Buhari orders investigation of sexual abuse of women by officials at IDP camps
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday ordered the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and the respective state governors to commence immediate investigations into the recent report by the Human Rights Watch alleging sexual harassments of female inmates at the Internally Displaced Camps, IDPs, by some officials including security personnel.
In a statement issued by Mr. Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media Matters the President expressed shock and worry at the news. The statement read:
“President Muhammadu Buhari is worried and shocked by the recently released Human Rights Watch (HRW) report which alleges sexual abuse and exploitation of women and girls in camps for those displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.
“The welfare of these most vulnerable of Nigerian citizens has been a priority of his government. 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.”
“While the Nigerian military continues to work hard so that these unfortunate victims of Boko Haram terrorism can soon return safely to their homes, the government will do its best to ensure their protection and welfare in the temporary IDP camps.”
It would be recalled that Human Rights Watch, Monday, released a report accusing Nigerian officials of sexually exploiting women and girls at the IDPs.
The group claimed it had documented 43 cases of women and girls in seven IDP camps in Maiduguri in July who had been abused by camp leaders, vigilante groups, policemen, and soldiers.
“It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting much-needed support for the horrific trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram,” said Mausi Segun, senior Nigeria researcher at HRW.
Before the release of the report by HRW, there had been complaints from some of the IDPs of cases of highhandedness by camp officials. There were also cases of some of the officials diverting relief materials and food meant for the IDPs to personal use.