Sadiya Farouq, the Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced persons, NCFRMI, has broken her silence over her alleged complicity in the diversion of dates offered by the Saudi government to Nigeria.
The consignment of date fruits, weighing 200 tonnes, sparked controversy and social media memes, following its diversion to market.
She said the allegations were baseless and aimed at tarnishing her image.
Read her full statement…
SAUDI DATES: STOP THE CHARACTER ASSASSINATION
Malicious falsehood against the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced persons and my person has gone viral on social media alleging diversion and sale of the gift of Dates by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia to our Persons of Concern.
Since the presentation of the Dates to us for onward delivery to the Internally Displaced Persons and the subsequent complain by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia to the effect that the Dates have been sighted at the markets, the rumour mills and talebearers went to work spewing all manner of false and unsubstantiated allegations of the Commission’s involvement in the alleged diversion of the Dates.
The latest is the attack on my person simply because the persons displaced by cattle rustling and armed banditry in Zamfara state, where I happen to come from benefitted from the distribution of the Dates. Curiously, some “reliable sources in the Commission” are being quoted in this desperate campaign of calumny. The “feeding frenzy “which greeted the twisted allegation on social media that I have diverted the Dates and stored them in Zamfara has remained vicious. A press release earlier issued by the Commission, detailing how the distribution exercise was carried out has been ignored hence did not abate the frenzy. In fact one of the online media houses which contacted the Commission, The Daily Nigerian, seeking answers was supplied with photographs of the distribution exercise but they never bothered to publish them.
On the accusation that Dates were taken to traditional rulers, indeed they were. Primarily because the IDPs live in their domains as host communities. We have no doubt that the royal fathers carried out the assignment of Distribution diligently.
For the avoidance of doubt let me restate that the allegations are as false as they are spurious. And their conveyors and their sponsors should desist in the interest of the image and integrity of our great nation. It is rather unfortunate that a kind gesture intended to bring succour to our internally displaced brothers and sisters has turned into a weapon of subterfuge by shadowy figures to achieve sinister motives.
It is on record that, since my assumption of duty as the Federal Commissioner, National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, I have put in my modest efforts towards turning things around and putting the Commission in the best possible shape and form to deliver on its mandate. Is it not mind boggling that upon all the interventions the Commission has carried out towards improving the conditions of its Persons of Concern, why is it that it’s only Dates that will be diverted?
I wish to state that despite this round of malice and campaign of calumny, I refuse to be distracted. I remain resolute in the quest to turn the Commission into a first class humanitarian service deliverer whose impact will continue to be felt by its Persons of Concern.
Sadiya Umar Farouq
Federal Commissioner, NCFRMI.