem.” One of the victims in the camp, Ucha Ikpachi who lamented over the rate of illness and deaths in the camp appealed to the Federal Government to show more concern to their plight and help them return to their ancestral homes. He said: “The state government and other organisations have been doing their best for us, but the situation is overwhelming for them. We are falling sick and people are dying almost every week now. Why has the Federal Government abandoned us, are we not Nigerians? “They are not supporting us in anyway but have left us to die here while our villages are still being attacked and taken over by herdsmen. We want our villages secured so that we can go home and continue with our farming, we vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews 12 die as malaria, diarrhoea, malnutrition hit Benue IDPs camp •Health attendants record 70 cases of malaria, diarrhoea daily •SEMA cries out, laments FG, NEMA’s indifference are tired of staying here.” Reacting, the Executive Secretary of the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Emmanuel Shior who confirmed the development lamented that the state government had been overwhelmed by the humanitarian crisis in the state. Shior said: “That the IDPs have died does not mean that state government is not doing anything. The government is doing its best with local and foreign partners, but you know that the problem is very huge; it’s a very huge humanitarian crisis that we have here in Benue State. “IDPs camps are all over Benue state in several communities. In part of Makurdi, in fact we have them in nine council wards of Guma local government area that is made up of 10 council wards. Nine council wards are totally sacked by herdsmen. “Some communities in Logo, Gwer West, Gwer East, Agatu, Okpokwu local government areas, and Moon community in Kwande local government area are also affected. It is beyond the state government, which is why other groups and individuals are here rendering support. “I need to be frank with you, the Federal Government has not paid the right attention to the Benue problem. Federal government is supposed to pay serious attention to what is happening here through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA. “I must say that the humanitarian challenge in Benue is similar to what is happening in the North East, especially if you look at the total population of the displaced people. “At the moment with the current update that I am doing which is yet to be completed, there are over 400,000 IDPs because I am not focusing only on IDPs within government approved camps. “I am looking at IDPs that are everywhere within the camps and within the host communities. So our By Sam Eyoboka, with agency reports ABOUT seven months after Boko Haram terrorists abducted 110 schoolgirls from Dapchi, Yobe State, the home of the only Christian hostage, Leah Sharibu, was broken into and the family’s belongings looted. Leah’s mother, Mrs. Rebecca, returned from dropping her only son at school for resumption, only to discover the break-in and theft of the family’s property, including their power generator set and foodstuff. It was not immediately clear if Leah’s belongings were also stolen. focus is to try and capture all the displaced people in Benue as a result of the crisis. Continuing, Shior said, “So this is a huge problem that cannot be left on the shoulders of the state government alone but the Federal Government, as the father, has not helped us as it should. “NEMA just came to Benue twice since the crisis broke out with relief material that was not impressive at all compared to the situation on ground. They talked about coming again but we have not seen them as I speak with you. “The fact is that if the Federal Government had shown commitment to alleviating the plight of the victims most of the deaths being recorded would have been averted. “Why I said so is that, if the Federal Government had paid enough attention to the Benue problem perhaps the IDPs wouldn’t have stayed up till this time because it is a security problem. “We all know that it is the Federal Government that is in charge of the military, the police and other security agencies. So if President Muhammadu Buhari had paid enough attention and given matching orders to the security agencies to address the security challenge in Benue, the IDPs would have gone back to their homes because that is what they cry for every day. “Whenever I visit or the governor visits, they cry that there is no place like home and that they want to return to their homes but the state government cannot address the security challenge because it falls outside its capacity. “So when I cry and blame the Federal Government it is on two counts, its failure to address the security problem as it should and its failure to provide relief materials to the IDPs.” Leah’s family house burgled In April, the family also suffered bereavement with the loss of Leah’s grandmother’s brother, although she unaware. Meanwhile, the family has disclosed that almost seven months after her abduction, no government official from local, state or federal tiers has reached out to them over their missing daughter. This was stated in a Voice of America, VOA, interview after the release of the proof of life audio. Ironically, in the audio recording, Leah specifically pleaded with the public to assist her family. ... with Emma'nKen (08163121378) WHO, UN, CAN, Red Cross help! Timi Dakolo has been in this condition after paying his children's school fees ... or Timi go and see Smoking Hot Sister Beverly Osu for a private lesson in highness
