Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Nigeria: IDPs Accuse “Hope For Nigeria” Of Exploitation, Issuing N20m Dud Cheques .

 

Representatives of Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Southern Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria, on Thursday levelled allegations of false promises, exploitation and issuance of a bounced cheque of N20 million by an NGO,”‘Hope For Nigeria” and called on relevant authorities to intervene

A statement issued on Thursday in Kaduna, the State capital and signed by one Mrs. Alice Emmanuel on behalf of “Committee For Identification and Verification of Claims by Displaced Victims of Attacks in Southern Kaduna inaugurated by Hope Nigeria” alleged that they were made to sell forms to poor displaced farmers under the guise of securing Skill Acquisition but no training was done and the monies were not refunded as claimed in the statement made available to AFRICA PRIME NEWS.

All efforts through text or calls by AFRICA PRIME NEWS to the CEO of the NGO, Kerry Ken Sholaye to react to the allegations were not successful as he failed to either pick the calls or reply the Text.

The Press Statement of the accusation reads:

PRESS STATEMENT BY COMMITTEE FOR IDENTIFICATION AND VERIFICATION OF CLAIMS BY DISPLACED VICTIMS OF ATTACKS IN SOUTHERN KADUNA INAUGURATED BY HOPE FOR NIGERIA, (DATE: 29 JUNE , 2023).

OUR POSITION ON ‘HOPE FOR NIGERIA’ AND CALL FOR INTERVENTION.

Gentlemen of the Press,

We the aforementioned members of this committee wish to bring to your attention a very disturbing development which seeks urgent intervention by relevant bodies because the issue at stake is not only brewing tension in affected communities of Southern Kaduna, but it is also placing our safety and security in danger.

Sometimes in April 2023, a certain organization called “Hope for Nigeria” approached some members of this committee saying it was a humanitarian organization with a track record of assisting indigent persons, especially the less privilege from the grassroots, and the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) like the thousands in Southern Kaduna. Mrs Alice Emmanuel was first contacted and she showed commitment to the idea. From there, she took them to the CAN Chairman in Atyap Chiefdom and to the District head of Unguwan Gaya. In order to convince them that ‘Hope For Nigeria’ was not a 419 organization, they took them to one of their parked vehicles which was filled with electronic gadgets. There, they opened a computer and showed them their Bank Balance which showed that they had cash running into billions. This convinced the hosts that the organisation was not fake.

Mrs Emmanuel Alice was made Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) coordinator for the LGA was tasked to recruit 15 staff for the organisation as foundation staff for Southern Kaduna intervention, which she did promptly. As the coordinator, she was to earn N100,000 per month, while the remaining staff were placed on monthly salaries ranging from 25,000 to N50,000 , based on their ratings. Mrs Emmanul was promoted from been a local government coordinator to become the Southern Kaduna Regional coordinator with promised of a car which would be delivered on 21st May, 2023. It was out of these understanding that the new team started work, collating needed information for the organisation. Today, the Staff strength of Southern Kaduna is not less than 800 spread in 5 LGAs.

Shortly after, Hope For Nigeria said that it wanted to have an audience with the less privilege, and our IDPs of Zangon Kataf LGA. In no time, we sent word to our IDPs who were taking refuge in different areas including the ones that were stationed at IDP camp of Samaru Kataf, Zangon Kataf LGA. The turnout was unexpected as no less than 10,000 less privilege from the grassroots and IPDs crowded the venue of the meeting which was Kaduna State School of Agricultural Technology, Samaru Kataf on the 24 April, 2023. The CEO and Chairman of Hope for Nigeria, Mr Kerry Kenu Sholaye, Dr. Moses Terkaa Chooji, the head of admin and his team came with a media crew. He spoke very well and gave hope to our people who were already undergoing misery out of neglect by the government. It was on that day that he inaugurated our committee which also included members of his new staff.
It was on that day that he inaugurated our committee which also included some members of his new staff.

Our primary assignment was to identify families that were genuinely affected by the violence and to verify claims of what they have lost or suffered.

There and then, he declared a donation of N40 million to the IDPs which he said will be delivered in two tranches of N20 million each. He then brought out a cheque of N20 million and wrote the cheque of FCMB in the name of Alice Emmanuel. The cheque was to mature on May 22, 2023.

200 families were penciled down for the first tranche and each was to get N100,000 each. Sholaye said that 400 families will first benefit before extension is made to cover more IDPs. The crowd broke forth into ululation, songs and dance in appreciation of the donation made to our distress persons.

