Today, We consider it extremely important to state our position and put forward a clarion call to the Federal Government and Nigerians as a whole to salvage the issue of human rights abuses and the dignity of victims of Boko Haram Insurgents living in IDP Camps especially in the North East.
Cases including but not limited to sexual abuses in form of rape, neglect after being impregnated, exchange of sex for food, malnutrition, poverty and unemployment are now rampant in these camps.
This is a dent on the conscience of our nation.
In what is a gross humanitarian crisis in need of urgent and immediate action, representatives of the government have not only delayed aid or as alleged, misappropriated monies allocated to the needs of the residents in the camps, they have also made it more difficult for both local and international donor agencies to help when they want to.
Mr President’s condemnation of these recently revealed acts is one of the many steps in the right direction. We must however go beyond theoretical condemnations on paper to actually arresting this heart-breaking humanitarian crisis.
There are allegations of local officials using the situation in the IDP Camps to raise money from donor organisations, relief materials in form of aid have also been said to not reach those to who they are meant. The level of Corruption amidst security operatives who restrict access in the name of National Security is the kind of corruption that has continued to kill children in these camps.
The situation is not entirely different outside the IDP Camps where residents have gone back to their towns to live. There are, for example, over 80,000 people in the town of Ngala who are cut from aid and relief and from the rest of the country, in need of water, healthcare and food.
The Federal Government must move immediately to consider official partnerships with humanitarian response organisations to help at this crucial time. There must also be an efficient monitoring system in place for victims of sexual abuse in IDP Camps and those found to be guilty be punished according to the laws.
We must endeavour not to repeat the mistake of the last administration by paying lip service to these occurrences or handling this humanitarian crisis lackadaisically or worse, losing the money allocated to solving this crisis to corruption both by the local officers and the Federal Officers.
There is also a need for the government to, in good faith, furnish Nigerians with how the monies donated by eminent Nigerians to help in this crisis is being put into use.
The consequences both now and in the unforeseen future are dire!
Nigerians must therefore rise to demand that the Federal Government acts swiftly on this crisis. We have to move from being a country that simply condemns these grievous acts to swiftly acting and saving the situation.
May God Bless The Federal Republic of Nigeria.