The United Nations, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, has expressed concern over reported attacks on aid workers in northern Borno State and called on people to eschew spreading such unverified information.
Kallon in a statement by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in Maiduguri on Friday, said the agency was concerned over the reported attacks the on aid workers.
“I am deeply disturbed by reports of an incident involving aid workers from International NGOs in northern Borno.
“As details are still coming in and information has yet to be confirmed, the humanitarian community in Nigeria is concerned about the safety of the workers.
“The community is concerned about our ACF colleague, partners and contractors involved in the attack against an aid convoy reported on July 18; on Gubio-Damasak Road.
“First and foremost, my thoughts are with them and their families. They devote their lives to helping vulnerable people and communities in an area heavily affected by violence.
“I call on all who may have influence to do everything they can to keep them unharmed and work towards their safe return.
“Out of respect and consideration for the families, the humanitarian community in Nigeria is also asking the general public, including the media, to refrain from sharing any unconfirmed information.
“The spread of misinformation may put the concerned aid workers at risk and jeopardise their way back to safety,’’ Kallon said.
He said that the attack occurred few weeks before the ongoing crisis affecting Borno, Adamawa and Yobe enters its 10-year.
Kallon disclosed that about 7.1 million people still need humanitarian assistance; violence, insecurity and inaccessibility to remote areas in Borno, continue to hamper response to urgent needs.
The humanitarian coordinator noted that acts of violence affected individuals, families and communities that the organisation strives to support and deprive vulnerable people of vital services.
While calling on all parties to protect and facilitate the delivery of aid, Kallon reiterated the commitments of the humanitarian community to provide lifesaving assistance and help the people in northeast rebuild their lives.
Unconfirmed reports indicated that some aid workers were attacked and abducted on Thursday while travelling on Gubio-Damasak Road.