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Former Speaker, Dogara, laments abuses meted on IDPs



Yakubu Dogara, former Speaker of the House of Representatives has lamented various forms of abuse Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are subjected to across the centers especially in the North-Eastern part of the country.

Dogara claimed that the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) compiled a total of 5,623 incidents involving child abuse and other sexual and gender-based violence from January 2018 to July 2022 for Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

According to him, the study said that, “640 arrests, or 88.6 percent of the total number of SGBV incidents in four years, were recorded, apart from the 82 offenders that had been charged across various courts located in the three states”.

The report also noted that the centre secured eight convictions, of the total number of sexual offenders taken to courts.

Yakubu Dogara made the assertion when he delivered a keynote address titled: ‘The IDP Question as a Stain On Nigeria’s Conscience’ at the 7th Henna Ball Awards Night Organized by TOZALI Magazine in Abuja on Saturday.

Read also:No conscious efforts to train Nigerian leaders beyond ethnic, religious appeals since independence, Dogara laments

He further disclosed that the Human Rights Watch documented sexual abuse including rape and exploitation of 43 women and girls living in seven IDP camps in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

He said that it was also reported in their assessment that gender-based violence was a feature of displacement in the disasters of North East Nigeria stating that, “Moreover, most studies have concluded that the culprits and perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV) at IDPCs were civilians, military, and emergency management officers detailed to protect and support internally displaced persons”.

The report said, “Government officials and other authorities in Nigeria raped and sexually abused women and girls displaced by the clashes with Boko Haram. The government neither did anything to defend the displaced women and girls nor ensured that they had access to adequate basic rights and services. Also, there was no serious punishment for the abusers, who were camp leaders, vigilante groups, policemen, and soldiers”.

By Yemi Kanji, Bauchi

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