Over a month ago, Senate President Bukola Saraki inaugurated an ad hoc committee to investigate the diversion of funds originally meant for IDPs in the North East region.
We told you then that the Senate President said there will be no cover ups in this investigation and committee members were to act fast and we promised to keep an eye on the activities of the committee.
Here’s what we found. Three members of the committee, Senators Shehu Sani, Ben Murray-Bruce and Ali Wakili took a trip to the IDP camps in Maiduguri.
The committee members met with the Borno state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima who has worked tirelessly to rehabilitate the IDPs and return them to their homes. He decried the rate at which so-called NGOs are exploiting the situation in the region to enrich their own pockets.
They visited one of the schools run by UNICEF in the camps. The United Agency has been providing aid to the IDPs and raised an alarm two months back warning that over 75,000 children, nursing mothers and pregnant woman are at the risk of death due to severe malnutrition. The lack of food materials was later traced back to the activities of organisations exploiting the insurgency victims. According to Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, the students lack school uniforms so it is difficult for teachers to identify them.
At a hospital in one of the camps…
The committee members were at the Dalori camp where some of the IDPs were allowed to speak on the treatment they were getting at the camp. The senators were disappointed at the deplorable state most of the children were in. They expressed that the quality of life at the camp is not commensurate with the amount of money the Federal Government was releasing to the IDPs.
Then, Senator Murray Bruce outdid himself like this:
I am adopting a girl from IDP camp in Dalori. There're too many orphaned kids there and I call on other privileged Nigerians to follow suit!
— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) November 25, 2016
After all said and done, we expect the committee to present a detailed report that will help the Senate decide on the next move in bringing erring NGOs and other culpable organisations to book.