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Published On: Thu, Mar 13th, 2014

UN building bombing: US rights group seeks refund of N4bn to FG

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UN-House-Bomb-BlastBy Evelyn Okakwu

A call has been made by a United States (US) based human rights organisation, the Washington Working Group on Nigeria (WON) to the United Nations (UN) to refund $30m (N4bn) paid it by the Nigerian Government for reconstruction of its building that was bombed by the Boko Haram insurgents, insisting that the payment was insensitive, unfair to Nigeria, and its people who have been paying their dues to the international body.

A member of the group, Emmanuel Ogebe who spoke after a meeting with some of the victims and relief organisations in Abuja lambasted the UN for failure to designate Boko Haram as International Terrorist Organisation despite the atrocities being committed in the Northern Nigeria by the sect.

The group which said it is responsible for the designation of the Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist group by the US added that the US, United Kingdom and Canada have already designated Boko Haram as Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO).

“We are asking that the UN should refund the N4billion 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 Nigerian officers, 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,” he stated.

Ogebe who recalled how his group led the initiative that made the US Government designate Boko Haram as FTO by testifying in the US Congress, said: “UN Building was bombed by Boko Haram and UN lost 24 people spread across several of its agencies, yet the UN 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.”

Ogebe called on the Federal Government to make adequate provisions for the six million people who are affected by the insurgency, some of whom now take refuge in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

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