8—VANGUARD, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES 018773962, 08052867058 , TOWN HALL MEETING: From left, Minister of State for Environment, Mallam Ibrahim Jibril; Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (retd); Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, at a Special Town Hall meeting on Security in Gusau, Zamfara State, on Monday. Selfish, corrupt politicians have left APC —Buhari •Accepts Expression of Interest Form By Johnbosco Agbakwuru A BUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari said, yesterday, that those who defected from All Progressives Congress, APC, to other political parties were the selfish, corrupt and weakest members who could not align with the vision of his administration. President Buhari stated this while accepting the Expression of Interest and Nomination Form to contest the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the APC from a political group known as Nigerian Consolidation Ambassadors Network, NCAN, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday. Buhari, who expressed pleasure for being honoured by the group made up of youths from different parts of the country, said the vision to rescue the country started in 2002, adding that the country reached a hopeless state in 2006, hence he decided to contest for the presidential position in 2007. The president said he was moved by the state of hopelessness in the country where selfish interest of elected leaders superceded national interest, stressing that the 2007 election in the country was a disgrace. He said: “Our political journey started as far back as 2002, when the country was still recovering from the military rule. Although the country was united to protect its democracy, majority of Nigerians in the government did focus on addressing the challenges of the average Nigerian man and woman. “I recall some of you in this hall visiting me in Kaduna, to demand that I come out of my second retirement to participate in politics. At that time, resources were being looted, the future of our children and their children was bleak. I was a bit reluctant, to be honest. “So, naturally in 2002, I was reluctant to come out of my second retirement to participate in the election. “However, the arguments being put forward then was very compelling. So, we worked hard and formed a credible opposition. Nigerians voted and by the time the results came out, we had lost by 12 million votes. We fought in the courts for over two years, finally, the Supreme Court ruling did not support us. “Our fight against corruption is also yielding results. Corruption has been fighting back both from within and outside but we held our ground." President Buhari, who noted that his achievements over the past three years had not been easy, said: “Today, I am pleased to say the weakest amongst us, those whose selfish expectations did not align with our patriotic zeal, had exited our party. “We are now a party of strong and patriotic individuals who are ready, willing and able to continue on this journey of building, secured, self- sufficient and corruption-free Nigeria. “I am honoured today to receive this nomination form, which your members from all over the country contributed to buy." Deputy Chairman of NCAN, Chuckwuemeka Nwajiuba, in his opening remarks, said the group that purchased the Expression of Interest Form for president was made up of three million Nigerians, adding that some of its members contributed as little as N68 to purchase the form after a triple A assessment of the performance of the president. Debt owed China only 8.5% of external debt —DMO •As FG seeks bn fresh loan from China for Ibadan-Kano rail project By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief & Michael Eboh A BUJA—DEBT Management Office, DMO, has explained that loans obtained by the Federal Government from China represented only 8.5 per cent of Nigeria’s external debt and taken under concessionary terms. Nigeria’s external debt stock as at the end of June stood at about . 083 billion. This came as Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said, yesterday, the Federal Government was in talks with China for a loan of billion to fund the construction of Ibadan-Kano rail line project. The DMO said there was no reason for any form of apprehension over the loans from China, as there is no default in the repayment. The debt management agency said in a statement, yesterday, that the loans were needed because they were being used to provide critical infrastructure in sectors, such as road, rail transport, aviation, water, agriculture and power. It said: “The Debt Management Office, DMO, has observed that there have been various comments in recent times about borrowing by developing countries from China. "The comments seem to have become heightened following the recent summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and claims of potential seizure of national assets by Chinese lenders in some African countries even though the claims have not been validated. “Borrowing from China should not be seen