As political calculations towards the 2015 elections take centrestage, victims of the 2011 post-election violence in nine States, one of them in the South, may be hopeful they will benefit from a N5.5 billion fund just announced by President Goodluck Jonathan.
A State House statement said the fund is meant for “direct disbursement” to those who suffered losses of property, means of livelihood and places of worship, but it is unclear if anyone has prepared such a comprehensive list.
The beneficiary States are: Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Jigawa, Katsina, Kano, Niger, Sokoto, and Zamfara. Katsina will get the largest sum of nearly N2 billion, while Bauchi will get N1.5 billion. Akwa Ibom will get the smallest amount: N43 million.
Following the violence, President Jonathan set up a Panel of Enquiry, headed by Sheik Ahmed Lemu, with the mandate of identifying the spread and extent of losses suffered across the country.
Following the submission of the Lemu Panel’s report and its adoption by the Federal Executive Council, the Federal Ministry of Lands and Housing was mandated to assess the reported losses and damage to properties in all affected states, the statement said.
One of the key issues facing the “direct disbursement” is that a lot of the victims of the violence are Southerners who returned to the South following the violence, in which many members of the National Youth Service Corps were also killed. It is unclear what mechanism has been put in place, if any, to ensure that the funds are not looted by the States, and that they reach those for whom they are intended.
Calls to the presidency for comment were neither answered nor returned. SaharaReporters has contacted the State governors to obtain clarification on the disbursement of the funds but has yet received no information.
Text of the State House Press Statement
PRESIDENT JONATHAN APPROVES RELEASE OF N5.7 BILLION TO VICTIMS OF 2011 POST ELECTION VIOLENCE IN NINE STATES
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has approved the release of a total sum of N5,747,694,780.00 to nine states of the federation for direct disbursement to those who suffered losses of properties, means of livelihood and places of worship in the post election violence of 2011.
It will be recalled that following the post election violence and civil disturbances in some states after the April 2011 elections President Jonathan set up a Panel of Enquiry headed by Sheik Ahmed Lemu to among other things, identify the spread and extent of losses suffered across the country.
Following the submission of the Lemu Panel’s report and its adoption by the Federal Executive Council, the Federal Ministry of Lands and Housing was mandated to assess the reported losses and damage to properties in all affected states.
Based on the Ministry’s report, President Jonathan has approved the release of funds to nine of the 14 affected states as follows:
1. Bauchi – N1,574,879,000.00
2. Sokoto – N55,888,506.00
3. Zamfara – N93,253,485.00
4. Niger – N433,375,875.00
5. Jigawa – N208,667,634.00
6. Katsina – N1,973,209,440.00
7. Kano – N944,827,000.00
8. Adamawa – N420,089,840.00
9. Akwa Ibom – N43,504,000.00
Total – N5,747,694,780.00
President Jonathan has also directed that an Implementation Committee for the disbursement of the funds to beneficiaries in the nine states be constituted as follows:
1. Executive Governor or Deputy Governor – Chairman
2. Representative of State Government – Member
3. Secretary of the Sheik Lemu Panel – Member
4. Representative of the OSGF
5. Representative of the FMLH&UD – Member
Inspection and assessment of damages and losses suffered are yet to be carried out in Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Kaduna and Nasarawa states as modalities and further instructions for the exercise are still being expected from the state governments.
Funds to cover the losses sustained by victims of the post election violence in theses five states will be approved and released at the conclusion of the assessment exercise.