Less than two days after some group of demonstrators in Abuja Amnesty International office filled out in protest over what they term a coup by Amnesty International to destabilise Nigeria, citing a yet to be released report as the reason for their agitation.
Well, it turned out thst indeed the Nigeria army and civilian JTF do have reason to be worried as victims of abuse, rape, torture are bracing up the odds to come forward to narrate their ordeal.
Fatima Bukari, one of the alleged victims of rape by soldiers and Civilian Joint TaskForce (CJTF), has revealed the ordeal they have had to endure in exchange for food in the North-East.
Bukari said apart from the fact that her husband was beaten and taken away on the pretext that he was a Boko Haram member, they have had to endure repeated rape, in exchange for food, resulting in them having children without fathers.
Both women spoke at the official presentation of the AI report in Abuja, yesterday.
Fatima, who spoke through an interpreter, Hajiya Hamsatu Allamin, a gender activist and human rights defender, said:
“We are all IDPs. We were in our state, peacefully in our community but gradually we started facing certain kind of challenges. So when we were rescued, we were then brought into Bama with our men. We were told that we were going to be taken to the authorities for safety.
“Ever since we came into the Bama prison area, the men were subjected to all kinds of humiliations, they were beaten every now and then. They kept beating our men and saying we were all Boko Haram members and we said we were not. For example, my husband was being beaten by four members of the Civilian JTF and soldier.
“In fact they kept beating him for four days. After four days, we were evacuated and then brought to the General Hospital Camp. So, before separating us, they brought the men out, washed them up and then blindfolded them and transported them to Maiduguri, before taking us to Bama Camp. Before evacuating us, they told us that “your husbands have been taken to Maiduguri and you also will be taken.
“That was how we were taken dumped at Gewa General Hospital Camp.
“So, when we were brought to the General Hospital Camp, there was no food nor water and we had been separated from our husbands. The soldiers and the civilian JTF will come with their food and give to whoever they choose to give; in fact they have spoilt many of our women.
“The soldier who led the beating and humiliation of my husband, followed me to the camp with plenty of food and asked for sex and when I asked him ‘haven’t you seen my husband,’ he replied; ‘has anyone who has been taken to the barrack ever come back.
“As I am speaking to you, there are many women like me who we are left in Bama, some of them have become pregnant, some have delivered without fathers.
“Their children are fathered by the soldiers and civilian JTF. So, it is getting to three years, we are not in Maiduguri, nothing has happened except hardship.”
In her response, Hajiya Allamin, said rather deny the report, Nigerian authorities must act and bring perpetrators to book.
She added that there are 1,600 of such women who have been registered and were willing to talk.
“The military denying the report will not help the situation. These are real women speaking about their ordeals. We have registered 1,600 of this category of women, they are there and can testify.
“So, denial will not help us. Why can’t we dialogue, speak out so that the impunity could be addressed?” She queried.
Written by Ameh Comrade Godwin, with add-on by Leslie