Nigerian Army has lifted the suspension on the activities of the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in northeast Nigeria, less than 24 hours it imposed one on the aid agency.
“Suspension lifted,” Geoffrey Njoku, UNICEF Nigeria’s communication officer told The Guardian in an email.
The agency was accused of sabotaging the Nigerian military’s war on the insurgency in the Northeast. The suspension was to last three months.
The army said the suspension was lifted following the “intervention by well-meaning and concerned Nigerians.” It is unclear, however, why the army will choose to prioritise suspension intervention over the allegations it made against UNICEF.
Prior to the lifting of suspension, a meeting with UNICEF representatives was held. At that meeting, the aid agency’s was admonished and was told “desist from activities inimical to Nigeria’s national security and capable of undermining ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency,” an army spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu said.
“[The suspension] has become inevitable since the organisation has abdicated its primary duty of catering for the wellbeing of children and the vulnerable through humanitarian activities and now engaged in training selected persons for clandestine activities to continue sabotaging the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts of troops,” an army spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement on Friday.