By Bukar Bolori
ACTED, an international non-governmental organization (iNGO) suspended by Borno State Government for alleged training of personnel in firearms has come out to explain it’s role in the saga.
The organisation, in a statement on Sunday, said it was only exercising a duty of care for it’s staff that have been variously threatened by insurgency, insisting that the said training was only simulation exercises to prepare the staff for terrorist attacks.
The statement read: “As an international non-governmental organization (iNGO), ACTED is known and respected globally for its principled actions and for operating in strict compliance with local government rules and regulations in all 38 countries where we are present.
“ACTED will strive to maintain the highest level of transparency, trust and cooperation with the Nigerian authorities at all levels and remains committed to providing critical humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable populations in Borno State.”
The organisation lamented that: “In
Over the past year, while providing critical humanitarian assistance to the people in the Northeast and other parts of Nigeria, our staff and partners have found themselves in very dangerous situations where their safety and security were severely compromised: in May 2020, an ACTED contractor was abducted between Maiduguri- Monguno road, and tragically killed while in service; in March 2021, ACTED staff faced imminent danger during an attack while providing humanitarian assistance in Dikwa; in April, the ACTED office and warehouse in Damasak were attacked by armed groups, and large stocks of humanitarian supplies meant for the people in need were destroyed.”
The organisation further explained that: “Given this fragile context and in compliance with international best practices, ACTED must exercise its duty of care for staff, and make every effort to ensure the safety and security of its staff. This includes regularly organizing trainings and simulation exercises, such as the one held on June 26, in order for them to be prepared to cope with unexpected security incidents.”
ACTED however reiterated its commitment to maintain a high level of cooperation with the Nigerian Authorities as well as the highest levels of transparency towards the authorities and the people it serves.
The organisation, in the statement, presented its compliments to the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, stating that his leadership and guidance to the humanitarian community and particularly to ACTED, in providing support for the successful implementation of humanitarian activities in the North-East over the past years, are highly appreciated.
The organisation however said it relies on the support of the Nigerian Government and all its departments at both Federal and State levels, to facilitate the humanitarian assistance it is providing to the people in Nigeria in line with humanitarian principles