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GRASS-CUTTERS | Buhari Vows to Punish Those Who Short-changed IDPs

President Muhammadu Buhari ‎‎has assured that those who short-changed the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the various camps in the North East will be punished.

This is even as he as expressed joy over‎ the return of thousands of IDPs to Damasak town in Borno State, following the reopening of Maiduguri/Gubio/Damasak road in Northern Borno on Christmas Day, adding that it was a reassurance that others in other parts of the country will voluntarily return to their homes in no distant future.

Recall that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Lawal Babachir is currently embroiled in a scandal where he is being accused of awarding to himself through his company, Rholavision Engineering Ltd, a contract of N200 million to clear  “invasive plant species” in Yobe state.

Rholavision bank statements and other documents, showed that Josmon Technologies Ltd, the company, which was awarded the contract by Lawal’s Presidential Initiative on Northeast (PINE) to clear grass for N248, 939, 231, made cash deposits of N10m into Lawal’s company’s account 20 times from March 29, 2016.

The SGF said he resigned from his company on August 15, 2015, and as a result was not a party to whatever business it contracted.

But a document from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)  showed that Lawal was a director of Rholavision until September 16, 2016 when he wrote to the commission informing it of his intention to relinquish 1, 500, 000 ordinary shares.

PINE, which was under Lawal, could not account for N2.5bn allocated to it for the alleviation of the suffering of IDPs in the northeast.

The senate indicted PINE of wanton corruption and abuse of procurement process.

President Buhari in his New Year message to Nigerians as they usher in 2017, also assured that his administration will spare no effort in seeing to the resettlement and rehabilitation of the unfortunate victims of terrorism and insurgency. He called on state governments, privileged Nigerians, donor agencies and countries to redouble their contributions towards rehabilitating the IDPs in their various homes.

Buhari said, “‎Government is aware of some mistakes and wrongdoings in handling the affairs of IDPs. We are taking measures to correct those mistakes and punish the culprits‎”

The President who congratulated Nigerians for making it into the new year, again salluted the heroic and gallant efforts of the military and other security agencies on their remarkable successes to rid the nation of terrorism especially the‎ troops of Operation Lafiya Dole‎

‎Buhari urged Nigerians to be on the alert and watch out for strange figures settling in their communities, and report to the nearest security agencies, following the capture of Sambisa Forest and the hot pursuit of fleeing terrorists by the nation’s security personnel.‎

According to Buhari, “When we see our beloved 21 Chibok girls reuniting with their families and community for Christmas, it gives us the hope that those who are still in captivity will one day return to the loving arms of family, friends and well-wishers.

“I urge all Nigerians to be on the alert and watch out for strange figures settling in their communities, and report to the nearest security agencies, as our armed forces intensify the pursuit of fleeing terrorists from the captured Sambisa Forest.

“Misguided elements who decided to take up arms against constituted authorities must be brought to face the full weight of the law.

“The support of all Nigerians to security agencies to enable them successfully execute their mandate is crucial in our bid to effectively secure our country.

“Seeing the joyful return of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Damasak town in Borno State, following the reopening of Maiduguri/Gubio/Damasak road in Northern Borno on December 25, 2016, reassured us that the voluntary return of IDPs in other parts of the country is imminent.

“The Federal Government will spare no effort in seeing to the resettlement and rehabilitation of the unfortunate victims of terrorism and insurgency. I urge state governments, privileged Nigerians, donor agencies and countries to redouble their contributions towards this goal”.‎

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