Outrage Over Alleged S*xual Abuse of Ladies in IDP Camps

A report by Human Rights Watch, detailing alleged s*xual exploitation of women and girls in IDP camps by Nigerian government and security officials, has attracted anger and condemnation.

The HRW report, which was made public in Abuja on Monday, prompted President Buhari to order an investigation into the development, with a pledge to bring those found culpable to book.

Consequently, Buhari on Monday instructed that the alleged exploitation of women and girls in the IDPs camps as contained in the HRW report, be investigated.

The President’s directive was contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

According to the statement, Buhari would wait for the outcome of the investigations before deciding his next line of action on the matter.

The presidential spokesman said the President was “worried and shocked” by the HRW report.

He said, “Nigerians and the international community can rest assured that the allegations raised in the HRW are not being taken lightly.

“President Buhari has instructed the Inspector-General of Police and the state governors of the affected states to immediately commence investigations into the issue. Their findings will determine the next course of action for the government and define an appropriate response.”

The report by HRW accused government officials as well as security officials of r*ping and s*xually exploiting women and girls displaced by the Boko Haram criminal activities.

The report accused the government of not doing enough to protect displaced women and girls and ensuring that they had access to basic rights and services.

It also faulted the government for not taking action against the abusers, who, it alleged, included camp leaders, vigilance groups, policemen and soldiers.

The Senior Nigeria Researcher at the HRW, Mausi Segun, was quoted in the report as saying:
"It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting the much-needed support for the horrific trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram.

“It is disgraceful and outrageous that people, who should protect these women and girls, are attacking and abusing them.”

Four of the victims told HRW that they were drugged and r*ped, while 37 were coerced into s*x through false marriage promises and material and financial assistance.

Many of those coerced into s*x said they were abandoned in case of pregnancy.