Gentlemen of the Press, unfortunately that happiness and great expectation has turned out to be a harrowing experience to us the committee members.
We are sad to inform you of the following:

1) Since that N20m cheque was written, all attempts to cash the cheque failed as it always turned out to be a dude cheque since May 22nd, 2023.

2) The car promised the Southern Kaduna Regional coordinator which was supposed to have been delivered on May 21st, 2023 is yet to arrive.

3) Four months after employment of 30 foundational staff, which present numerical strength is not less than 800, a single kobo has not been paid to anyone, despite the field work done for the organisation.

4) The Skill Acquisition center promised by ‘Hope for Nigeria’, where 10 different skills were to be taught has never materialised.

5) We have sold over 1000 forms on behalf of Hope for Nigeria for those interested in skills acquisition among our suffering villagers at the cost of N1050 (One thousand Fifty Naira) amounting to over a million Naira, but nothing has been said to them from the organisation.
**5) We have registered about 1000 persons on behalf of ‘Hope for Nigeria’ for people who are interested in skilles acquisition among our suffering villagers at the cost of N1050 (One thousand Fifty Naira) amounting to over a million Naira
From the instruction of management, through the Head of Admin of the organization, N546, 650 (Five hundred and Forty Six thousand, Six hundred and Fifty Naira) was paid into Dr. Moses Terkaa Chooji account, which we found curious.

6) We members of the committee have come under severe pressure from our communities especially from families who were selected for the N100,000 donation. Many are of the belief that we have collected the N20 million and have resulted in playing games with them.

7) Those who registered with the sum of N1050, also are on our neck, asking for a refund or the training be carried out.

8) These developments are affecting the peace of our minds and are even a security risk to us everyday in our villages.

Members of the Press, we have done all within our powers traveling to-and-fro Kaduna seeking audience with Mrs. Josephine Ugwuoke (Kaduna State coordinator) to link us with National Chairman and CEO of Hope for Nigeria Sholaye, who issued the N20m Cheques and made those unfulfilled promises. All we get are rude remarks and sometimes even threats.

When we were able to eventually reach Sholaye, he rebuffed us and warned us never to have direct dealings with him. With this traumatic experience we have come to the following conclusion:

a) That we do not believe that Hope for Nigeria is a genuine humanitarian organization with honest intention to assist indigent people.

b) It is our belief that the Foundation is exploiting the dire situation of the less privilege, and IDPs to make money directly from the victims and from other corporate bodies.

c) Our later investigation has not revealed that Hope for Nigeria has done one single intervention anywhere in Nigeria.

d) We strongly suspect that Hope for Nigeria is a 419 organisation that is beginning to build roots in Kaduna state, using the humanitarian crisis in Southern Kaduna as a springboard.

In view of the above and for the records, we hereby wish to categorically state that we have resigned from being coordinators, staff and members of the committee in Southern Kaduna.

We also from henceforth disassociate ourselves from Hope For Nigeria, but we demand that all dues owed us, especially salaries be paid without delay.

Our Demands.

i) We demand a refund of all the monies paid to Hope for Nigeria by our displaced persons in the name of skill acquisition.

ii) All accrued salaries owed coordinators and staff be paid without delay.

iii) We want the Foundation to stop further activities in Southern Kaduna until all promises made are kept.

iv) The EFCC, ICPC, the DSS, Brekete family Radio, Nigeria Police, SOKAPU and relevant bodies should investigate Hope For Nigeria over its conduct since its inception.

V) The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs should also beware of Hope For Nigeria and take responsibility because they declares that all cheques issued by them will be funded by the ministry of humanitarian Affairs.

vii) Our Distinguished Sen. Marshall Sunday Katung and all our elected representatives from Southern Kaduna, should passionately assist in making interventions for us.

Conclusion:

Members of the Press, we are just common rural folks who easily trust and welcome anyone who comes with good tidings especially as we found ourselves in a very unusual situation of devastation. It is therefore very unfortunate that instead of rendering help to us, some heartless and inhuman persons are exploiting our plight. We therefore shall be grateful if members of the press will assist with spreading this news as wide as possible so that it reaches the relevant persons and authorities that will bring justice to us.

Thank You and God Bless.

Signed: Mrs. Alice Emmanuel.
Committee Chairman (29th June, 2023.)

For members of Committee .
………….,………………
For Balance, here is the number of the Chairman, CEO of Hope For Nigeria, Kerry Ken Sholaye . . . 08027374801

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