Prisoners of war

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Inspector General of Police to begin investigations into allegations of sexual abuse in IDP camps.

What has made the case take center stage and the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and the subsequent instruction he has given to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to launch full-scale investigation is the fact that the offenses are being committed by soldiers and other security officers attached to the camps to provide security.

Before the revelations of sexual abuse in the camps by the Human Rights Watch (HRW), about how the women who had been displaced from their homes by the Boko Haram sect are being turned into sex slaves, the military authorities and the Federal Government had denied the existence of such, defending their personnel all the time.

But the damning revelation has shown that such incidents had been ongoing for months, if not years.

We have now been regaled on how the soldiers rape, abuse, molest and impregnate the poor women with no one to come to their rescue.

There have also been allegations of diversion of food stuff and drugs meant for the camps by officials but the allegations have been swept under the carpet with no one held accountable.

In fact, anyone that makes such allegations is branded an enemy of the government or better still, a Boko Haram sympathizer.

But the new report has indicted some Nigerian soldiers and police officers who have been involved in sexually assaulting the women and girls who are themselves, suffering from neglect.

According to the report, 43 cases of such sexual abuse, including rape and exploitation, were documented in July by the HRW at seven different camps in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

According to HRW, four women who were interviewed confirmed that they drugged and raped by the security officers while 37 others said they were forced into sex through false marriage promises, material, and financial assistance.

A 17-year-old girl narrated how she was raped by a policeman in a camp.

“One day, he demanded to have sex with me. I refused but he forced me,” the girl said, adding that when she discovered she was pregnant and told the policeman, he threatened to shoot and kill her if she told anyone.

This damning revelation has led Nigerians to wonder if those ladies are now prisoners of war to be used, abused and molested by the soldiers at will?

Have they not suffered enough in the hands of the deadly sect who drove them out of their homeland all in the name of insurgency?

It is left to be seen the kind of justice they will get and whether the perpetrators of this sordid crime will be brought to book.

Will the Nigeria Army wade in and get them punished and will the victims get retribution?

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