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Oxfam’s deputy CEO quits over Haiti sexual misconduct allegations as scandal escalates

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Oxfam's deputy CEO quits over Haiti sexual misconduct allegations

The deputy head of UK charity Oxfam resigned on Monday following allegations that some staff had paid to have sex with Haiti survivors in 2011 during humanitarian relief efforts after an earthquake.

Penny Lawrence explained that she was leaving over what she said was the British charity’s failure to adequately respond to past allegations of sexual misconduct by some of its staff.

Her resignation comes after days of crisis at the charity triggered by a report in the Times newspaper accusing some Oxfam staff of sexual misconduct. The British charity is also accused of concealing the findings of an inquiry into claims staff used prostitutes while delivering aid in Haiti in 2011.

Penny Lawrence said she was “ashamed” and takes full responsibility.

She said: “Over the last few days we have become aware that concerns were raised about the behavior of staff in Chad as well as Haiti that we failed to adequately act upon.

“It is now clear that these allegations – involving the use of prostitutes and which related to behavior of both the Country Director and members of his team in Chad – were raised before he moved to Haiti.

“As program director at the time, I am ashamed that this happened on my watch and I take full responsibility.”

Oxfam did not confirm or deny the allegations of sexual misconduct but said that it had held an internal investigation over alleged misconduct in Haiti in 2011. As a result of that investigation, Oxfam said, four staff members had been dismissed and three, including the Haiti country director who had previously held that role in Chad, had resigned.

“The misconduct findings related to offences including bullying, harassment, intimidation and failure to protect staff as well as sexual misconduct,” Oxfam said in a statement on Friday.

Lawrence’s resignation came on the same day that senior Oxfam managers were summoned to a meeting with Britain’s aid minister Penny Mordaunt, who has threatened to withdraw government funding from the charity if it did not come clean. In its last financial year Oxfam received 32 million pounds ($44 million) from Mordaunt’s ministry, about 8 percent of its overall income. However, private donations are also likely to be hit by the bad publicity over the Chad and Haiti allegations.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has said it expects full clarity and maximum transparency from Oxfam, adding that it is ready to “cease funding any partner not living up to high ethical standards”. The Innocent drinks company – one of Oxfam’s corporate sponsors which donates around £100,000 per year- said it wants to see a clear plan “for how this could not ever happen again”.

After Penny Lawrence announced her resignation, Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam GB, thanked her for her service and said he “deeply respected” her decision to accept personal responsibility. Ms Lawrence joined Oxfam GB in 2006 as international programmes director, leading teams across 60 countries, according to the charity’s website.

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Flood submerges five communities, rice mill in Benue State

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Flood submerges five communities, rice mill in Benue State

Flood submerges five communities, rice mill in Benue State

The Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency(BSEMA), Emmanuel Shior said on Wednesday that the rampaging flood has submerged five communities in Agatu and other parts of Makurdi, the state capital.

Shior disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Makurdi on the current flood situation in the state, adding that Rice Mill and other settlements on the banks of River Benue were also affected. He said that the state government had taken proactive measures, including setting up a committee to sensitise the people of the state on the dangers ahead.

He said that the committee consists of officials drawn from SEMA, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Information and other stakeholders in the state. Shior said that SEMA, in conjunction with NEMA and other stakeholders, had embarked on an awareness campaign in the media, churches and Mosques. He said that the campaign was intended to encourage residents of flood prone areas to relocate to safer areas.

The BSEMA boss said that the latest check with a guage showed that the water level at the River Benue had risen to 11 metres, barely one meter to its maximum level. According to him, the water has virtually reached the level that caused flooding in 2012, during which most parts of the state were submerged. He advised residents to steer clear from the river because of the high level, saying that 12 metres was the highest level that could cause disaster in any state.

He said that centres in the state, including the International Market, had been prepared to accommodate displaced persons. In his remark, Mr Lugard Slaku , the Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for North Central, said that 12 states, including Benue, had been listed as most threatened by flood in the country.

“So we have come with a team trained by NEMA to collaborate with SEMA to assess the situation, check the available facilities and gaps and report back to the head office for additional resources, where needed.” Slaku said.

Slaku said that while NEMA, SEMA and other stakeholders were working hard to ensure prompt response to distres calls, the people must cooperate with government to prevent avoidable disaster.

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Video of dancing senator, Ademola Adeleke, dishing hot steps at PDP rally in Osun state

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Video of dancing senator, Ademola Adeleke, dishing hot steps at PDP rally in Osun state

Video of dancing senator, Ademola Adeleke, dishing hot steps at PDP rally in Osun state

Senator Adeleke doing what he loves best..

Watch the video below.

 

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Why Buhari removed Matthew Seiyefa as DSS boss, PDP reveals

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Why Buhari removed Matthew Seiyefa as DSS boss, PDP reveals
  • Why Buhari removed Matthew Seiyefa as DSS boss, PDP reveals

The Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has given reasons President Muhammadu Buhari removed former Acting Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Matthew Seiyefa.

Seiyefa was replaced with Yusuf Magaji Bichi, by President Buhari last Friday, after he acted for a brief period during which he tried to reposition the security agency.

Chairman of the state PDP, Cleopas Moses, in a statement in Yenagua, yesterday, said Seiyefa’s sudden removal was borne out of fear by the ruling cabal.

He said that members of President Buhari’s kitchen cabinet were not comfortable with a non-Northerner as the DSS boss.

According to Moses, Seiyefa’s service to the nation was cut short because he is not from any of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria.

He said that this was a continuation of the current Federal Government’s unfair treatment to the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta region.

He added, “The party believes if Seiyefa was from any of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria, he would not have been thrown out the way the Buhari administration did, not minding his acclaimed competence on the job.

“We have it on record that Mr. Seiyefa had nobody to run to as this ill-advised plot was hatched by the cabal in their government.”

The party chairman said the All Progressives Congress, APC-led government was being anti-Ijaw in its decisions and execution of policies and projects.

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