West & Central Africa

Bishop calls for religious involvement to curb corruption in camps

After allegations of massive corruption experienced in the Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camps in North Eastern Nigeria and the starvation which has killed hundreds of children, according to MSF, Catholics have asked donor agencies to involve religious organisations in the camps.

The Catholic Bishop of the diocese of Maiduguri, the Most Rev Oliver Doeme Dashe said involving religious bodies

would be the most effective way in ensuring that the relief to the affected victims of Boko Haram in the North-east is targeted without hitches.

“If you want your funds or aids to reach the targeted victims of insurgency in the North-east, give it to religious bodies”, he declared.

The Bishop was speaking to a Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need who were in the besieged town to render help to the churches and people who have been displaced.

“There are structures already in religious bodies, be it Muslims or Christians that will effectively handle the distribution of relief materials, or even get to buy the relief materials for the affected people,” said Bishop Dashe.

“I have presented this position at different fora and foreign embassies in the country, including representatives of international donor agencies.”

Many Christian organisations has argued for involvement in administration of relief materials but have been ignored in the past and as a result, millions of dollars spent to aid the vulnerable and displaced have been diverted in corruption.

“If the international donor agencies and United Nation’s humanitarian agencies are really serious with helping the victims of insurgency in the North-east, they have to either give the relief materials to religious bodies or get them to be involved in its administration,” Bishop Dashe said.