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Humanitarian Organisation Suspended By Authorities In Northeast Nigeria

Authorities in Borno State have suspended operations of Acted iNGO following an incident involving training and stimulation for high-risk deployment.

ACTED, an international non-governmental organisation(iNGO) has been suspended by authorities in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria, following a security incident in Maiduguri, the state capital.

HumAngle understands that the iNGO was carrying out a routine training and stimulation exercise for aid workers, usually deployed to high-risk areas also known as deep field locations in the state.

The sound of stimulation of gunshots and the appearance of a masked individual is reported to have aroused suspicions and alarm. 

According to a statement released on Saturday, June 26, Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State directed the immediate suspension of ACTED, after the discovery that the iNGO was using a hotel in Maiduguri for training on weapon handling.  

Isa Gusau, the Governor’s spokesperson who announced the directive in the statement, said the French iNGO was found using toy guns and simulators in training exercises at a hotel located off circular road in Maiduguri.

The statement added that residents near the hotel had reported to officials that they were hearing gunshots from the hotel, following which government officials reported the matter to the Government Reserved Area (GRA), Divisional Police outpost which oversees the hotel’s location. 

“After notifying the police force that found the hotel building, three small arms firearms were found, two people being trained, all Nigerians are in police custody and being investigated,” Gusau said in the statement.

The statement also said that pending the outcome of the police investigation, the Governor directed sealing of the hotel and suspension of ACTED from any humanitarian activity in Borno State. 

He said the governor “acknowledges and deeply appreciates the roles of credible iNGOs which have been providing critical humanitarian interventions in different parts of Borno,”

He assured them of the government’s continued cooperation and support.

In April, Authorities in Niger Republic suspended activities of ACTED in the Diffa region. 

“The activities of the NGO ACTED are suspended until further notice in the Diffa region. An investigation is opened to clarify its situation,” said Issa Lemine, the governor of the region.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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Aishat Babatunde heads the digital reporting desk. Before joining HumAngle, she worked at Premium Times and Nigerian Tribune. She is a graduate of English from the University of Ibadan.

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