from a negative perspective as they are being used to finance Nigeria’s infrastructural development at concessional terms. Moreover, China Exim loans are only one of the sources of multilateral and bilateral loans accessed by Nigeria and represented only about 8.5 per cent of Nigeria’s external debt as at June 30, 2018." FG seeks bn fresh loan from China for Ibadan-Kano rail project Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Amaechi also stated that the Federal Government had approved 5 million to hire an Israeli company to train security personnel to better manage Nigeria’s waterways security. Commenting on the rail project, Amaechi said: “We are currently in negotiations with the China EXIM Bank to get about billion to do rail lines from Ibadan to Kano. "It is a difficult decision. Why is it difficult? The money required is about billion to do a double track but the Chinese are insisting that they cannot fund the double track. “They are asking us to do a single track and they want it at Minna so that instead of going from Minna to Kaduna, we should go from Minna to Abuja and then join it from Abuja to Kaduna. “But there are those who argue that we should not accept that, rather we should tell them to fund it in segments. This, however, does not make economic sense.” FG gives conditions for fresh .7bn Paris Club refund to states By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief ABUJA—THE Federal Government has given fresh conditions to be fulfilled before another round of .689 billion Paris Club refund would be paid to state governments. The Federal Ministry of Finance said in Abuja, yesterday, that the conditions included payment of salary and staffrelated arrears as a priority and commitment to the commencement of the repayment of Budget Support Loans granted in 2016. Other conditions, it said, were clearing of amounts due to the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, as well as commitment to clear matching grants from the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, where some states have available funds which could be used to improve primary education and learning outcomes. The issue of Paris Club loan over-deduction had been a long-standing dispute between the federal and state governments which dated back to 1995 to 2002. In response to the dispute, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that the claims of over-deduction should be formally and individually reconciled by the Debt Management Office, DMO. This reconciliation commenced in November 2016. However, as an interim measure to alleviate the financial challenges of the states during the 2016 recession, the President had approved that fifty percent of the amounts claimed by states be paid to enable them clear salary and pension arrears. The Federal Government had earlier released about N766.54 billion in two tranches to the states. N522.74 was initially released to them, followed by another N243. billion. Buhari begs NASS to pass Proceeds of Crime Bill By Johnbosco Agbakwuru A BUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, appealed to the National Assembly to hasten the passage of the Proceeds of Crime Bill before it to strengthen his anticorruption war in the country. He also vowed to make optimal use of proceeds of recovered loots to address the economic and social problems and promised to block loopholes in stealing of public funds. The president made the appeal when he received report of the committee on the Audit of Recovered Public Assets, which he set up last year to carry out a comprehensive audit of assets and funds recovered by Ministries, Departments and Agencies between May 29, 2015, and November 22, 2017. The three-member committee, which has recovered N769 billion, is chaired by Olufemi Lijadu, an accountant from the Auditor General of the Federation’s office, with Mohammed Nami, and Gloria Chinyere Bibogha as members. Pointing out that assets recovery was an integral part of the war against corruption, the President said the committee was empanelled not only to reconcile different figures released as recovered loot since 2015, but to also evolve a proper management, transparency and accountability culture in the management of recovered assets He said: “Our asset recovery and management system will in future be transparently, effectively and efficiently managed, and we will set out a fresh template of public accountability in the country. “However, a key tool that will revolutionize our asset recovery and management architecture is the Proceeds of Crimes Bill which is currently awaiting passage by the National Assembly. “Once the bill is passed and assented, many of the challenges facing our asset recovery and management practice will be adequately taken care of as the Bill addresses most of the challenges facing effective asset recovery and management in Nigeria. I, therefore, encourage the National Assembly to take necessary steps to pass the Bill.” Chairman of the Committee, Lijadu, in his brief remarks, said the report was compiled in four volumes and appealed to government to always deploy recovered assets properly. Lijadu said:“The committee obtained access to records, including bank statements and other information from government agencies, banks and other organisations regarding recovered cash and non-cash public assets."