From left: Rev. Father Timothy Cosmas Danjuma a Director in the Foundation, Nkese Udongwo, Director Humanitarian Services Caritas Nigeria, Reverend Peter Audu Deputy Executive Secretary Caritas Foundation and Rev. Fidelis Bature, JDPC Coordinator in Maiduguri at a media briefing.
By Dauda Iliya
The humanitarian arm of the Catholic Church Caritas Nigeria has called for a thorough investigation into the incident of Aisha Umar an IDP, who was allegedly raped to death by a humanitarian worker in Borno state.
The sad event which happened on 18th January, 2022 at 303 Housing unit in Maiduguri is currently being investigated by the Nigeria Police.
At a media briefing in Maiduguri, Executive Secretary of Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria Dr. Uchechukwu Obodoechina described the act as betrayal of trust between the humanitarian community and the people they serve.
Represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Foundation Reverend Father Peter Audu called on relevant agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of sexual abuse and exploitation are not excused, but held to full account under the law.
“The Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria, condemns in strong terms the reported case of sexual abuse and exploitation of late Aisha Umar and her eventual death, allegedly committed by a staff member of an International NGO in Maiduguri. This, indeed, is a very disheartening criminal offence, which violates the very essence of the dignity of the human person and humanitarian principles, which we all should uphold and fight for, especially as humanitarian agents” Dr Obodoechina stressed.
The Executive Secretary also called on humanitarian and development organizations to put in place adequate mechanisms and measures to guard against the perpetuation of sexual exploitation and abuse by their employees and agents.
He explained that Caritas Nigeria has a zero-tolerance policy against any form of sexual and gender-based violence, noting that staff refresher trainings is been conducted to prevent any form of abuse and take immediate action against violators.
Dr. Uchechukwu Obodoechina stressed the need for humanitarian organisations to rebuild trust with the people they serve and as well as other partners for them to succeed in their intervention.